(animated stereo) five Geisha in Meiji-era Japan

The purpose here is not to duplicate the original image, from Okinawa Soba's stream, but to generate an animated gif to assist viewing. Unfortunately, animation is not automatic - to animate you must view the image at original resolution (click all sizes) or simply scroll down.


Okinawa Soba posted several CC licensed stereoimages by T. Enami documenting life in early 20th century Japan (the Meiji period). The original hand tinted image (circa 1900), presented for parallel viewing and showing five geisha is one of many remarkable stereo compositions. This animated gif version exploits motion parallax to give a stereo illusion without eyestrain, to see what the photographer envisioned.


Animated gif generated with StereoPhotoMaker, a freeware program by Masuji Suto & David Sykes


creative commons attribution of Okinawa Soba's original image:

www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  • Thiophene_Guy 6y

    (animated stereo) five Geisha in Meiji-era Japan
  • Okinawa Soba (Rob) 6y

    Ooooooo. Nice ! Yes, I'm now convinced that cropping the bottom mount off is the best way to go on these gif conversions.

    Since you point it out, I must agree with you that T. Enami's colorists did an admirable job on painstakingly tinting both sides to match up in the stereoscope. Realizing the the actual image from top to bottom was only three inches, and that most of the content was much smaller, we can better appreciate what they had to do by hand.

    Looking at these images in gif animation allows for a good "study" of their relative accuracy in matching both sides.

    Here's some examples (just two of many) where the left/right micro-tinting challenges seem to have been well met :

    MAKING MUSIC in OLD JAPAN -- With a Full Plate of SUSHI to Keep Them Going ! by Okinawa Soba (Rob)

    MEETING AT THE GATE -- Japanese Girls in Kimono at the Entrance to an INN Near the Genkyu-en Gardens in HIKONE (玄宮園) by Okinawa Soba (Rob)

    By the way, Enami charged his stereoview customers only an extra 15 sen for the added color work --- which on the harder views could take hours.

    100 years ago, coloring five stereoviews views came to an extra 75 sen over the price of five B/W views. 75 sen was the price of a good pair of geta (wooden clogs), or Enami's price for coloring just one 8 x 10 albumen print.

    In my opinion, it was far more difficult and time consuming to color five stereoviews than one 8 x 10 album view. However, those were Enami's prices, and that's the way it was.
  • Thiophene_Guy 6y

    15 sen was an unbeatable bargain in terms of magnitude, but as a percentage of an average person's income it was probably quite a lot. Still, I am grateful that any of these tinted views survive. The gif of the flying bird obi shows how well the work was done. Yes there is a lot of intricate coloring between the lines. But the color intensity is remarkably consistent between images - it almost seems done by computer. I'll try to generate the other gif in the coming days.
  • Justine Sobocan 5y

    Very neat! It makes them look like they're in 3D :)
  • kx0101 5y

    outstanding work. Im interested in generating images like yours but dont understand the whole gif to mimic 3d process any tutorials out there? a client is interested in a couple of portraits using this style. thnx
  • Thiophene_Guy 5y

    Some leads for software and tutorials are grouped on the discussion board for the 3D Animated Stereo group. Note that this image is not a 3D mimic, rather it is one style of presenting two (or more) images to emphasize parallax and perceive a stereo effect. A perusal of some stereo portraits indicates that this can be a powerful presentation method.
  • Catherine Le 4y

    Is it possible to mimic this effect with only one picture or must we start with two?
  • Thiophene_Guy 4y

    The stereo illusion requires parallax. This is not inherent in a single photo, but a sufficiently motivated individual might create a second image with simulated parallax. The wikipedia page on stereopsis nicely summarizes the geometric challenge involved. Is it possible? Probably yes. Is it trivial? Probably not.
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