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. 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.
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.
Share your experiences with Seene in the comments!
Image credit: Cayusa