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3D Me

Does anyone else remember the days when your cellphone didn’t have a camera? I certainly do. Having that tiny lens was quite the attraction back in the day. Today, every thing I own takes pictures – even the litter box can upload snapshots to Flickr. The iPhone is no different. Sure, we may scoff at it’s puny capabilities, but the App Store is ready to step in and provide some much needed muscle.

On their site, the developers tell us we can:

Create and share stereoscopic 3D-effect pictures with 3D Me. Just a few clicks with a steady hand and you’ll begin to create an album of 3D pics. No 3D glasses needed. 

You basically take a picture, move your shot just a smidge and then take a 2nd shot. Align the two and 3D Me creates a very cool composite. There’s a small learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, 3D Me takes a perfectly serviceable camera and turns it into an exciting new toy. And by toy, I mean killer new gadget that you can’t help but show your friends and play with non-stop!

I really should’ve posted this review a while ago. But, I’ve been playing with it for about two weeks and I’ve become obsessed with finding the perfect shot; hanging out with friends, walking around Brooklyn, hell, even sitting on the couch with the wife. I’ve found myself shifting a quarter of a degree to see how something would look in 3D Me. In my experience, you need two things to make a killer 3D shot -  depth in the image and the proper shift between shots. The depth between subjects is where the 3D comes out. And you don’t need to shift a lot to compose the perfect shot – just a little. Keep one subject aligned between the first two shots and you’re good to go.

 
In the time I’ve had it on my phone, it hasn’t crashed once. The interface is straight-forward and intuititve. The original picture becomes a transparent overlay, so when you take the 2nd photo it’s easy to compose the shot. It also doesn’t have any of the shutter lag that I’ve experienced with other camera apps. Which is reassuring, because there’s nothing more dissappointing than seeing a screen full of blur when you really thought you just got photographic proof that Sasquatch really does exist. The devs, Rooftop Collective, made a video to walk you through the process:

Getting the photos off the camera isn’t as easy as taking them. To preserve the 3Dness, you can either email them or upload them to MySpace. I’m a facebook boy myself, so I couldn’t test the MySpace features. But, the devs seem pretty high on it, so I’m sure the kids will love it. 

Emailing them off your iPhone is a bit of a tedious process. All of the pictures get labeled “open_me_in_browser.gif” and then uploaded to a folder on drop.io.

It does get a little confusing when you’re pulling off more than one picture. It would definitely be easier if they were numbered or labeled by date. The mail app then loads up with links to your photos. Ideally, you could just pull these from your camera library. Hopefully it’s not a limitation of the SDK and this can be added in the future.

3D Me cements my belief that the phone is the last useful app on my iPhone. If you like any of the toy camera apps, then 3D Me should definitely be on your springboard. Head over to my site, no more fwds, If you want to see some more of the craziness that I’ve been snapping.

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