HowTo: Create Depth Maps

If you want to use your own depth map with Stereogram, all you need is a 3D model. Here are the steps to generate a depth map from a 3D model:

  1. Go to a website like  archive3d.net or turbosquid.com (registration required) and download the 3D model of your choice (check the licenses, single reselling/redistribution of the models is prohibited) and if needed, unzip it.
  2. Download Meshlab for Mac OS X (you can open .3ds and .obj files with it).
  3. Open a new project in Meshlab and choose “File → Import Mesh” and choose your downloaded .3ds or .obj file.
  4. Choose “Render → Shaders → depthmap.gdp” which will create a depth map of your model.
  5. In the form window, go to uniform variables and choose the values for zmin and zmax. You get nice results for zmax = 0% (leftmost position) and for zmin 50-60%.
  6. Deactivate the trackball via “View → Trackball → Show Trackball”.
  7. Then rotate your model to  your preferred position and make a snapshot (or screenshot) of it. The snapshot function of Meshlab doesn’t work well, but your build in screenshot funtionality should do the work, too.
  8. There’s no step 8.

Your depth map should look like this:

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The snapshot now is ready for generating autostereograms with Stereogram.