Create and Animate an Amazing 3D Photo in Photoshop CC!

This video tutorial is a little different than most of the videos that I make. Here we will take a look at how to transform a simple 2-dimensional photo into a full 3D space that we can float through and even animate in Photoshop. It’s pretty incredible to see the first time you do see it happen, but it’s definitely unforgettable! We will cover working with Vanishing Point, Creating 3D Planes, Creating a 3D layer from Vanishing Point, Positioning the 3D Camera in that space, Animating the 3D camera, Adding a second movement to the 3D camera, Adjusting depth of field with the 3D camera, and exporting the video as a 1080p HD video.

Photo used in this tutorial: Canyon.

See the finished effect on my Instagram feed:

Cropping the Image

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Because I know that I’m going to export this document as 1920x1080px video, I’m going to use the Crop tool and choose 16:9 from the drop-down menu up in the control bar at the top of the workspace and crop this image to a size that will perfectly export to a 1920×1080 sized HD video. Grab the Crop Tool, drag the selection over the area of the image you want, and hit the check icon in the top control bar.

Create Perspective Grid in Vanishing Point

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NOTE: If your layer is a locked “Background” layer, double-click on the layer to unlock it and give it a name before we jump into Vanishing Point. Go Filter>Vanishing Point and use the default-selected tool (Create Plane Tool) and draw out a series of grids to create a sort of ring of grids wrapping around the center area of the image as I have in the screenshot.

Output a 3D Layer

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Once you have all of your grids created, find the little flyout menu and choose “Render 3D Layer” from the menu and choose “OK”. Photoshop will pop up a dialog box to let you know a new 3D scene is being created. Hit “OK” to create the 3D scene and switch to the 3D workspace.

Animate a Simple Camera Dolly Using the Timeline

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Once we have the 3D scene, go Window>Timeline and choose to create a Video Timeline. Click the little arrow to the left of the “temp” layer that was just created (this is the 3D layer) and a bunch of animation options will twirl down. We’re particularly interested in the 3D Camera Position option. Set the play head to be at the very beginning of the animation and click on the little stopwatch icon to drop a keyframe and then move the play head to the end of the animation and hit the diamond icon (the gray one to the left of the stopwatch) to drop a second keyframe and then use the 3D Camera tools to change the position of the camera at this ending keyframe and Photoshop will create the animation automatically between the keyframes. See my video for a few minutes on how I animate a few different angles of the 3D Camera.

Render/Save Out Your Video

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Once we create the animation the way we want it to be, go File>Export>Render Video and choose the YouTube 1080p preset and choose where you’d like to have the file saved on your hard drive and then hit the “Render” button.
Be sure to watch the video above for 19 minutes of goodness and lots more detail than I’ve provided here in this written article. Thanks for watching!

Tags: 3D in Photoshop, How to make 3D in Photoshop, 3D Photoshop, Photoshop 3D Objects, Photoshop Tutorial, Vanishing Point, Photoshop Vanishing Point, How to Use Vanishing Point, 3D Planes in Photoshop, Animate 3D Photoshop, Animate 3D, Render 3D Layer, Creative Cloud, Adobe Photoshop Tutorial, Adobe Photoshop CC, tutorials, 3D Depth of Field, 3D Camera Depth of field, Photoshop depth of field