Creating the Step Up 3D Effect in Photoshop

3D is taking over the film industry, with more and more movies, games and magazines being released in 3D I thought I would share the secret with you on how to achieve 3D effects in your photos using Photoshop. I am going to use Step Up 3D’s Movie poster and then transform it into a 3D image using Photoshop. This is a easy tutorial to follow and I am sure a lot of people will find it very useful. You will now be able to turn any photo into a 3D image. Let’s get started.


Final Preview

Step 1

Let’s setup our Photoshop Canvas. Firstly I make sure I have everything I need and in this case you only need a Photo, I used Step Up 3D’s Movie Poster and opened it up in Photoshop. Once I had it opened in Photoshop I unlocked my Background Layer in the Layers Palette, if you don’t have a layers palette on the right then go to (Window>Layers ) a Layers Palette will appear with a Locked Background layer located in it. Hold down ALT on your keyboard and Double click the background layer to unlock it and turn it into a editable layer. This is what I have.

Step 2

Now I went to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels I set the settings to 0 | 1.15 | 255 and hit OK. Then I went back to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast. I set the Brightness -2 and the Contrast +25. Now I created a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer or hitting CTRL+SHIFT+N and then with the newly created Layer selected I went to Image>Apply Image. This basically copied and merged all the layers into one image on top of the rest of the images. Now with the newly Applied Image Layer selected I went up to Filter>Other>High Pass I set the radius to 8.5 and hit OK. Now I changed the Layers blending mode from Normal to Overlay and dropped the Opacity to 85%. These added adjustments aren’t required to create the 3D effect, they are just adjustments I added to spice up and sharpen the image a bit.

Step 3 – 3D Effects start

Now we are going to start adjusting the image to go 3D. Select all your layers in the layers palette by clicking on the top layer and then holding shift and clicking on the layer at the bottom and then right-clicking on the selected layers and selecting Merge Layers or going to Layer>Merge Layers. This will merge all your layers into one single layer and retain all your added adjustments and effects. Now duplicate your single layer by selecting the layer and pressing CTRL+J or right-clicking and pressing Duplicate Layer. Now rename your layers to Top and Bottom by double-clicking on the layers current name or right-clicking and choosing Layer Properties. This is what my Layer Palette looks like at the moment.

Step 4

Now that you have your layers set, select your Top layer and drop the Opacity to 50% now grab your Move Tool in the Left Toolbar or press V to use the shortcut. Now use your arrow keys on your keyboard and press Right 3 times and Down 3 times. You could use the mouse and move it too. You should have a blurred image at the moment. Now I went up to Edit>Free Transform and a bounding box appeared around my image. I then rotated it 1.1 degrees to the left. I made use of the degree meter at the top and set it to -1.1. It is located right next to the Width and Height properties.

Step 5

Now set the opacity of your Top layer back to 100% and hide the Top Layer by clicking on the EYE next to the Top layer window. Select your Bottom Layer and go to Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer… With the Red Output Channel selected drop the Red amount from +100% to 0% This will bring out the Full Cyan Color in your image at the back. This is what you will have.

Step 6 – Final Step for 3D effect

Unhide your Top Layer and select it. Now go to Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer…Make sure the Output Channel is set to Green and drop the Green Source Channel’s value to 0%. Now change to the Blue Output Channel and set the Blue Source Channel’s value to 0% and finally you can hit OK. Now your Top Layer will be RED and your Bottom layer will be CYAN. Now set the Blending mode of the Top Layer to Screen and Viola you have a 3D effect. Now all you have to do is grab your Crop Tool and crop the image so that you have whole image and not the overlapping side. Here is my final effect below.

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Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest