How To Create 3D Images

How To Create 3D Images

Written 13 years ago by Mark Evans

We’ve all been to the movies at some stage and possibly even seen a 3D movie where you had to wear those silly blue and red glasses to get the effect. Well what happens to those glasses when the movies’ over? Most people either throw them in the bin or stash them somewhere deep in the wardrobe, never to be seen again. But there is a another use; 3D images. Heres how.

To create the 3D effect you must have two images to start with (one for the left eye and one for the right). Then we must make sure only the right eye sees the right image and the left eye only sees the left image. We do this by colouring each image differently (blue or red) and then using a pair of red and blue 3D glasses to separate the images.

Step One

Go out with your camera and take two images about 3 inches apart (about the same distance between your eyes) of the same object. Try not to move the camera too much and don’t take them too far apart otherwise you wont get the same effect.

Step Two

Open your images in Photoshop, (keeping track of which one is for the left eye and which for the right) create a new document the same size as the images and select each one, copy it (ctrl-c or command-c) and paste it (ctrl-v or command-v) onto the new document, so you should have a 3 layers a background layer, and 2 image layers. Make sure your right image is at the top. Label your image thumbnails so that you know which is left and right.

Step Three

Now we need to take some of ther colour out of each image so the right one appears red and the left one appears blue (cyan). Do this by first clicking on your right eye image in the layers thumbnails, goto Image->Adjustments->Levels (or hit ctrl-L/command-L). Now from the dropdown box at the top that says ‘Channel’, select the Green channel, then at the bottom where is says ‘Output Levels’, change the 255 value to 0, then from the box at the top, select the Blue Channel, and change its Output Level to 0 also. Click ok, your layer should appear Red now.


Step Four

Now select you left eye layer from the layers palette, goto Image->Adjustments->Levels, click the Channel drop down box and select the Red Channel. In the Output level section at the bottom, change the 255 to 0. Hit ok, and now your left layer should appear Blue.

Step Four

Now all you need to do is align the layers. Click on your right layer in the Layers palette and in the dropdown box just above it where it says ‘Normal’, select ‘Screen’. Make sure the objects in the centre of the images are aligned nicely (use the move tool ctrl-m, and arrow keys to move it about). You may find it easier to use your 3D glasses to get it to the right alignment.

Step Five

Crop any white space off and save. Done, enjoy!

Also Worth Reading
How To Create 3D Images
Why Use a Flash?
By Mark Evans
June 8, 2009
How To Create 3D Images
Travelling Light
By Mark Evans
April 23, 2009
How To Create 3D Images
How to Photograph Mountains
By Mark Evans
March 31, 2009
Matt Smart  13 years ago

In Step 1 do you mean 3 cms instead of 3 inches?
Channel 4 (UK) have been doing a 3D week all week – enough to give me a weeks worth of headache.

william  10 years ago

can i move without changing the image distance above the ground and get the same effects

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Smile for the camera!
Things you shouldn't say to your clients: "First I'll shoot you, then I'll blow you up, then you can go home and hang yourself."