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Pete Lawrence - 13 Oct 2018


Facebook on Thursday started rolling out a feature that turns 2D shots taken with a compatible dual-lens phone into 3D photos. On your news feed, you can scroll, pan and tilt to see the photos in 3D. This feature is available for 'portrait' mode shots, where is considerable depth of field.

The technology plays with the distance between subject in the foreground and background, according to Apple, although in our initial tests, it is common to see a blurred shadow effect behind a close subject or feature in the photo.

Images come out best when: your subject is three or four feet away with multiple layers of depth in the background; your subject has contrasting colour from the background; and your subject isn't shiny. If your subject has solid edges, that'll help as well.

Just use your mobile and click the usual status update window. Scroll down past Photo/Video, Tag People etc until you reach 3D photo. That will offer you any 'portrait' mode photos you have in your library.

Facebook has specified that only iPhones with dual cameras are supported for now, not all dual-camera phones.

TechCrunch explained how the technology works in more detail (see link embed below); in essence drawing from the depth map that is automatically created by dual-camera phones, then adding custom software tweaks that create a more realistic image. The vast majority of people will see these photos on other phones, but you can also view them on the Oculus Go VR headset’s web browser, or Firefox on the Oculus Rift.

The Verge says "Facebook isn’t inventing a new idea here — this kind of perspective-shifting has been around for years on phones — but it’s making the process intuitive and the results very easy to share. It’s also adding yet another little feature that blurs the line between normal Facebook posts and “immersive” experiences like virtual or augmented reality. And it’s doing so in a way that’s relatively non-controversial, at least compared to the giant home videophone it unveiled earlier this week."




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