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How to Make Your Own Stereo Views

Stereo view leftStereo view right

A stereo view created by a student at the Brown School in Somerville, Massachusetts. Notice how the first photo, on the left, shows more of the rain boot on the left side, while the second photo on the right shows more of the book on the right side.

You will need:

Student arranging objects
This student is arranging objects for her stereo view. Objects pointing in different directions and balancing on top of other objects (like the pencils here) will make the 3D effect even more noticeable.
  • digital camera, computer, and printer
  • measuring tape, ruler, pencil, piece of 8 ½ x 11" inch paper, and masking tape
  • scissors, card stock, and glue
  • plastic stereo viewers, available here
  • table at least 4’ long
  • objects to photograph



Looking through
This student is looking through a stereo view through a plastic viewer that we found online.
  • Gather some objects to make a still life.
  • Using a ruler, draw a 5” line in the middle of your paper. Mark this line A.
  • At the left end of line A and perpendicular to it, draw a 2 ½” line towards you. Mark this line B.
  • Draw a second perpendicular 2 ½” line that is 1 ½” to the right of line B. This is line C. (The three lines should look like the letter “F” rotated 180 degrees, with the two short lines closer to you.)
  • Tape the paper to one end of the table so that line A is parallel to the end. Now, measure 3’ from line A to the far end of the table. Arrange your still life 3’ away from line A. 
  • Place the camera on the paper, lining up the front with line A. The left side of the camera should touch line B. Use the landscape orientation.
  • Turn the camera on, being careful not to move it, and photograph the objects.
  • Slide the camera to the right, keeping its front side lined up with line A, until the left side of the camera touches line C. Carefully take another photograph of the objects.
  • Upload the photos to a computer and print them so that they are 3 ¼” wide by 2 ½” high. Cut them out and paste them side-by-side onto a piece of card stock, so that the first photo is on the left and the second one is on the right.
  • To see your three-dimensional photo, place the card in the plastic viewer. Start with the card close to your face and slowly move it away from your face until the pictures combine into one 3-D image.


How to Make Your Own Stereo Views