Atlantis rises above your monitor

By Phil Plait | July 12, 2011 10:54 am

Nathanial Burton Bradford takes images from NASA and other science sources and creates 3D red/blue anaglyphs from them. If you have a pair of those glasses, then feast your eyes on this tremendous one he made of Atlantis from yesterday’s 360° pitch maneuver:

Cooool. What really makes this one is the Vertical Stabilizer (the tail fin, if you like) popping out right at you. Nathanial’s also done one of the launch itself. He says he’s looking for more, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Check back on his Flickr pages to see for yourself.

Credit: NASA, Nathanial Burton Bradford

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Phobos is, like, totally groovy
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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Pretty pictures, Top Post

Comments (10)

  1. DennyMo

    I’m gonna have to bring a pair of those glasses into work. It’s a cruel tease to spin up how great the picture is when I have to wait until I get home to see it.

  2. sophia8

    I can see the 3D without the glasses. However, my right eye is nearly useless (from birth), so I’ve never had normal stereo vision anyway. It’s the faux-stereo mechanism that my brain has developed over the years that’s doing this. Even using only my good eye, Atlantis really ‘pops’ out at me.
    The brain is an amazing contraption! And maybe going to a 3D movie won’t be a waste of money for me….

  3. lawrence refone

    hi sophia – just curious – how do you know what stereo vision looks like if you have never had it?
    briilliant pics though!

  4. Helmholtz

    I prefer the cross eyed technique over the two color approach. It gives a far more natural appearance in my opinion.

    Anyone know if these shots were created using two images or just a single image manipulated after the fact?

    @ Sophia8 – The brain uses a variety of techniques to visualize depth. This includes but is not limited to stereopsis. Other cues such as occlusion of one object by another, light and shadow, perspective effects (think train track running to the horizon), and even our knowledge of how large certain objects should be relative to others play important roles in depth perception.

  5. Bigfoot

    Great stuff!

    I always wonder why we never see other 3D anaglyph renderings of the solar system, constellations, Jupiter’s or Saturn’s moon systems, etc. It would be fantastic to see some 3D relief that showed some relative distance to us. The distances would only have to be crude representative distances relative to each other since in almost all cases it would be far beyond the scale of an anaglyph to represent to our piddly little brains, but wouldn’t it be lovely to view 3D images of systems of constellations (or just areas of the sky) this way?

    I’m sure someone has a computer that could choke such things out relatively easily.

  6. Sean H.

    Fact: I keep my red/blue glasses beside my computer for these images. They are always quite awesome.

  7. sophia8

    Helmholtz @4: That’s exactly what I already figured out from my own experience, that the brain gradually learns various non-binocular techniques to approximate stereoscopic vision. This is a process that takes a long time – I was in my mid-forties before I started experiencing flashes of ‘3D’, mainly when looking at things like distant mountains and overlapping clouds. The nearer clouds/mountains would “pop out” at me in a thoroughly amazing, gobsmacking way that I’d never experienced before. (Laurence @3: That’s how I recognise that the Atlantic photo is meant to be stereoscopic, although I have to rely on others’ accounts of what stereoscopic viewing looks like.)
    Oliver Sacks has published a book “The Minds Eye” detailing the case of a woman with the same eye problem as me – her experiences parallel mine.

  8. Phil, it seems like the vast majority of 3-D images you post are for red-blue glasses, and that’s fine, but cross-eyed viewing works just as well for me. My flimsy cardboard red-blue glasses wore out years ago. Do you think you could post more parallel images that can be resolved through cross-eyed viewing?

  9. Unfortunately, it looks as if the rotation of the shuttle and the orbital motion of the shuttle and station have had opposite stereoscopic effects, so that there’s no really correct setup for the glasses; if I hold them one way, the shuttle’s relief is reversed so that the stabilizer is sunken into the shuttle body, and if I hold them the other way, the shuttle itself appears sunken into the Earth.

  10. Checkmate1

    Bigfoot@5: There is such a book…” 3-D Star Maps” by Richard Monkhouse and John Cox, ISBN 0-06-16131-0 comes with 2 pairs of the glasses.
    Disclaimer: I have no connection etc. I got mine online for only a few dollars.


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