Anaglyph Imagery in 3D Technology

The 3D Illusion

Anaglyph Imagery in 3D Technology

Anaglyph images are used to produce a 3D effect or illusion through the use of two chromatically opposed colours usually red and cyan. The resultant image produced is called stereoscopic image. The depth effect is produced by offsetting the foreground and background of two superimposed images.

This is one of the earliest systems used for the production of stereoscopic images which has gained a renewed interest because of its currently wide applications. The applications of this method include video playing on the internet, video games, blu ray, theatrical films, HD disks etc

It utilizes two filters, the red and the cyan chosen originally on cost grounds. They are also indispensable in science and design images where depth is useful. The introduction of cross-view prismatic glasses with adjustable masking has made HD viewing a possibility and find application in HD TVs and computer games.

History of Anaglyph Images

Anaglyph image was first used in 1853 a German called Rollmann. Since then, it has undergone a lot of modifications still follow the same basic principles of its use. The filtration of layers in software such as Photoshop from adobe operates under the principle of this technique.

How are the images generated?

The production of Anaglyph image is achieved by the use of two chromatically opposed colors, hence the use of red and cyan. The 1970s Stephen Gibson offered a system called deep vision was based on the Anaglyph image.

How it works

The use filtered lenses of two different colors meant that the two eyes saw two different colors. The interplay of colour means that the red liens allowed d red light through and the cyan only the blue and green parts of the image to pass through. The result image that is imposed on the visual cortex is a 3D image.

Viewing of Anaglyph images

Anaglyph images are viewed using a spectacle with filters of two colours. Each eye therefore sees what it has been programmed to see. This view produces an optical illusion of depth.

Anaglyph Processing Methods

Computer programmes like Photoshop can be used to process this technique. While processing Anaglyph images it is possible to create impressions of depth that would otherwise not have been possible.

Applications/uses of Anaglyph image.

This technique is used in DVD and blu-ray 3 D films make use of the Blu-ray 3D home videos. This method has also being used in the creation of 3D comic books. Websites can be improved by the adding of certain image features using the technique. V has also been found useful in mathematics and science. It comes in handy in the display of scientific data. It is also possible to take advantage of cheap Anaglyph image –viewing papers.


In chemistry where it is difficult to reproduce complex formulae in 2D, then the benefits of this technique becomes apparent.

TV and Computer

This method is useful for the production of stereoscopic images on TV. But you will need the special filters to view them. On the computer, some websites represent their content in Anaglyph image format. This produces an almost live experience for the visitors to the site.

Although this imaging technique has enjoyed wide acceptability for over a century now, its uses for TV are likely to be obsolete in the non-distant future. The reason for this is the advent of autostereoscopy which is definitely going to wide acceptability. Autostereoscopy simply implies the viewing of 3D images without the use of glasses.

Technological giants like Phillips for instance have launched an autostereoscopic TV which affords all the opportunity of enjoying 3D feature without the need for glasses.