The 3D Facebook photo is a fun thing to come up against in Facebook, it can really make an image pop out at you (pun intended). The only issue is your phone needs a depth chart to make this happen – therefore, only phones that could do portrait mode (in certain iOS and Android devices) would give you this feature.
What if I told you that you can make these photos even if you took them on a non-digital camera?
How the 3D Photo Works
When you put out a photo for 3D, you are technically sending two parts – the photo itself, and a photo that maps the depth in a black-to-white spectrum. This is called the z-index, and will determine what item in the image is more towards the front, and which is more towards the back.
When you have a photo that is not as busy, it can map the depth a lot better. The more defined lines in a photo to make the 3D image, the better.
Keep in mind, a .png photo will have more detail than a .jpg. The higher definition of the image, the better the look simply because there’s more information to help merge the two files.
I took a simple screenshot of my face to show how the process works.
Naming the Two Files
In order for Facebook to stitch these two images together, you must name the second one with “_depth” after the name. Therefore, the first image is jeff.jpg, and the second is jeff_depth.jpg.
Right now, you can only do this on a computer browser. iOS will treat them as two different files.
When you move over the files, Facebook will render them together. If it cannot, you’ll get two separate files (meaning the naming is off), or it will error out. That means you’ll have to do some more work on the depth image.
Playing with the Concept to Make Cool New Images
I thought it be fun to put a hidden meaning in my image. I created it using a simple pun. Can you see the text?
What Will You Create?
Show me what you do with Facebook 3D photos. These were quick ideas; I’ve seen some great photo examples out there, and I believe we haven’t tapped the 3D photo true potential.
Maybe Live photos will get the 3d touch? Video? It’s very possible in the future.