Q. What happens when you are missing part of all of the image?
A. This really depends on how much is missing. If you look at the making of you will see examples of how we restored missing pieces of the image. Small amounts of this are common. For example the image of the “Three Confederate Prisoners at Gettysburg” on the banner at the top of this page has that problem. The figure in the center was missing part of the face on one side. We replicated this from the other side. and in the final result you do not see the difference.
Several people have asked if why there are two sides and could you not just restore one side? Apart from the minor repairs, if we tried duplicating the entire image you would have a “flat” image. No depth, no 3D. This would lose all of the stereo effect and be the same as looking at a regular picture.
The real question here is what happens when ALL of one side is missing. For the most part we have been fortunate that this has not happened very often. More than 90% of the images have both sides available. Many of those that don’t have a very similar image that provides an excellent 3D of the subject.
The problem really lies in the few that fall in between. We know from research that both sides of the image existed at one time and only one remains. Their are a number of examples of Lincoln and Grant that existing Stereoviews exist, but the Library of Congress does not have both sides.
So, how do you resolve this. The choices are to ignore these images entirely or to see of we can simulate the stereoview. Using advanced computer software we can reproduce these images and create an illusion of 3D. While the stereo image is far superior when both sides are available, the simulation is compelling. Fortunately the number of images that fall into this category is limited. Of the 2,112 stereo images only 20-30 are missing a complete side and meet the criteria of having both a unique and compelling subject.
As we post these we will clearly distinguish these with a yellow border. We are trying to find a way to return to stereoviews items that otherwise would have been lost.
To see an example of one of these, click here.