How are these stereo animations made?

Posted by Clicksy | Posted in Wiggle Animations | Posted on 23-09-2009

Tagged Under : , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE for any curious animators - everyone that wants the basics, please skip to below:  It’s really hard to explain this process beyond the basics I’ve provided here.  I hope to do this eventually, but for now, the best tool I can give you is the original animation with all layers and frames.  This was made in Photoshop, and hopefully can be opened by some of the newer free programs as well.  (If you have freeware animation software you’d like to pimp here for my visitors, please do!).  You can download the TIFF file here.  Don’t expect it to be neat and organized, but you should be able to get the idea.  Especially when it comes to the movement, cloning and covering up areas to create new, etc.  I did have to shrink it down so if you need something bigger just ask and please feel free to ask any questions here or by emailing  I’d love to have some blog authors if you would like to display your work on this site.  And now, on with the basics:

This is the most asked question, and here’s how it’s done….

Above is a stereo viewer from… way back when.  A stereo card with two images taken at slightly different angles was inserted into the viewer and allowed the user to see the image in 3-D.  These images were usually taken with a single camera that had two slightly angled lenses.  Because the angles of the lenses varied so much between cameras, each animation has a different sort of tilt. More on stereoscopy on wiki here.

To create the animation, I layer the images on top of one another and transition from one to the other.  Because of the different lens angles, this process usually involves resizing and repairing some areas to create one seamless image… or as seamless as you can make a hundred year old photograph.  So the image above, becomes this:

I came up with this idea on a whim, I don’t know that it’s been done before, I just knew that I had never seen any.  I think it’s a different kind of way to view the history and learn - which is never a bad thing.  Sometimes I’m not totally happy with how an animation turns out, but post it anyway because the image itself still has historical interest and value.

That’s it in a nutshell.  If you would like to view the complete collection, visit  No need to register to comment, let me know what you think - I can take it!

By the way, the images are all under a creative commons attribution license.  Share around, as long as you leave the watermark.  A link back to would be appreciated, but isn’t required.

UPDATE: I’ve created a video with animation, which gets into more detail about how to create these in photoshop. Click me.


There are (17) Comments for the How are these stereo animations made?

Post your comment


Bad Behavior has blocked 5 access attempts in the last 7 days.