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Creating 3D images in Adobe Photoshop


3D format has reawakened interest due to the presentation of pictures and videos on the Internet. Video games, movies and DVDs have also been exhibited with the anaglyph process; same applies for science and design where depth perception becomes a useful resource.

With the arrival of digital photography, the door to the creation of this type of three-dimensional images through a simple process also opens. In this article we are going to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to make 3D images that can be viewed through 3D glasses, also known as anaglyph type.


  • Image to be formatted in 3D
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • 3D glasses, to review progress and final work product


An anaglyph is a stereogram of color filter, generally used in red-blue glasses. Making a merge of two images taken in one file will translate in visualizing each one through a different channel (red or blue) and the combination of them creates a tridimensional effect. These two-dimensional images can be seen as tri-dimensional through the usage of special glasses that matches each channel color.

A common convention in 3d images is that the main object is placed in the center, while the surrounding and background are moved laterally in opposite directions.

The phases to create an anaglyph are:

  1. Taking picture for the left eye.
  2. The picture to the right eye.
  3. Process the pictures to filter colors.
  4. Merge the photo.
  5. The adjustment to create the desired effect.


  1. Evaluate the image meant for the 3D work. For example, if a 2D image is selected, the image must be adequate, meaning that it must be composed of different fields and have texture throughout; it is also desirable to avoid images that have excess green and red tones that might confuse the overall effect. Through this guide we are going to work with this very image:


  1. You must duplicate the image via “CTRL + J” or enter the menu Layer> Duplicate Layer. Rename the images to “left” and “right” in order to proper identify them.


  1. Now proceed to change the right image to simulate the process of an eye. Open the “Layer Style” menu through double-clicking the image layer “right” or by accessing the menu Layer> Layer Style> Blending Options. For the photo that represents the right eye, you must deselect the channel R (Red). This option is usually found under the scroll bar of the “Fill Opacity”.


  1. Change the layer blending mode to “Multiply” as this mode seeks the color information in each channel and multiplies the base used color by the blend color. The effect is similar to drawing on the image with different markers.


  1. As a fifth step you should move the background. Select the left layer, then adjust the position of the image with the Move tool. This step can help with 3D glasses to find a better way to locate the image; for this image purpose I moved the image in both directions by 5px.


  1. Now you should crop the image in order to remove the empty spaces produced by the previous step.


And this is the final result of our 3d image



With the use glasses or layer style “Multiply” it can help to align the focal points.

In case of not having physical 3D glasses another option for viewing is a simulator 3D glasses for Smartphone which can be downloaded from Google Play Store or iTunes App Store.


For other cases where it is required to give the 3D format to a single sector, it is recommended to duplicate the background in a new layer and in the same erase what you do not want to be seen in 3D (background) and only work in the sector or desired field.


  1. ADOBE (2013), ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Help and tutorials, link [] visited as 2015-08-26.
  2. ADOBE (2014), Adobe® Photoshop® CC Help, link [] visited as 2015-08-26.
  3. Making 3D images in Photoshop, link [] visited as 2015-08-26.
  4. How to create a 3D image with Photoshop the easiest way, link [] visited as 2015-08-26.


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