Wigglegrams Exploit the 3D Illusion

Wigglegrams are animated GIFs that create 3D illusion via just two (maybe) three images together of a similar shot but from different locations.  They’re very close in likeness to cinemagraphs, each instance plays on a loop.  This tutorial from Amnesia Razorfish beautifully explains how to make your own if you’re illiterate with Photoshop and small projects like this:

How to make your own Wigglegram:

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We were lucky enough to have 3 GoPro’s in the Office but you could use any matching cameras. You will need a minimum of two, but the more the merrier. In general you want the lenses closer together. The effect may have been slightly better if we had put the GoPros vertically (but then we couldn’t have pressed the buttons!). Note: We pushed the GoPro’s tight as possible against each other to keep everything sturdy.

Step 1 – Construction: 
1. We mounted the GoPros on two stiff rulers using elastic bands. 
2. We taped 3 small pieces of eraser chopped up just big enough to press the camera buttons simultaneously. 
3. We stuck the chopped up eraser onto a stiff flat object (we used a random bit of scrap metal we found lying around). lining up the erasers exactly with the GoPro buttons. This was loosly attched to the rig using elastic bands again (not so tight that it pressed the buttons) 
4. We attached the rig onto a Tripod.

Step 2 – Taking shots:
1. Make sure you have a “centre subject” (see the flowers below in our reception area as an example). Having nothing in the middle of your shot makes it hard to align things, and also lessens the 3D effect. Tip: Don’t have too many objects close up or in front of your ‘centre object’.

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2. Keep your rig nice and steady. 
3. Avoid anything moving (unless you have a better way of getting each of the cameras to trigger at exactly the same time). 
4. Click away… making sure all three buttons are clicked at the same time (although a little bit out is ok if your subjects are still.

Step 3- Making the Wigglegram  Gif 
-We put out photos into three folders named LEFT, MIDDLE, RIGHT

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Next we imported Left, Middle, Right frames into a layer in Photoshop (Fig 1) – one shot at a time. 
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- Next step is alignment. The easiest way to do this is to make the bottom layer (eg: left) 100% opacity, then make the next layer (eg middle) 50% opacity. When you do this the two images will look blurred and the trick is to get the ‘centre subject’ of the images in focus. 

To see the rest of their tutorial, click here.  For a classic collection of wigglegrams, check out our gallery.

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  1. [...] photographers have used GIF technology to push far beyond the lo-fi novelty of Web 1.0. Consider theWigglegram, a craze on Tumblr, which creates a jaunty 3-D effect by looping multiple images shot from slightly [...]

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