Note: this page was up for the was the 2011 xkcd April 1st one-day redesign. I'll keep this site up, but there's no guarantee anyone will be reviewing or posting any further conversions.

davean, chromakode, and okayzed spent yesterday building a system to convert xkcd to 3D. okayzed's computer vision algorithms try to automatically break the comics into layers, but sometimes they make mistakes!

You can help convert a few more comics by hand -- pick a favorite comic, then start with a folder (named with the comic number). You take the comic you want to convert, cut it into layers, save each one as a transparent PNG, then create along a text file called comic.json in the folder telling how to position each layer. Here's the file for comic 879:

{"converted_by": "Cory Doctorow",
"parallax_layers": [
{"src": "lamp_borders.png", "z": 60, "o": 0.40},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 50, "o": 0.45},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 40, "o": 0.50},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 30, "o": 0.55},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 20, "o": 0.60},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 10, "o": 0.65},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": 0, "o": 0.70},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": -10, "o": 0.75},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": -20, "o": 0.80},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": -30, "o": 0.85},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": -40, "o": 0.90},
{"src": "lamp_corners.png", "z": -50, "o": 0.95},
{"src": "lamp_borders.png", "z": -60, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_1.png", "z": 50, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_2.png", "z": 0, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_3.png", "z": 10, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_4.png", "z": -5, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_5.png", "z": -20, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_6.png", "z": -35, "o": 1},
{"src": "lamp_7.png", "z": -50, "o": 1}
Note how the 'corners' image, made from putting dots at the corners of each panel, is repeated to draw the lines connecting the front and back. The z coordinate is the position of the layer, with negative numbers coming out of the screen. "o" is opacity -- the brightness of the layer.

If you improve on any of the machine-generated 3D comics, zip the folder and email it to, along with a link to your website. If I like your version, I may post it, and you'll be credited. And you'll help everyone have a nice April 1st.