Old Hollywood Photos in 3D

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bobfells
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World's First 3D Color Transfer?

Unread post by bobfells » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:34 am

This one is a carry over from the "Classic Stars in 3D" thread that I posted elsewhere on the Image Gallery. A kind N'ville resident sent me this wonderful stereo slide of Mark Twain. It cried out for color so I tried it as an experiment and it looks pretty good. What do you think?

Also, since I use the "free viewing" method of seeing the 3D effect w/o using a viewer, I should note that I have a more difficult time with larger images. So if you're trying to free view and it's not working, try reducing the size of the image to 75% and it should work better.

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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Christopher Jacobs » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:02 pm

That looks very nice, with spectacular 3-D and reasonably period-appropriate colorization. I've got a set of early 20th-century travelogue stereoptican cards that were printed onto cardstock, rather than having actual photographs glued to the cards like the best ones do, and they also have obviously hand-designed colors lithographed as part of the picture the way movie lobbycards would later do.

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Further Experiments in 3D Color Transfers

Unread post by bobfells » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:04 pm

Ok guys, I selected the following photos just to get your attention. Please tell me what you think of the results.

Myrna Loy in 3D:
Image

Bebe Daniels in 3D:
Image

Jean Harlow and whats-his-name in RED DUST (1932):
Image

Tip: I find that I can see the 3D effect easier if the image size is smaller, so try decreasing the screen size if you're having difficulty. I'm assuming that you're free-viewing like me.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Gagman 66 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:32 pm

Bob,

:o These are very ncie, but I guess that I'm not understanding how to see the 3-D effect here? :?

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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:56 pm

Gagman 66 wrote:Bob,

:o These are very ncie, but I guess that I'm not understanding how to see the 3-D effect here? :?
Gagman,

If you can see the 3D effect on the Mark Twain photo on the previous page, the question is can you see it on these photos too? Thanks.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:49 pm

Thanks for the compliment, Bob! I can definitely get the 3D/depth perception with the Mark Twain stereocard, but I'm not seeing it so much with your photos (and believe me, I would love to see Bebe and Myrna in full 3d!). Even after decreasing the size, the images still seem flat to me. However, aside from the remarkable appeal of the featured ladies, I wonder if these photos are the ideal for showing off 3d. Perhaps you should try some scene still that features people and items in both the foreground and background.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:01 am

Little Caesar wrote:Thanks for the compliment, Bob! I can definitely get the 3D/depth perception with the Mark Twain stereocard, but I'm not seeing it so much with your photos (and believe me, I would love to see Bebe and Myrna in full 3d!). Even after decreasing the size, the images still seem flat to me. However, aside from the remarkable appeal of the featured ladies, I wonder if these photos are the ideal for showing off 3d. Perhaps you should try some scene still that features people and items in both the foreground and background.
I appreciate the feedback, LC. Obviously, my experiments continue.......
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:41 pm

Gagman,

Beautiful work and the BARBED WIRE photo looks fine, no resolution problems at least on my laptop.

LC,

You've uncovered my secret - I'm experimenting with simulated 3D. From what I've seen elsewhere, this lacks the "pop out" effect of genuine 3D (the Mark Twain image is a good example) but when it works the foreground image emerges from the background. I guess it's like the way embossed lettering stands out compared to flat printed lettering. No question that not every photo is a good candidate. I tried your photo from REACHING FOR THE MOON - there was too much going on in the foreground with DF, Horton and Bebe. My best results made Horton look like he had two noses.

Please try these two. The first has a clearly defined foreground and background:

Image

This one has a centrally positioned foreground figure and everything else is background:

Image
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:49 pm

bobfells wrote:Gagman,

Beautiful work and the BARBED WIRE photo looks fine, no resolution problems at least on my laptop.

LC,

You've uncovered my secret - I'm experimenting with simulated 3D. From what I've seen elsewhere, this lacks the "pop out" effect of genuine 3D (the Mark Twain image is a good example) but when it works the foreground image emerges from the background. I guess it's like the way embossed lettering stands out compared to flat printed lettering. No question that not every photo is a good candidate. I tried your photo from REACHING FOR THE MOON - there was too much going on in the foreground with DF, Horton and Bebe. My best results made Horton look like he had two noses.

Please try these two. The first has a clearly defined foreground and background:

Image

This one has a centrally positioned foreground figure and everything else is background:

Image
Good work! I was definitely able to perceive the 3d/depth effects with both the Alexander Hamilton and Jolie photos. So, are you renaming your blog to OLD HOLLYWOOD IN 3D and COLOR?
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:01 pm

Little Caesar wrote: "Good work! I was definitely able to perceive the 3d/depth effects with both the Alexander Hamilton and Jolie photos. So, are you renaming your blog to OLD HOLLYWOOD IN 3D and COLOR?"

No, but it might be tempting to devote an occasional post to a star rendered in 3D. This could really come in handy on the Arliss Archives blog where, for obvious reasons, there is limited subject matter. Thanks for your help!
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Zoetrope » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:04 pm

I am not seeing any difference between the foreground to background perspective in the side-by-side photos. In 3-D photography you should be able to see that the 2 photos are different based on the relationship of the foreground elements to the background elements. These just look like the same photo side by side. That can sometimes give a false 3D effect but to really convert 2D photos to 3D you would normally want to create layers based on te depth of the items in the photo and then shift the layers to create the 3D effect. The shift for the right and left photos is different. That is what gives the illusion of depth.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Zoetrope » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:07 pm

For an example of what I mean, look at the Mark Twain stereo view. Look closely at the top of his pen and it's relationship to the crease in the pillow behind it. The distance between the pen and pillow crease is different in the right and left images.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:21 pm

Zoetrope wrote:For an example of what I mean, look at the Mark Twain stereo view. Look closely at the top of his pen and it's relationship to the crease in the pillow behind it. The distance between the pen and pillow crease is different in the right and left images.
Zoetrope,

Of course, you are correct. We can notice the same shift in foreground/background simply by holding our finger in front our face about two feet (careful which finger you use), then look at it with only the right eye, then only with the left. You will see the background shift perspective quite noticeably. This is the essence of creating 3D images. Under the guideline that you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, I am experimenting with a simplified form of simulated 3D that doesn't use layers. So far I can achieve what might be called a quasi-3D effect depending on the image used.

Try out this one, which may have a better 3d effect:

Image


This a rather ambitious experiment with three figures in the foreground. The lighting really helps to separate the foreground/background:

Image
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Bob,
Your "Tempest" and "House of Rothschild" photos both have a nice, mild depth to them. The performers do seem to go into the photo or computer a bit.
This is somewhat off-topic, but recently I purchased an inexpensive Panasonic blu-ray player for my small TV in my bedroom. The player had all the features I wanted and was in the price range I desired. On top of all that, it is also a 3D player. To me, the 3D capabilities are superfluous because I'm not planning on purchasing a 3d TV anytime soon. With that said, I read in the instructional booklet that the player can actually convert 2d material to 3d on the fly. I'm sure that this rapid 3d conversion is probably not the greatest, but it did make me think about how it would handle the blu-ray reissues of silents like Thief of Bagdad, The Black Pirate, Wings, and almost any Buster Keaton title. I don't think that seeing these movies in a pseudo-3D would really enhance them at all, but I'd be curious to look. I'm also aware that Legend films has released 3D conversions of the Laurel and Hardy version of Babes in Toyland and a few Three Stooges shorts. I've even heard that Warner Bros. is preparing a 3D conversion of The Wizard of Oz. All of this brings to mind that moment in an old Honeymooners show when Ralph Kramden tells his wife Alice that he's holding off on buying a TV set because he's waiting for 3D TV. Well, it looks like Ralph only needed to wait about sixty years. :lol:
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:14 pm

Thanks for your feedback, LC. I think a mild suggestion of 3D in these photos is all I'm trying achieve. Oddly, I always felt that real 3D slides and photos exaggerate nature and the natural depth perception we experience all the time. Even when I was a kid looking at those View-Master viewers that used the round cards with little transparencies, the 3D effect looked "hyper" to me. But as optical illusions go, it's pretty neat.

Re Blu-ray players, I've watched a few minutes of 3D TV as demos in stores but I think they tend to cause eye strain. At least viewing photos you need only to invest a minute or so and then we can move on to something else. But viewing a movie or a sports event requires an extended period of time where our brain is working overtime to make sense of these separate images that each eye is suddenly sending it as opposed to the unified signal sent by both eyes with the depth info is already encoded. The brain's reaction to this prolonged state of working to blend the two separate images is known in medical circles by a highly technical term. It's called a headache.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:43 pm

bobfells wrote:Thanks for your feedback, LC. I think a mild suggestion of 3D in these photos is all I'm trying achieve. Oddly, I always felt that real 3D slides and photos exaggerate nature and the natural depth perception we experience all the time. Even when I was a kid looking at those View-Master viewers that used the round cards with little transparencies, the 3D effect looked "hyper" to me. But as optical illusions go, it's pretty neat.

Re Blu-ray players, I've watched a few minutes of 3D TV as demos in stores but I think they tend to cause eye strain. At least viewing photos you need only to invest a minute or so and then we can move on to something else. But viewing a movie or a sports event requires an extended period of time where our brain is working overtime to make sense of these separate images that each eye is suddenly sending it as opposed to the unified signal sent by both eyes with the depth info is already encoded. The brain's reaction to this prolonged state of working to blend the two separate images is known in medical circles by a highly technical term. It's called a headache.
The impression that I've had viewing old View-Master images (I actually have some of old family photos) is that it looks like I'm seeing cardboard cut-outs. Even though we see in 3D, that doesn't seem to come to our minds when viewing the world. To give an example, when the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie was released, I went to a theatre to see it. When I was there, I opted to pay the extra two dollars to see it in 3D. For the first few minutes of the film, I was really noticing the 3D photography. However, as the movie went on, I gradually started to get caught up in the story and I forgot that I was seeing a 3D movie. With the exception of a few gimmick gags (like a sword flying out into the audience), I was not really aware that I was watching a 3d movie. Now, having seen that movie again on TV in the flat version, I cannot say that the movie suffers when divorced from the 3D effects. In my opinion, 3D is not really needed for feature-length movies. It's neat for short gimmick films (like the two Three Stooges films Spooks and Pardon My Backfire), but I really can't see how 3D would enhance movies like Gone With the Wind or Casablanca (to give two random examples). It seems to me that 3D normally comes in 30 year cycles. There was the initial 3D craze in the 1950s, and there was another minor craze in the 1980s. So, almost like clockwork, 3D has come again. The question is will it last this time. Still photography is another matter though, and it's sort of neat to see a mild depth to some old movie stills. Seeing George Arliss in some of his dramatic gestures with some depth is fun!
Concerning the heardaches, I remember reading an article about a year ago about this current 3D craze. According to that article, optometrists have been recommending that their patients limit the amount of time they view 3D content. Not really surprising.
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Old Hollywood Photos in 3D

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:09 pm

Please visit my new post on the Arliss Archives at the link below. This time we have experimented with "simulated 3D" to give a more vivid look to Mr. A and his friends. The photo below is genuine 3D taken by yours truly. Thanks for stopping by!

Image
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:43 pm

Bob,
I experimented with simulated 3d this afternoon, and I came up with this. Do you sense any depth with this photo? You may have to resize the photo.
Image
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:02 pm

Little Caesar wrote:Bob,
I experimented with simulated 3d this afternoon, and I came up with this. Do you sense any depth with this photo? You may have to resize the photo.
Image
LC,

I can see an enhanced look but the photo itself is not a good candidate for 3D because there's no real foreground or background. Everything is mostly middle ground. If you want to post a few candidates here I'll be happy to suggest one that has possibilities. This is why I couldn't do your REACHING FOR THE MOON photo because it was all foreground.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:15 pm

bobfells wrote:
Little Caesar wrote:Bob,
I experimented with simulated 3d this afternoon, and I came up with this. Do you sense any depth with this photo? You may have to resize the photo.
Image
LC,

I can see an enhanced look but the photo itself is not a good candidate for 3D because there's no real foreground or background. Everything is mostly middle ground. If you want to post a few candidates here I'll be happy to suggest one that has possibilities. This is why I couldn't do your REACHING FOR THE MOON photo because it was all foreground.
Thanks for looking. I was simply curious to see what I could do. What photo do you have in mind?
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:52 pm

LC,

No particular photo, I was just making the point of getting a good candidate for the 3D simulation. I really like Gagman's photo from yesterday which a good example of clearly established foreground/background. What do you think of it in Fells-O-Vision?

Image

I removed Gagman's imprint only because it would mess up the 3D effect.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:37 pm

bobfells wrote:LC,

No particular photo, I was just making the point of getting a good candidate for the 3D simulation. I really like Gagman's photo from yesterday which a good example of clearly established foreground/background. What do you think of it in Fells-O-Vision?

Image

I removed Gagman's imprint only because it would mess up the 3D effect.
The LaPlante photo looks fine. Again, the 3d effect is very subtle, but at least Laura and Eugene don't look like cardboard cutouts!
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:14 pm

The lighting on this photo helps a lot. By changing the left perspective more than I did at 105 percent, I could squeeze more of the 3D effect out of it. But then you can start having eye strain issues.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:41 pm

Bob,
As I was reading your recent blog post about Arliss in 3d, I remembered another article I read about being able to make 3d still images from movies by using successive frames as the left and right eye images. If the performer moves ever so slightly or if the camera pans, a 3d image could possibly be made. I've seen some images from Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr where this was done, and it looked pretty good to me (I just tried a google search for those images though, I couldn't find them). Perhaps this can be another avenue for you to explore.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:13 pm

LC,

I think under the right circumstances the idea of taking screen grabs of successive frames of motion picture film could work but the grain of the film stock might be a problem, plus the task of finding just the right shot. Let me know if you find any examples it's an interesting idea.
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by Little Caesar » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:06 am

bobfells wrote:LC,

I think under the right circumstances the idea of taking screen grabs of successive frames of motion picture film could work but the grain of the film stock might be a problem, plus the task of finding just the right shot. Let me know if you find any examples it's an interesting idea.
Bob,
I found this interesting post from John Bengston on the old alt.movies.silent site:
"It's true that you can generate a passable 3D image from two
consecutive frames taken from a tracking shot from any motion picture.
The slight shift in perspective between the two consecutive frames
creates, in effect, a Left and Right view of a single spot.
The trick is to lay the two frames side by side. At the beginning
your left eye sees the two images, and your right sees the two images.
When you relax your eyes into "crossing," you then see three frames,
the left frame as seen by your left eye, the right frame as seen by
your right eye, and an overlapping center image comprised of the right
frame seen by your left eye, and left frame seen by your right eye.
It works surprisingly well. You can also create 3D effects using a
regular still camera simply by taking two nearly identical photos, but
with the second shot shifted slightly in position from the first.
I demonstrated this silent 3D effect in the Summer 1998 issue of the
Keaton Chronicle (the Keaton fan club Damfinos newsletter
http://www.busterkeaton.com" target="_blank" target="_blank), where I used two frames from Keaton's
motorcycle ride from Sherlock Jr. to good effect. I also used two
frames of Keaton asleep in the delivery wagon from Cops, and of Keaton
loading the squat cannon from The General."

Armed with this information, I quickly made this image from "Cops." I know the image quality isn't the greatest because I simply took two screen grabs from youtube. I imagine that if I were to use my blu-ray copy that the effect would look better. What do you think?
Image
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Re: Color from Black-and-White: colorized photos

Unread post by bobfells » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:37 am

LC,

I can definitely see the 3D effect with the horse distanced from the cars. I don't think the photo quality makes a big difference as long as the objects can be seen. Good work!
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Re: George Arliss in 3D

Unread post by Little Caesar » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:42 pm

Bob,
I just made this stereoview from a tracking shot in "The Man Who Played God." What do you think?
Image
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Re: George Arliss in 3D

Unread post by bobfells » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:16 pm

LC,

Nice experiment and there's a definite 3D effect between Mr. A and the wall. I would suggest that you boost the brightness and contrast just as you would if you were working with a color transfer.
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Re: George Arliss in 3D

Unread post by Little Caesar » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:21 pm

bobfells wrote:LC,

Nice experiment and there's a definite 3D effect between Mr. A and the wall. I would suggest that you boost the brightness and contrast just as you would if you were working with a color transfer.
Thanks for the advice. Perhaps we should start a new thread in the Image Gallery section for these 3D experiments? Anyway, I took your advice in consideration with this screen shot of Stan Laurel and Mae Busch from "Chickens Come Home."
Image

Edited to add: I just remembered that you did start a "Classic Film Stars in 3D" thread to showcase your life masks. Well, if I do any further experiments with screen shots from films, I'll post them there.
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