3D Vision


©_zand (Flickr)


The world is going mad for 3D. Cinemas are offering 3D movies, Sky covered the Ryder Cup in 3D and Nintendo will launch their Nintendo 3DS console early next year.

How can education use 3D and, in this age of austerity, do it on a low or non existent budget?

A couple of technologies I’ve been experimenting with lately are 3D anaglyphs and augmented reality. Both of these can be achieved with open source or free software, and I’m already integrating them into my classes by teaching students how to make multimedia content with these tools.

3D Anaglyphs

These are 3D images created from two images and viewed through glasses with different coloured lenses. Using a digital camera and some image editing software e.g. Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, 3D anaglyphs can be created quickly. The procedure is very straightforward, and a tutorial on making 3D stereoscopic images with Photoshop can be found on Adobe Education Exchange. Suitable red/cyan 3D glasses can be purchased readily from several websites and from E-Bay. They can also be found on the cover of several kids comics and also in 3D books in your local bookstore.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a bit more complicated and some experience of programming is required. I’ve used Adobe Flash along with a set of other tools to create my examples, but other tools such as Adobe Flex are free to education and can be used in a similar way.

The example below was created using Flash CS4, Papervision 3D, FLARToolkit and Blender.

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