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Without Options, It's Lights Out For Popular 3DS Photo Hub

There are more than 43,000 3DS photos on 3D Porch, but in a few days, the site's becoming a memorial.

Many 3DS owners used Nintendo's AR cards to produce some seemingly impossible photos.

UPDATE: Looks like 3D Porch may survive!

ORIGINAL STORY: (Note: To view the following photos in "3D," you'll need to click on them)

Unless there's a miracle over the weekend, starting next Monday, 3D Porch will start shutting down, transitioning to a photo memorial.

The website currently houses 43,222 photos taken by 3DS owners since its launch earlier this year, with nearly 50,000 photos in total.

Nintendo's 3DS doesn't feature a very good camera, but it does take 3D photos, a pretty fun and interesting novelty web designer-turned-app developer Phil Dhingra took notice of last spring. He'd been mulling creating a 3D photo and video sharing website already, and the expected popularity of Nintendo's new handheld spurred him into action.

From start to finish, building the website took a month.

After a photo is uploaded to 3D Porch, it's converted into a variety of formats to take in the 3D effect, including ol' red and blue. The website's even formatted to be viewable through the 3DS web browser, allowing you to view many photos natively.

When Nintendo revealed the 3DS at E3 2010, filmmaker James Cameron appeared to have used Avatar to prove 3D was a viable addition to the filmmaker toolset, not just a gimmick to generate higher ticket prices.

Just prior to the concert-slash-media festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Dhingra ordered a 3DS from eBay, as the handheld had not been released outside Japan yet. This is long before the world would begin doubting Nintendo's decision to make 3D its big feature, and many months before a big price cut would be enacted to spur demand.

"I was inspired by Avatar, feeling that 3D added a lot to that movie, and I was excited by where the technology was going," he told me this week, only days before he dismantles the website. "I'm not sure what my fascination with 3D photos are, I just find them cool. When I show people 3D photos on my 3DS or other 3D camera, there's always a lot of oohs and aahs."

It shouldn't come as much surprise that many of the most popular 3D photos are of women.

3D Porch launched the week before South by Southwest, too. Dhingra explored the festival with his 3DS, snapping 3D photos and talking about the website. A CNN blogger caught wind of his it and wrote a piece.

"At that point, I thought my site was poised to blow-up, and when the 3DS launched in the US, my site saw a spike in traffic," he said. "But this tapered off after a few weeks."

There was another spike when Nintendo added a web browser to the 3DS, but that interest disappeared, too. 3D Porch has a small but loving, dedicated community, but that's exactly the problem for Dhingra.

Even small communities cost money.

In order to maintain server costs, he needs funding. That money could come from ads, but then he'd need more traffic. Offsetting traffic requires more money. At some point, the two would balance themselves out, but getting to that point just isn't viable anymore.

"Image hosting sites, I've learned, are notoriously hard to monetize," he said.

3D Porch is not Dhingra's bread 'n butter. He's an app developer by day, best known for Nebulous Notes, a note taking application that ties into Dropbox. He's outlined ways 3D Porch could survive in a letter to the community--donations, paid accounts, ads, features--but he claims to have done the math and none of them are sensible, especially in the short term.

Someone has tried to connect him with Nintendo but he hasn't heard back from the company. He pitched Kickstarter on a project to raise funds, but the service apparently isn't interested in lifesaver ideas.

A 3D pizza? You're talking my language, but I'm not sure anyone deserves the power of 3D pizza.

Since announcing the decision earlier this month, Dhingra's been sorting through somber emails.

"Lots of emails [from] sad users," he said. "Many people don't want to let it go. Some users have uploaded hundreds of photos, and few have uploaded thousands. I got a lot of offers for free server assistance, but my requirements are a bit steep. Some offered to donate, but I calculated it out, and it's just not realistic to rely on donations."

3D Porch will not disappear from the Internet. Dhingra plans to turn the website into an online museum showcasing the best of the 3D photos already submitted. He's even prepping for the unexpected.

"I'm going to backup all the content so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said, "I'll have all the content ready to go."

The 3D photos featured in this article were actually pulled from the most popular 3DS submissions.

For 3D photographers seeking for a new home, he did point to Nvidia's 3D Vision Live and Start 3D as alternatives .

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Many 3DS owners used Nintendo's AR cards to produce some seemingly impossible photos.

UPDATE: Looks like 3D Porch may survive!

ORIGINAL STORY: (Note: To view the following photos in "3D," you'll need to click on them)

Unless there's a miracle over the weekend, starting next Monday, 3D Porch will start shutting down, transitioning to a photo memorial.

The website currently houses 43,222 photos taken by 3DS owners since its launch earlier this year, with nearly 50,000 photos in total.

Nintendo's 3DS doesn't feature a very good camera, but it does take 3D photos, a pretty fun and interesting novelty web designer-turned-app developer Phil Dhingra took notice of last spring. He'd been mulling creating a 3D photo and video sharing website already, and the expected popularity of Nintendo's new handheld spurred him into action.

From start to finish, building the website took a month.

After a photo is uploaded to 3D Porch, it's converted into a variety of formats to take in the 3D effect, including ol' red and blue. The website's even formatted to be viewable through the 3DS web browser, allowing you to view many photos natively.

When Nintendo revealed the 3DS at E3 2010, filmmaker James Cameron appeared to have used Avatar to prove 3D was a viable addition to the filmmaker toolset, not just a gimmick to generate higher ticket prices.

Just prior to the concert-slash-media festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Dhingra ordered a 3DS from eBay, as the handheld had not been released outside Japan yet. This is long before the world would begin doubting Nintendo's decision to make 3D its big feature, and many months before a big price cut would be enacted to spur demand.

"I was inspired by Avatar, feeling that 3D added a lot to that movie, and I was excited by where the technology was going," he told me this week, only days before he dismantles the website. "I'm not sure what my fascination with 3D photos are, I just find them cool. When I show people 3D photos on my 3DS or other 3D camera, there's always a lot of oohs and aahs."

It shouldn't come as much surprise that many of the most popular 3D photos are of women.

3D Porch launched the week before South by Southwest, too. Dhingra explored the festival with his 3DS, snapping 3D photos and talking about the website. A CNN blogger caught wind of his it and wrote a piece.

"At that point, I thought my site was poised to blow-up, and when the 3DS launched in the US, my site saw a spike in traffic," he said. "But this tapered off after a few weeks."

There was another spike when Nintendo added a web browser to the 3DS, but that interest disappeared, too. 3D Porch has a small but loving, dedicated community, but that's exactly the problem for Dhingra.

Even small communities cost money.

In order to maintain server costs, he needs funding. That money could come from ads, but then he'd need more traffic. Offsetting traffic requires more money. At some point, the two would balance themselves out, but getting to that point just isn't viable anymore.

"Image hosting sites, I've learned, are notoriously hard to monetize," he said.

3D Porch is not Dhingra's bread 'n butter. He's an app developer by day, best known for Nebulous Notes, a note taking application that ties into Dropbox. He's outlined ways 3D Porch could survive in a letter to the community--donations, paid accounts, ads, features--but he claims to have done the math and none of them are sensible, especially in the short term.

Someone has tried to connect him with Nintendo but he hasn't heard back from the company. He pitched Kickstarter on a project to raise funds, but the service apparently isn't interested in lifesaver ideas.

A 3D pizza? You're talking my language, but I'm not sure anyone deserves the power of 3D pizza.

Since announcing the decision earlier this month, Dhingra's been sorting through somber emails.

"Lots of emails [from] sad users," he said. "Many people don't want to let it go. Some users have uploaded hundreds of photos, and few have uploaded thousands. I got a lot of offers for free server assistance, but my requirements are a bit steep. Some offered to donate, but I calculated it out, and it's just not realistic to rely on donations."

3D Porch will not disappear from the Internet. Dhingra plans to turn the website into an online museum showcasing the best of the 3D photos already submitted. He's even prepping for the unexpected.

"I'm going to backup all the content so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said, "I'll have all the content ready to go."

The 3D photos featured in this article were actually pulled from the most popular 3DS submissions.

For 3D photographers seeking for a new home, he did point to Nvidia's 3D Vision Live and Start 3D as alternatives .

Staff
Posted by rmanthorp

I wish I still cared about portable gaming.

Great article as always Patrick.

Moderator
Edited by Cyrisaurus

That last picture saddens me, knowing that potentially someone bought two 3DS's and this is the only good use they got out of them.

Posted by Saadnation

Who would have thought

Posted by GreggD

This sucks. Big time.

Posted by sungahymn

Dang.

Posted by JCTango

I went to that site and thought, "Why is everyone saying no to me? :( "

Posted by sirdesmond

Nintendo needs to create a service like this and run it out of their own pocket, but then again the 3DS needs to have better ways to share your pictures (and soon, video) with others rather than turning off your 3DS, taking out the SD card, putting it in a computer, copying the files over, then uploading them to a third-party site or whatever...

Posted by Thor_Molecules

It seemed like a pretty niche idea from the get-go. It's not like these 3D images are great to begin with, and the novelty soon wears off.

Still, it's a shame for the people that legitimately enjoyed this site's offerings, but I have no doubt that a solid alternative will show up in the near future.

Posted by LEGITLakers

Other than a few pictures of my cock just to test the effect, I haven't taken any 3DS photos. This won't be missed. Same with the Video channel. That can die as well. I haven't opened that since that lame Dinosaur Office video. Unfunniest thing I have ever seen.

Posted by Hoffafiles

Oh Nintendo

Posted by codynewill

Nintendo can't seem to get much right with the 3DS. Hopefully the Vita won't crap the bed like this has.

Posted by Enai

Oh Patrick....

Love the 3D pics :3

Posted by SerHulse

@codynewill: @WhiskeyAbe: Guys this isn't Nintendo it was just some guy who ran a site called 3D Porch

Posted by Daiphyer

Are there any naked pics there? :P

Posted by codynewill

@Hulsey90: I'm just talking in general, not about this website.

Posted by Hailinel

@WhiskeyAbe said:

Oh Nintendo

This photo website isn't an official Nintendo site. It's just a place to upload 3D photos. You'll note that at no point in the article does Nintendo have anything to do with its operation and that the only aspect that is related is the use of the 3DS camera.

Posted by Thor_Molecules

@Daiphyer: The lack of female nudity on that website is shocking. I can see why it failed.

I mean, 3D and all, sounds like a no-brainer.

Posted by Hoffafiles

This still doesn't change the way I feel about Nintendo

Posted by Daiphyer

@Buckfitches: There was also 3DSPorn.com when the 3DS first launched. They went down in two weeks.

Posted by BrontoThunder

I love how many different options for 3D they give, especially placing the two images side-by-side so you can do manual 3D with your eyes a la the magic eye trick.

Posted by BlatantNinja23

i prefer these pics not in 3d when its just alternating left and right.... its "artistic"

Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish
@Hailinel: Need a hug?
Posted by WJist

I know it's a novelty, but I'd be interested in picking up more AR cards. The 3D photo (and for that matter, the sound app) included would get a lot more use. It's like Game Boy Camera all over again.

Posted by AURON570

wiggle wiggle wiggle. that site is so neat! xD

Posted by Arker101

MAYBE, if they hadn't cancelled Megaman legends 3, this would still be going strong.

Thanks, Capcom.

Posted by hamchan

Are we sure that Samus picture is of a woman?

Posted by Jethuty

Patrick, it's okay.

There is other stuff to write about than the 3DS.

really

Posted by Swoxx

Shit just keeps piling on that poor handheld now doesn't it

Posted by Madthijs

The animated GIFs... Are freaking me out. Is this all the info the 3DS captures in 3D or would you be able to smoothly rotate around (well not completely around, I understand).

Posted by MrKlorox

Never heard of it. Think the lack of awareness might have something to do with the closure? HMMM

Posted by Benny

The picture of the pizza on the 3DS screen looks like it's actually coming out of the 3DS but not out of my own screen. Some inception 3D business

Posted by kitsune_conundrum

needed more women.

Posted by JuanHino

Didn't even know this site existed. Getting all I can before it shuts down.

Posted by Bollard
"I'm going to backup all the content it so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said. "I'll have all the content ready to go."

Does this make literally zero sense to anyone else?

Posted by Diablos1125

Really cool site, sucks that theyre shutting down...

Posted by sear

The website currently houses 43,222 photos taken by 3DS owners since its launch earlier this year, with nearly 50,000 photos in total.


 
WRITING

Posted by MrKlorox
@Chavtheworld said:
"I'm going to backup all the content it so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said. "I'll have all the content ready to go."

Does this make literally zero sense to anyone else?

Yeah dude. What does he mean "IF 3D picks up again," huh?  It most certainly will make a return unless the majority of the dominant planetary race suddenly and permanently goes from having two eyes to just one.
Posted by DarkbeatDK

If I was a political cartoonist I'd draw some kind of picture of a sinking ship called SS Nintendo, drowning in a sea with words like "Online functionality" and "Next gen graphics" with people wearing shirts with names of 3rd party developers, 3DS functionalities and "User base" written across it.

Posted by Marz

it needed more naked 3D chicks.

Posted by MajesticOverlord

I never even had a chance to use the service. Oh well, no loss there.

Posted by Bollard

@MrKlorox said:

@Chavtheworld said:
"I'm going to backup all the content it so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said. "I'll have all the content ready to go."

Does this make literally zero sense to anyone else?

Yeah dude. What does he mean "IF 3D picks up again," huh? It most certainly will make a return unless the majority of the dominant planetary race suddenly and permanently goes from having two eyes to just one.

I actually meant the terrible grammar/punctuation. But your point is valid too.

Edited by Thor_Molecules

@Madthijs: It just snaps two separate images, so this is all the 3D you are going to get from the 3DS's camera.

Posted by nemt

And nothing of value was lost.

Posted by MEZwaan

@manthorp said:

I wish I still cared about portable gaming.

Some people probably feel the same about Nintendo.

Posted by Taiyo

@sear said:

The website currently houses 43,222 photos taken by 3DS owners since its launch earlier this year, with nearly 50,000 photos in total.

WRITING

???

Posted by onan

@Daiphyer said:

@Buckfitches: There was also 3DSPorn.com when the 3DS first launched. They went down in two weeks.

If it took them two weeks to go down, I can't blame people for getting bored and looking elsewhere.

Posted by Generic_username
@Chavtheworld said:

@MrKlorox said:

@Chavtheworld said:
"I'm going to backup all the content it so that if 3D picks up again in the future," he said. "I'll have all the content ready to go."

Does this make literally zero sense to anyone else?

Yeah dude. What does he mean "IF 3D picks up again," huh? It most certainly will make a return unless the majority of the dominant planetary race suddenly and permanently goes from having two eyes to just one.

I actually meant the terrible grammar/punctuation. But your point is valid too.


You mean how he made like two typos and they were the only ones in the story that slipped through? You're being a dick for the sake of being a dick, dude. You could be polite.
Posted by subyman

So long

Posted by jNerd

Wow, this couldn't be less important to me if you tried. Thank you for the info though. (:

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