Create 3D images from one or two pics with Free 3D Photo Maker

Generate various 3D images from still pictures with this nifty freeware.

Free 3D Photo Maker is an easy-to-use tool for creating 3D still images by combining two images or processing a single image. It offers several 3D image algorithms and several interface language choices, but most of what it does is automatic. To view the 3D effects it creates, you'll need a pair of anaglyph glasses. Don't worry, you probably already have as pair somewhere; we're talking about those paper-framed glasses with different colored lenses that you used to get at 3D movies.

Free 3D Photo Maker has a simple user interface based around side-by-side image displays with separate browsing buttons. The default selections are two identical (or nearly identical) images, which is the usual way of creating 3D images and offered an effective demonstration of the program's capabilities. But we were interested in the check box that tells Free 3D Photo Maker to use just one image to create 3D effects. We selected the option, browsed to an image, and opened it in the left-side window. Next we selected an output directory and whether to show a preview. Finally we selected an algorithm from a drop-down list offering these anaglyphs: optimized, color (red-cyan), true (dark), gray, and yellow-blue. When we were ready, we pressed a button labeled Make 3D. The program almost instantaneously displayed our finished 3D image in a full-screen preview. The only options are language choices and updates.

We tried each of the algorithms, with a variety of results. Not all the 3D images we created were totally successful, but we were certainly impressed with Free 3D Photo Maker's ability to generate believable 3D images from almost any snapshot. Subject matter and composition matter in 3D images, and even with successful conversions, some will look better than others. We sure had fun with this free tool, though.

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