Space filling model of a glucan chain of cellulose. This is a large file, but the model should ROTATE!

Anaglyphs, Movies and 3-D Imaging


The construction of anaglyph images is useful, in some cases, for understanding the three-dimensional organization of biological specimens that are observed with the transmission electron microscope (TEM).

This summer, Sheila Warren embarked on a program to study techniques and methodology which might be useful in the 3-D imaging of structures using the transmission electron microscope (TEM). Presented below will be a NEW WORLD of NANOSTRUCTURE observed in a rather unique way.

When studying specimens with the TEM, one of the limitations involves seeing only one perspective at a time. Consequently, it is sometimes difficult to visualize structures in three dimensions. To overcome this limitation, specimens were tilted and a separate images were captured for every tilt increment. Two images of the same specimen at different tilts were then selected to form a stereoimage. Taken a step further, the images composing the stereoimage were assigned shades of blue or red, and then they were combined to form a 3-d image that is viewed with red/blue glasses. Following this passage are images that illustrate the usefulness of anaglyphs in examining biological specimens. Don't forget your 3-d (red/blue) glasses! If you do not have these, a good source of contact is Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc. P.O. Box 2368, Culver City, California 90231 Tel (310) 837-2368. When wearing these glasses, the blue lens should be in front of the right eye. Now go fetch some really interesting STUFF!


Similar to an anaglyph, a specimen's motion can be used to produce three-dimensional information. When using a transmission electron microscope (TEM), this motion is obtained by using a specimen tilt. If images are captured at consistent tilt increments, then animation software can be used to transform the still images into brief movies. Generally, tilt movies (and even anaglyphs) seem to be most successful at magnifications under 96,000X. Click the thumbnail images to view the following movies.

3-D Movies

One way to maximize the visualization of biological specimens viewed with transmission electron microscopy is to create three-dimensional movies. Essentially, an anaglyph of each tilt increment of the specimen is constructed. Using animation software, the anaglyphs representing different tilt angles are "stacked" to create a brief movie. With this technique, the three-dimensionality may be emphasized both by the colors of the anaglyph and the motion of the specimen in relation to the background. One example of a successful 3-d movie follows this description. Don't forget your 3-d (red/blue) glasses!

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