Making a Stereoscopic Camera at Home

If you want to purchase a stereoscopic camera to create 3D images and videos, you must be ready to spend a hefty amount. If you’re not ready to make the investment in professional-grade stereoscopic cameras, you can make one at home at a very affordable cost.  

Stereoscopic cameras attempt to replicate our natural eyes to create 3D images and videos. Our eyes are about 2 inches apart from each other, and each sees the same thing from a slightly different perspective. This difference is then calculated and perceived by our brain as distance, and is translated into a 3D image.

Stereoscopic 3D cameras and viewers, such as the ViewMaster, operates on the same principle. They capture the same image but each from a slightly different perspective, say 2 inches apart. The images are then pieced together through post-production in order to come up with the 3D image.

What You'll Need

You’ll need the following materials to create your own Stereoscopic 3D camera at home:

  • Two cameras, preferably of the same type
  • Duct tape or Velcro tape
  • Foot-long piece of wood
  • Photo editing software

Step 1: Set up Your Shot

The first step is to set up your shot or subject. To best get the effect of your stereoscopic image, choose a shot with depth. Your cameras should be similar and have the same setting. If you’re using two DSLR cameras, make sure that their ISO levels, aperture, and shutter settings are the same.

Step 2: Mount Both Cameras

Second step is to mount both cameras on a sturdy piece of wood. You can attach them using duct tape or Velcro tape. Make sure they are stable, and try to keep the lenses only 2 inches apart from each other. The lenses should be pointing straight and not angled in any way.

Step 3: Capture Image

Capture the image you want. Through photo editing, you can overlap these two images to create your Stereoscopic 3D image. If you create a GIF of the image, the end result will be a wriggling picture that looks 3D. If you prefer to view the image with 3D glasses, then convert your two images into one anaglyphic image.