Create 3D Anaglyph Images

Self Portrait in anaglyph 3D (by 3dstereopics)The following detailed (but not too lengthy) tutorial that shows how to make 3D red and blue images was written by David Cooper.

Those 3D images look great when viewed with 3D glasses, especially when mixing that with the sliced floating fruit technique, such as the ones on this post.

What you will need:

  • A digital camera or DSLR.
  • A tripod, don’t have to but it makes it easier
  • Photoshop, any copy will do as I think for this tutorial the editing can be done on most versions. (any other editing software – like GIMP – will work too, however this tut, will show the steps in photoshop)
  • And last but not least the most important item, a pair of ‘red and blue’ 3D glasses. (those can be found on Amazon for cents)

Let us begin

You will first need to take the images, whether its of a person, cityscape its up to you, but as long as there’s not too many moving subjects within the frame so not to mess up the 3D, ideally your subjects need be as stationary as possible for this to work.

If you are doing this hand held, take the first photo, then take a small side step to your right (a couple of inches), keeping the camera with you in the same position and take another one. (One way of nailing the distance if to lean on your right leg for the first image, and on your left leg for the second image). Each image acts as the left and right eye for the 3D effect.

It is kinda the same if you are using a tripod, all you need to do is edge it over to the right a few inches and take the second shot.

Create 3D pictures

For this post I am going to use two images that I took a while ago, as an example.

Once you’ve taken the shots, its time to drop them into Photoshop so we can start the editing.

Create 3D pictures

Now that both your Left and Right images are open in Photoshop, you now need to send or copy across the Right eye image over so it’s overlapping on the Left eye image, on its own separate layer.

Create 3D pictures

This is the part where you can choose whether you want to desaturated the images to turn them black and white, or you can leave them in color. For this post I have chosen to desaturated my images, as the red apple skin was distorting the effect.

With your right eye image which should now be the top layer selected, double click on its layer image that’s highlighted blue and the ‘Layer Style’ window should popup in front of you.

Create 3D pictures

In the ‘Layer Style’ window you will see a couple of sliders and some box’s with ticks in them, go ahead and uncheck the box that has the ‘R’ for red to the right of it, and then click OK.

Create 3D pictures

Now you should be left with your image looking just like a 3D photo, but there is just a few more bits we need to do before it’s finished. With the ‘top layer’ still selected, you need to move the image around and align both of the images so that they are nearly overlapping each other, but you need to choose an area or subject to align them both to, for instance on my example I aligned both images over the stalk of the apple.

Once you’ve done that, all that needs to be done now is to crop out any loose edges from the image on the top layer, which is showing up over the bottom layer.

Create 3D pictures

And that’s it, you should now have a 3D anaglyphic image that can be viewed with the 3D glasses. I have included a few of my other 3D images just to keep your imaginations going.

Row of Coins in 3D (by DCity19)

3D Banana slices (by DCity19)

Header image by 3dstereopics.

  • Kirtan-3d

    This is a tutorial to convert real 3d anaglyph of 2d image.

  • BarryC

    I think you have omitted a step? After changing the top (right) layer to cyan (untick red), you need to click the bottom layer (left) and double-click to change its name and to change it to an unlocked (background) layer. Then, still on the bottom (left) layer, double-click again and in Layer Style untick both G and R boxes to make the layer red.
    A further help I have found is, after converting both layers to black and white, increase the contrast on each one (the same amount) which greatly improves the 3D effect.

  • BarryC

    Hi, another omission is that you need to click on the top layer and change the Blending Mode to “Screen”.