September 28, 2011 / Fall 2011 / Photoshop/Illustrator

Create a quick 3-D image

Written by Jamie Chambers

From movies to children’s toys, the use of 3-D images is everywhere. This effect can be more compelling than the average static image. In just a few simple steps in Photoshop, you can create a 3-D image that will grab the attention of your viewer beyond your original image.

To create 3-D images, it may be helpful to have a pair of the red/blue 3-D glasses available as you work. Then, the viewer will need a pair to see the image in 3-D.


1. Use two images that are in RGB mode. One image should be of a background, and it should be a flattened image with no layers. The second image will be the foreground subject, with the subject cobbed out on a separate layer.


2. Working with the background file, go to the Channels palette and select the Red Channel. The background image will appear black and white. With the Red Channel still selected, go to Filter >  Other > Offset. Set the Horizontal Pixels Right to -50, leave Vertical at 0 and select Undefined Areas Wrap Around. Then select OK.


3. On the Channels palette, select the RGB Channel. Without the 3-D glasses, your background image should look off register.

4. While wearing the 3-D glasses, go to the second image and drag the cobbed subject to the background file. The image on the new layer should appear as if it is jumping off the background.

5. You can also add a new layer with copy. The copy also will appear to leap off of the background image.


Repeat these steps with different backgrounds or foreground images.

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Jamie Chambers

Jamie Chambers faced two career path choices in college, and lucky for Walsworth he chose art over accounting. He has been a creative influence for Walsworth for 17 years, currently as Design & Creative Concepting Supervisor in the Marketing Department. For 10 years, as an artist and supervisor for the Creative Services Department, Jamie traveled to workshops to collaborate with yearbook staffs to develop their covers and theme packages.