How to Make a Picture Look 3D in Photoshop

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Three-dimensional images are attention-getters, both online and in printed materials. The 3-D effect is especially useful when you are creating buttons that you want a customer to click when he visits your website or displaying a picture that you want to stand out from others. In order to make an image or picture appear to be three-dimensional, you have to add something behind it to create the illusion that the image is emerging from the screen. This is an easy feat to accomplish in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Open the picture in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Click "Layer" on the main menu, then "New" and "Layer from Background." Click "OK" when the dialog box pops up. This will remove the picture from the background layer and allow you to place your own background behind it.

  • Go to the "Layer" menu again and click "New"and then "Layer." Click "OK" to set the new layer.

  • Go to the "Layers" window ("Window," then "Layers" on the main menu, if you don't see it). Click and drag the top layer, which you added in step 3, to the bottom of the list. This layer will now act as the background.

  • Click "Image," then "Canvas Size…" on the main menu. Add an inch to both the width and height of the canvas so that there is a blank border around the main picture.

  • Right-click the picture layer on your "Layers" window and select "Blending Options."

  • Select the "Drop Shadow" effect on the left pane. Move the "Distance" bar up to about 10 pixels under the "Structure" section.

  • Select the "Bevel and Emboss" effect on the left pane, then click "OK."

  • Save the 3-D picture as a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file if you plan to use it online. Save it as a TIF, EPS or PDF file if you plan to print it later.

Tips & Warnings

  • Examine your color mode—you can find this setting under "Image" and then "Mode" on the Photoshop main menu. If you plan to print a picture, it should always be in either CMYK or grayscale mode. If you plan to display the file online, use RGB or indexed color mode.

References

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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