The last post got a lot of responses (and we do love an adoring public), so now we’ll share the secret to our stereoscopic animations.

Take this image from the fantastic Buffalo Olmsted Parks Postcards & Stereo Views collection:

Right click the image and select “copy image.” In Photoshop, create a new file and paste the image:

Using the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’ (or “Boxy Select Tool,” as I like to call it), select the first half of the stereoscopic image:

Copy this (CTRL + C), open a new file in Photoshop (it will be the right size by default), and paste it in (CTRL + V):

Return to your stereoscopic image file in Photoshop. Move the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’ (AKA “Boxy Select Tool”) over to the second half of the image:

Copy this (CTRL + C) and paste it (CTRL + V) on top of your other half in the second file. Click to open your Layers panel (on the right side). You should see the two halves, each with its own layer:

In the Layers panel, you can adjust the opacity of one layer at a time. This is helpful for lining up the two halves of the stereoscopic image. Select a layer (it’ll be blue in the panel when it’s selected), and reduce the opacity to about 50%. Then you can move the layer around on top of the first layer to line up the outline. Don’t line up the contents of the two halves, or you’ll defeat the purpose of the stereoscope!

After adjusting the placement of your top (second) layer, return the opacity to 100%. In the main menu, under Window, click Animation. This will bring up a new tool panel called Animation. You can see the frames of an animation as you build it. You begin with one. Click the icon to create a new frame:

Having created a new frame, remove visibility for your top layer. This is done by clicking the little eye icon in the layer panel:

Now you have two frames in your animation panel. One shows the bottom layer and one shows the top layer. By default, the frames are set at 0 seconds each. Click on the frame in the animation panel and select 0.1 sec or 0.2 sec. Do this for both frames:

In the animation panel, you can press the play button for a preview of your GIF!

In Photoshop’s main menu, go up to File -> Save for Web & Devices. Click Save on this new window:

You now have an animated GIF of your sterescopic card!

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NewYorkHeritage.org is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and others who are interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of historical New York State. The site provides immediate free access to more than 160 distinct digital collections that reflect New York State's long history.
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