3D Photo Effect

In this tutorial I will show you how you can create an interesting 3-D effect for your photos by using gif animations. The result will look like this:

forest

This is how it works:

principle

Step 1: Take a photo by looking through the view finder (the LCD screen won’t work well because it’s too inaccurate) with your right eye. Focus on a medium-range object and make sure you include a foreground object as well to get the maximum effect.

Step 2: This is the tricky part because you have to be really accurate. Take a photo by looking through the view finder with your left eye, while focusing on exactly the same point as in step 1 and also keeping exposure, focal lenght, vertical alignment and distance the same. You shouldn’t move the camera lens more than 2,5 inches horizontally (which equals the distance between your eyes) or else the effect will disappear. This may require some experimenting because different cameras have different view finder positions.

Step 3: Open Photoshop and create a new file by pressing Ctrl+N. For the example above I chose a size of 320×240 pixels but you can choose any size you want (however, the width/height ratio should be the same as your camera image ratio, i.e. 4:3, to make the placing process easier). Just keep in mind that animations with no frame delay like the one we are about to create run smoother and without any distortions only if they are small.

Now click on File > Place and select the image that you took in step 1. Place it in the newly created file by pressing the enter key.

Open the animations Window (Window > Animation) and duplicate the first frame by clicking on icon 1 that you can see in the picture below.

animationswindow

Place your other picture from step 2 in the newly created frame (File > Place > Enter).

In the layers window, click on the eye icon of the top layer so that it disappears like in the red circle below:

layers

Now you’re basically done. Test your animation by clicking the play icon (2) in the animations window. If the animation is too shaky, nudge one layer until you get a good result. You might also want to add some sharpness (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) or adjust the levels (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels).

If there is no real 3-D effect, try step 1 and 2 again and experiment a bit with the horizontal distance of the two camera positions.

When you’re satisfied with the result, save your animation by clicking File > Save for web, choose GIF format and hit the save button.

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