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Taking photos, sharing photos, photo filters…. are you still awake? While it’s a popular pastime, taking photos with your iPhone is really nothing special. Anyone can do it, even 2-year-old kids, and only the extremely talented can get something that’s truly out the ordinary.

It doesn’t mean you have to stop taking pictures with your iPhone. It only means you have to start taking 3D ones too. How? With Seene.

What Is Seene?

Seene is a relatively new app that takes a different approach to iPhoneography New To iPhoneography? Here Are The Best Apps The App Store Has On Offer New To iPhoneography? Here Are The Best Apps The App Store Has On Offer The iPhone's popularity for photos comes down to several different things - the convenience of having your 'camera' with you all the time and the sheer variety of shooting, editing and sharing apps. Read More . No longer do you just point and shoot — you now get to point, shoot, move your camera around, and get a 3D result you can view from 4 different angles.

Sounds like a gimmick? That’s because it is, but it’s a surprisingly cool one.

Can your Instagram photos do this? I think not. And they’re not even that hard to make.

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Taking 3D Photos

Seene is not entirely self-explanatory — you need to know how to use it — but luckily, it comes with an excellent video tutorial built into the app. When you first launch it, you’ll be given the choice between exploring around, creating an account, or diving into the real thing. I chose to dive in head first.

When you tap the camera button for the first time, the tutorial will launch automatically, telling you exactly what to do. You can play it again at a later time through the Help section.

In a nutshell, this is how you take 3D photos with Seene: find an object and make sure it has lots of green dots on it, then rotate (not pan!) your device around it until all four segments are green.

This is easier with some objects than with others. For example, I tried photographing my mouse as it was sitting on the table, but gave up after 5 failed attempts. This robot, however, worked on the very first try. Seene helps you along as you go with helpful tips on what you should be doing and what you’re doing wrong.

Once all your green segments are full, Seene will automatically start processing the image, and present the final result. Rotate your device from side to side to see different angle of your subject. You can give your picture a caption, share it on Seene, Facebook and Twitter, or simply save it locally without sharing it.

How Easy Is It Really?

Creating the 3D photos is as easy as advertised. As long as you find an object with lots of dots on it, you shouldn’t run into too many problems. It’s not that easy to make them perfect, though.

The 3D photos I created were all extremely cool, but some of them came out… less than perfect.

After looking at some examples of good results, and observing that the main problem with mine was the background, I came to the conclusion that the best photos are made when using a relatively uniform background, although it doesn’t have to be a plain one. When your background is all over the place, you get weird things like the screenshots above.

Still, even with the distorted background, most of the 3D pictures I made were pretty impressive.

Exploring & Sharing

Just like Instagram, Seene is also a platform for sharing photos as much as creating them. You can explore other users’ photos through the Discover tabs, and search for interesting things using the search box. Some people are making really awesome things, so it’s really worth your time. You can also use other people’s photos to better understand how to get good results. As the app is still new, there aren’t that many photos to explore, but more are added every minute.

If you create an account, you can share your own creations with the community. You can also find interesting users and follow them, and see all their new additions in the Feed tab. Seene profiles are pretty bare: you have your username, you can add a short blurb and an avatar, and that’s about it, but you don’t really need much more than that.

Other Things You Should Know

At the moment, Seene is only available for iPhone, although it worked beautifully on my iPad Mini. There also seems to be a problem for iPhone 5s users, but this should be fixed very soon.

The results you get with the apps are impressive, but its interface can get a little confusing at first. It’s also not very stable — it crashed and hung on me several times, but this might be due to the fact I was using an iPad.

Create 3D Photos! You Know You Want To

All in all, Seene is one of the best apps I’ve used in a while. It’s not especially beautiful, but it lets you easily create photos that are like nothing you’ve ever done before. If you own an iOS device, I highly recommend that you give this app a spin.

Don’t own an iPhone or iPad? Here’s a way to create 3D photos on Android Create 3D Images With An Android Smartphone: It's Easier Than You Think Create 3D Images With An Android Smartphone: It's Easier Than You Think Android phones are increasingly shipping with powerful cameras with at least 8MP for their backside camera. Additionally, there are some phones such as the HTC Evo 3D which come with two cameras in the back,... Read More .

Download: Seene (free)

Share your experiences with Seene in the comments!

Image credit: Cayusa

  1. Radie
    November 23, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Calling R2D2 a "robot"? I'm suspending your geek card for 24 hours...

    He is a droid... The line doesnt go: "There are not the robots you are looking for"

    • Yaara L
      November 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

      You raise an interesting point. According to the dictionary, a droid (or android) is "an automaton in the form of a human being".

      A robot is "a machine that resembles a human and does mechanical, routine tasks on command" or "any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with humanlike skill".

      There's not that big of a difference between the two, and since R2D2 doesn't look a whole lot like a human, I say "robot" is a good name for him too. The original sentence notwithstanding, of course. :)

  2. David
    October 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Neat app. With my iPhone 4 I can view others 3D creations but I'm told by the developer that the iPhone 4 doesn't have enough processor power to create the 3D pictures. In the app store it shows the iPhone 4 as being supported.

  3. Zach L
    October 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    If you took a 3-d photo of cats, would their little heads move around in the photo? Because you *know* they'll pay super-close attention to the box you're waving around in a circle at them.

  4. James B
    October 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Slightly disappointed - was hoping I'd be able to literally walk around something and make a true 3d object from it. Turns out it's only "wiggle-vision" (I'm calling it that). Restricting it to custom embeds is a bit annoying too - there must be some kind of standardized browser HTML5 thing for 3d. That's a thing, right?

    • Yaara L
      October 25, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Well, it's pretty clear from the post that you don't get to walk all the way around the object.

      The only way to embed 3D models with HTML5 that I know of is Sktechfab, but there might be something I'm not aware of.

  5. Gary
    October 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    How many pictures does it trade to make the 3 D image?

    • Yaara L
      October 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

      I'm not sure I understand the question, but if I do, it's made of 4 different angles, so it's basically 4 pictures, but it doesn't look like stitched on images.

  6. Wally M
    October 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Android equivalent: 3D camera (NOT camera 3D.. that does anaglyph type stuff) only does 3d depth with 2 images, not 4. Uploads to a server to combine . Of course with the free version I am getting "server busy" ...got the pro version..it uploaded and says it is computing ...hopefully wont fail, because it will be done after google's ridiculous 5 min return policy.

    • Yaara L
      October 24, 2013 at 6:44 am

      Thanks Wally! Did it work out in the end?

  7. Cynthia S
    October 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I have Seene on both my iPad and iPhone. It's a pretty neat app.

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