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Photoshop 3d Anaglyph Tutorial

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By goldomega   |   
Published: January 10, 2010
A detailed tutorial on creating a depth map and using it to convert a 2D image to a 3D Anaglyph in Adobe Photoshop. Viewing the end results requires red/cyan 3D Glasses.

If you'd like to practice this technique, you can download the source files used in this tutorial.

Source Photo
Depth Map

You can find a few more examples below. Each has links to their depth maps in the artist descriptions.

Another Anaglyph made with this technique - featuring a person.

Another Anaglyph made with this technique - featuring a car.

If you make any anaglyphs using this technique and submit them as deviations, feel free to share them here. I'd love to see them!

One last note, you can skip the channel mixer portions of Step 2 if you are looking to generate full-color left eye and right eye views of your scene. You can use these with programs like StereoPhotoMaker to generate stereo MPO files. These full color 3D image files can be viewed on many 3D capable devices like Nintendo 3ds and many 3D TV models.

Is English not your primary language? Please translate my Text Only Tutorial to the language of your choice.
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Comments117
anonymous's avatar
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PaMonk's avatar
PaMonkProfessional Artist
Thanks for sharing This I have been wanting to learn more on this thanks.
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
Glad to be of service =D
PaMonk's avatar
PaMonkProfessional Artist
Most welcome I tried and still having trouble but will keep at it
but so need to learn it so to help with some of my Art it's very helpful Thanks.:D
juanbauty's avatar
juanbautyProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks so much!! 
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
No problem. Hope you found it useful!
Kirtan-3d's avatar
Kirtan-3dProfessional Digital Artist
Very nice tutorial, and this is the genuine way for creating 3d anaglyphs.
Checkout my video tutorial on converting anaglyph 3d from a 2d picture.
I'm also using this same method of depth map, but I'm using GIMP.
PaddedPrincessPolly's avatar
First time trying to convert something to 3d 
Justinsykehunt's avatar
JustinsykehuntProfessional Filmographer
depth map matters only ?
nice ..really nice :)..I'm hoping it is useful :)
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
Yes, for the purposes of this tutorial, the depth map defines how your separated color layers are distorted. You can also use this depth map with other Photoshop filters, like Lens Blur.
Justinsykehunt's avatar
JustinsykehuntProfessional Filmographer
thanks ..your method is absolutely perfect...making 2d to 3d :D
very worhy for people who dont have stereoscopic camera :D
I did this job with this technique... take a look 


goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
Nice result! Glad you found my tutorial useful.
Justinsykehunt's avatar
JustinsykehuntProfessional Filmographer
THANKS VERY MUCH...I'm hoping for more useful tutorials from you always from now :)
god bless you :)
dragonx81's avatar
dragonx81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great job :thumbsup:
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
Thanks, I hope you found it useful!
dragonx81's avatar
dragonx81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope, as soon as I get the 3d glasses (or make them)
Gomamon4life's avatar
This is fantastic!! I've always wanted since I was a kid to make 3D images. 
Thanks for the tutorial :thumbsup:
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
Thanks, I'm glad you found my tutorial useful. If you make any anaglyphs with this technique, feel free to share them here.
chrismarshall78's avatar
chrismarshall78Hobbyist Digital Artist
i looking for something like this very long... thanks for sharing
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
My pleasure. I hope you found it helpful for your projects.
RICKCONTINI's avatar
Amazing tutorial THANKS A LOT! I have a question though, which i hope you can answer...... Ive created an A1 sized anaglyph on photoshop and using the glasses it works a treat when viewed on screen. However when ive printed it off at A3 size the effect doesnt work. Now, i know that the colours when printed dont match exactly with the intended colours ( they never do anyway),but is the colour a key factor in creating hte effect??? Also I havent tried printing it off at full scale (A1) yet (due to previous error), will it work? If i displaced the colour layers by 10 each way the effect worked on a 17" computer monitor but if that is printed at its intended A1 size, will that work???? PLEASE HELP THANKS IN ADVANCE XX
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
For anaglyphs, color is crucial in achieving depth. An improperly calibrated monitor or even poorly constructed 3D glasses can create ghosting and spoil the illusion to some degree, so it stands to reason that mismatched printer profiles, print settings or non-OEM printer ink or toner could also have an effect.

If you think your printer is to blame, I would make sure your print settings are at the highest quality settings and that they match the paper you're using, and always use OEM ink for crucial color jobs. If you still have trouble, maybe try updating your printer driver.

Others might not agree, but I've found in general that glossy paper often yields more intensely saturated colors than matte or semigloss, which can help your cause here.

I would also recommend before printing, select your zoom tool (z) and check the depth at various zoom levels. Don't forget to click "Fit Screen" up top and view the entire image at once. If there isn't enough depth zoomed out all the way, it won't in the print either.
projectfreak's avatar
You are awesome man I was looking for these answers thx
goldomega's avatar
goldomegaProfessional Photographer
My pleasure. I hope you found it helpful.
anonymous's avatar
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