How To Make an Anaglyph 3D Image in Photoshop That Really Works!

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today we're going to have some fun creating a retro 3D effect that really works

If you cast your mind back to the 3D movies, comics and posters from your childhood, you'll remember those comedic glasses with red and blue lenses that bring the effect to life Stereoscopy is the scientific term behind how these images work By overlapping two images using the red and blue channels, it produces an anaglyph 3D image that jumps out from the screen when viewed with colour filtered specs But before we get started, a big thank you to Envato Elements for sponsoring this video In order to follow along with today's tutorial and to actually see the result, you're going to need a pair of red and blue 3D glasses yourself You can pick up these cardboard framed 3D glasses from eBay pretty cheap By the way, if you like the tash I'm currently rocking for Movember, give this video a thumbs up and I'll match the number of likes in a donation to Prostate Cancer UK at the end of the month In this tutorial I'll show you two techniques you can use to create your anaglyph 3D image

The first method uses two separate images taken from offset cameras, the second is a Photoshop process that allows you to manually create the effect from a single image The first technique for creating a retro anaglyph 3D image is to use a stereo pair of photographs These pictures are produced by 2 cameras strapped together at a set distance apart, or a single camera moved sideways on a tripod What you get is two images from different angles, much like how our eyes work to perceive depth If you focus on something, then close one eye, you'll see the scene appears to shift

You can find some ready-made stereo pairs like this picture of "A scene of Verona, Italy" from Shutterstock, or produce your own by capturing two offset photographs The images in this stereo pair picture are merged into one file Turn on Snap from the View menu to place a guide in the centre, then make a selection of the first image with the marquee tool Press CMD, or CTRL on Windows, and X to Cut, then use the Crop tool to trim the canvas down to size Press CMD+V to Paste the two images one on top of the other

If you toggle the layer on and off you can see the difference in the angle of the shot Rename the layers to Left and Right Double click the Left layer to begin converting the image into a 3D anaglyph Uncheck the Red channel, then click ok Double click the Right layer and uncheck both the Green and Blue channels

Now it's time to put on your 3D specs to immediately see the effect come to life These things aren't exactly an every day fashion accessory so hardly anyone watching this video for the first time will be able to see the result, so be sure to order yourself some glasses and watch again soon! While wearing your specs, you can make some minor tweaks to fix any double vision, or alter the focal point Turn off Snap under the View menu to give finer control Press CMD+T to Transform then move the image horizontally to find the spot where a certain part of the two images perfectly aligns Once you've done so, there will be a strip along the edge which will need Cropping out

The second technique allows you to produce the 3D effect from just a single image In order to create the offset version that makes the 3D effect work, we'll use the Displace filter to shift the image in our manually defined areas Choose an image with a scene full of elements in both the foreground and background Simple landscapes are great because the layers of mountains are easy to trace Create a new layer and select the Lasso, or Pen tool

We'll need to trace around all the elements of the scene according to their depth The boat is the closest object in this photo, so trace around its outline Fill the selection with white by pressing the CMD+Backspace shortcut All subsequent objects will be filled with darker and darker shades until the parts of the image in the far distance are filled with black Activate the background layer and create a new layer above it, and below the white filled layer

The next portion of this scene which is slightly further away is the lake Make a selection with the lasso tool Edit the foreground colour and move the picker downwards slightly to a light grey Press ALT+Backspace to fill the selection with this foreground colour It's also possible to make the depth gradually change by applying a gradual change in shade

Select the Burn tool and set the Range to Highlights at 50% and set the brush to a soft tip Paint across the upper part of the lake's grey layer to change the fill from light to dark as it recedes into the distance Create another new layer at the bottom of the layer stack and draw a selection around the hills in the midground Fill this selection with a grey that's slightly darker than the darkest grey in the lake's gradient The forest on the opposite side can be quickly selected with the Magic Wand tool

Since this part of the scene is also in the midground, fill the selection with the same shade of grey Continue adding a new layer at the bottom of the stack and make a selection of the next elements in the distance Make the fill darker each time in the colour picker Finally the farthest part of the scene is the sky that remains in the background Fill this area with pure black to complete the depth map

Use the shortcuts CMD+A to Select All, then go to Edit > Copy Merged Click the top layer, then paste in the merged copy of all the grayscale layers To make the displacement map smoothly distort the image, add a gaussian blur filter of around 10px Go to File > Save As and save a copy of this grayscale file as a PSD with a recognisable name All the grayscale layers can now be grouped and hidden as they're no longer required

To apply the depth map, begin by making a duplicate of the image by dragging it onto the new layer icon Next, go to Filter > Distort > Displace In the settings remove any Vertical Scaling so the image is only distorted horizontally Click OK and locate the recently saved PSD file Toggle off the layer to see the slight differences between the two layers, just like the stereo pair of images that were sourced from two camera shots, the elements within this picture are now offset

Rename the layers to Left and Right, then double click them to alter the channels settings Disable the Red channel on the Left layer, and disable the Green and Blue channels on the Right layer Pop on your 3D glasses again to see the result Once again the top image can be nudged horizontally to help eliminate any double vision you might be experiencing The lighter the grey of the depth map, the less the image is offset, whereas the darker areas are offset the most, which makes them recede and appear far away within the 3D effect

As a final touch, you can make the image black and white to give it more of a retro 3D anaglyph appearance as seen on old comics and posters With each layer selected in turn, go to Image > Adjustment > Desaturate The final result is a magical 3D effect that really works, as long as you have a pair of retro 3D specs I used to have these kinds of anaglyph dinosaur posters all over my wall as a kid, so it's great fun being able to reproduce the effect myself all these years later If you enjoyed this video, be sure to subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel to be the first to see my upcoming content

Head over to my Spoon Graphics website to grab yourself some free goodies, otherwise thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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