2.5D Parallax Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial

everyone Chris here from Spoon Graphics back
with another video tutorial. Today’s guide is perfect for photography fans
and anyone who enjoys working with motion graphics. It’s an interesting effect that
takes a static photograph and brings it to life with subtle movement, often referred
to as 2.5D, or the parallax effect. The effect makes use of Adobe Photoshop to
cut out an image, then uses the timeline feature to convert the still picture into a video.
It works by clipping the image into different areas, then adding subtle movement so that
the foreground and background move at different rates to create a slow motion panning effect. It works best with images where there’s a
clear contrast between the subject and its background, so choose a picture that has an
obvious outline that you can trace around. Open the image in Photoshop, then select the
Pen tool and begin tracing around the main subject. Keep the path within a few pixels
from the edge to avoid accidentally capturing any slithers of background in the cut out. When you’ve traced the image back to the starting
point, close the path then right click and choose Make Selection. Enter 0.5px in the
feathering option to eliminate the hard edge, then Copy and Paste the selection onto a new
layer. Double click the Background layer to make
it a workable layer, then hold the CMD or CTRL key while clicking the thumbnail of the
cut out layer to load its selection. With the background layer still selected,
go to Select>Modify>Expand and enter 10px. Next, go to Edit>Fill and make sure the
option is set to Content Aware. Photoshop will automatically fill the space the best
it can to erase the original subject. Toggle off the visibility of the cut out layer to
see the result. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will help disguise any areas where
the foreground and background become unaligned from their original positions during the animation. Turn the visibility of the cut out layer back
on, then create a new document. Since the final effect is exported into video format,
I’m making a 1080p document at 1920×1080 pixels. Switch back to the original document and select
both layers. Drag them into the new video document and position them centrally. Individually select each layer and choose
Convert to Smart Object from the right click menu. This will allow us to scale the image
down and back up without affecting the quality. Next, go to the Window menu and select Timeline.
Make sure the option is set to Create Video Timeline rather than Create Frame Animation,
then click the button. Click the little drop down arrow for the first
layer in the timeline and click the little stopwatch icon to set a keyframe under the
Transform option. Press the CMD+T shortcut to Transform, then
hold Shift and scale the background to fill the majority of the canvas. Move the playhead to the end of the timeline,
then click the little keyframe icon to set a new position. Transform the background again
and scale it up slightly. Photoshop will automatically animate the size between the two keyframes
for the duration of the timeline. Repeat the process with the other layer that
contains the main subject. Add a Transform keyframe at the start and end of the timeline
and adjust the size of the layer. This time scale the subject in the opposite direction,
so go from large to small to intensify the parallax effect. Scrub the playhead back to the beginning then
press the Play icon to see the effect. The first time it plays it might be a little jumpy
until it renders the timeline, but the second time should play through smoothly. The result is a cool subtle animation where
the foreground and background move at different rates to create a parallax effect. The final video can be exported by heading
to File>Export>Render Video. Set the filename and change the preset to YouTube HD 1080p,
which should be available if you have Adobe Media Encoder installed as part of Premiere
or After Effects from the full Adobe CC suite. This parallax effect also works great with
landscape images where there’s clear definition between the horizon and sky. It works exceptionally
well if the foreground, middleground and background can be separated and moved independently. In this next example I’m creating a clipping
of the ridgeline and creating a timeline of the mountains in the foreground against the
northern lights in the sky. A subtle scale on the mountains layer against
some slight rotation of the sky creates a cool effect when the animation is played through.
The trick is to adjust the keyframes just enough so they produce some subtle motion. You can always move the timeline playhead
back over a keyframe and readjust the transformation, or you can switch the keyframes around so
the transformation plays in the opposite direction. In this next example, I’m creating a cut out
of a snowboarder from the background. The content aware fill left some unwanted areas,
so they were cleaned up with the Clone Stamp tool. This time, I added a couple of extra snow
effect layers. This exact snow overlay effect product is available to Access All Areas members
on my Spoon Graphics website, but the effect itself can be easily created by manually dabbing
a bunch of white splodges with a brush and adding some subtle blurring. A video timeline was created for all the layers,
then each section was animated independently by adjusting the size and position. The addition of the snow layers helps intensify
the parallax effect and creates more of a cool slow motion video, disguising the fact
that it all began as a still image. So I hope you have some fun with this parallax
effect to bring your own photographs to life. It provides a cool new way to experience your
shots in a kind of pseudo video format, as opposed to basic stills in the slideshow. If you enjoyed the tutorial or learnt any
new tips, a thumbs up to help spread the word would be really appreciated. Don’t forget
to subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube channel if you’re new, or you can head over
to my Spoon Graphics website to find plenty more tutorials along with free design resources.
So as always thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.


  1. itsandreluxx May 26, 2017 at 4:48 am

    omg i need to try this

  2. Gary Butterfield May 31, 2017 at 8:06 am

    That's awesome, I can't wait to try it!

  3. Amity Filmmaking May 31, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you very much for making this video! I was able to animate a photo for the first time just by watching this. I could not figure out how to get Photoshop to fill in the object in the 2017.2 version. Instead, since I was working with a political cartoon, I used the stamp and paintbrush tools to use existing parts of the drawing to cover up what I wanted to animate in the background layer.

  4. king jd June 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    sucks that i nailed everything except the export > render video part. i cant save it in video format. i use CS6 portable?

  5. Abraham Suraj June 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

    explain me about the transition overlay…

  6. Felg0r June 13, 2017 at 6:33 am

    amazing and easy thanks man

  7. Jota Quest June 19, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    you are awesome!

  8. Ivan Volchek June 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you

  9. Matthew Michaelino July 5, 2017 at 7:10 am

    is there anything i can do to make the effect last longer than 5 seconds?

  10. Arun Jeevan July 5, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Thanks …man..for the new step..!!!

  11. Septian Adi Saputra July 13, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I can't select the 'modify' option, can you tell me what's going on ?

  12. 6YJI9 July 15, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Does anyone know where he found that image? I love that picture and would like to use it, but have no idea where he got it from. I've search all the royalty-free/stock/paid picture websites I could think of and was so far unsuccessful. Thank you in advance!

  13. Ariel Andhamari July 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    hi i cannot modify my layer how do i solve this~?

  14. SrpskaNacija July 24, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Sir, i like you! GREAT!

  15. Calypso Dionis July 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I just don't understand why I can't fill (a message pops up saying "impossible to fill due to the lack of opaque pixels")

  16. Wil Dobson July 25, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Really, really great tutorial. Thanks so much.

  17. rubén Ibarreta July 28, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Muchas gracias.

  18. Prashant Singh July 30, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Create video timeline is not showing in Adobe CS6 what to do?

  19. Forhad Abu [ Fulltime Videography ] August 3, 2017 at 6:59 am


  20. Olov Knutson August 7, 2017 at 8:45 am

    thombnail to cotut layr to lod it selection

  21. Pike Knights August 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    How do u copy and paste the picture that u cut out? Sorry for the retarded question 😞 Any tip or do u have an easier guide on this type of work? (Cutting out parts of a pic and using it in photoshop).. Thank u for an awesome vlog. Your video on putting text behind objects helped me tons! Check out on my youtubepics 👍🏻

  22. Shahe Dell August 16, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Are you nervous..?!
    What kind of Tutorial and talking is this..?!!
    Man… just stop.. Think.. if you are good at it you more than welcome to make tutorial, otherwise don't waste people's time.

    What do you mean by commando…?
    Or other words you saying… absolutely non-sense.

  23. Brandon Raines August 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

    when made the new document and transferred the photo it was to close ( my photo is in portrait frame fyi ) how do i do this with a photo shot as a portrait. please help thanks!

  24. Callme Hera August 20, 2017 at 8:52 am

    hey i've been wondering how to make an animated photo like this. i really wish you can help. thanks so much 🙂 https://www.instagram.com/p/BM5gm48h1oj/?taken-by=troyesivan

  25. safi hanif August 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    how to make two videos in one ?

  26. Humberto Guzman August 24, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    My timeline doesnt have that damn button about creating a video timeline. where the hell is it

  27. haydenjnighs September 3, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Hey this is great! All i need is a good photo to use now ;_;

  28. FoxhoundCSGO September 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    an easier way to select is to use quick select tool as if theres any big blobs of the same ish colour then it selects all of that

  29. tufani parkourS September 11, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    It's amazing…i watched it first time on your video..give more tutorial…
    Btw tnx for it
    M from india
    And i loved photography…

  30. Rajkumar September 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    dude.. i cant select the "adobe media encoder" need some help with that ….

  31. Juanki Estrada September 23, 2017 at 12:33 am

    easy and fantastic. Thanks

  32. Gav Munro September 27, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Great tutorial, I always wanted to know how that was done…cheers mate!

  33. leinaddf October 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Nice tutorial. Good job!

  34. Daniyar Kazbay October 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    PLEASE more slow!!!!

  35. 2017 videos vine October 21, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    if is working in photoshop cs6

  36. kenempa October 29, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Is this a tutorial or…..???

  37. snipex111 October 29, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    you say scale from large to small yet you go opposite

  38. rajar baba October 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm


  39. Spoon Graphics November 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Join my mailing list and get a FREE design resources bundle! 📦 https://spoon.graphics/freebundle

  40. jean-pierre lai-cheong November 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    good job! thanks

  41. Neha Samuel November 10, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Why is the rendering really slow on CS6 ? Is it faster on CC ?

  42. Do you know? November 16, 2017 at 10:37 am


  43. Williandy L November 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Why when i change the position my first key frame potition is also change?

  44. ZOZ here November 27, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Ctrl + K?

  45. ZOZ here November 27, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Yay i did it

  46. arzangel channel November 27, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    This effect is really great. Thanks a lot for this tutorial ^^

  47. VO TECH GURU November 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Great. Thx!

  48. Hisham Elsersawy December 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    awesome My dear
    but be patine when u recording the vedio

  49. Bryan Stanicheva December 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Too Fast

  50. Harish Singh December 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    wow. but can you please add these images below the link it will be easy for us.

  51. EDITZ.4U December 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Very cool! I did something simular, would be great to know what you think about! Best EDITZ.4U

  52. Fred Eric December 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Too fast of a tutorial, not very helpful, im taking my chance to another video

  53. apiitg December 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    what is the output format, is it a video file?

  54. Beople crap January 6, 2018 at 5:56 am

    fuck my мозг это охуенно!

  55. Michael Chan January 7, 2018 at 7:41 am

    thanks, bit a bit too fast for me to follow step by step

  56. Daniel Miller January 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    When I export It only creates a file with zero bytes. Do you know what I'm doing wrong?

  57. We Care / نحن نهتم January 31, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Why…. you go too fast

  58. Elmer van Zyl February 9, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Fantastic! Can't wait to try it

  59. I p Singh February 20, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Check out my Parallax Effect https://youtu.be/jUqWr0UFH0E

  60. Jim Gibson February 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Any chance you can go slower? You know what you are doing, but trying to follow the video, and do the instructions at the same time is so hard at the speed you go at.

  61. Carlo Antonin March 11, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I don't have the create video timeline button in cs6. How can I get it?

  62. Loangga Adhistella March 19, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks man!

  63. Rajesh Compound April 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I not have the modify option in select,, what i do ?

  64. rgm501 April 8, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Slow down,slow down…..

  65. Stick88 April 11, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Modify greyed out, please help!

  66. NotFunny ButFunny April 12, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    thank you

  67. NotFunny ButFunny April 12, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    i like the pace of this the most

  68. Orimpo Games April 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    so if I don't have After effect from Adobe cc suite but I do have AE as a separate install, it wouldn't work?! After export, there's a spin wheel spinning for long time

  69. Alexandra Silva April 16, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    cannot make the size transformation without the first layer changing its size aswell

  70. Arno Nym April 25, 2018 at 10:22 am


    The picture used

  71. Βαλάντης Λίναρης May 18, 2018 at 6:49 am

    You rock mate!!!!

  72. Abu Sanan May 31, 2018 at 5:46 am

    I don't find the option Adobe Media encoder in my Photoshop CS6 😓
    how do I install it

  73. Ray Low Peng Hoe June 8, 2018 at 8:35 am

    hi there, could you explain how to Citrix website perspective images is done https://www.thenewmobileworkforce.com/on-race-day

  74. wOlves hOug June 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Awsome dude <3

  75. Emrah Topcu June 20, 2018 at 7:43 am

    in the tab where its suppose to be 'transform' it has 'position' and ill follow the tutorial even though its like that but when i make the picture big and make a key at the end it doesn't make the picture increase in size… I've followed this to the t but it still seems to not work for me. sad times.

  76. naipal patel July 7, 2018 at 8:04 am

    When I render video it doesn't show MP4 format it show jpg format now how to export video in MP4 format

  77. Alex Wonderland July 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    do you know how to make a picture with motions like on the Epic Music World videos?

  78. 王励之 July 24, 2018 at 9:17 am


  79. Easy Sites August 5, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    i'm just learning a little about photoshop so this is very helpful. thanks for your efforts.

  80. Akmal Muntafiq August 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm


  81. Simone Mad August 20, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Thankyou! Very helpful

  82. Kathryn Mullin August 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    This is a great tutorial, but I would like to apply the same effect to a different object in the same picture. I've tried to do this but no luck. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  83. ryan lumley August 30, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    way too fast

  84. Asmaa Bassem September 6, 2018 at 9:26 am

    can you use the same effect to make a person rotate around himself in a still image? it doesn't have to be 180 or 360 degrees but it would bring the photo to life as well

    Thank you so much for this tutorial too

  85. Brian Eliel September 19, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Great Tutorial

  86. Mario Linton September 30, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Awesome!! Thank u for the detailed tutorial here!👍🏾

  87. pro_troller3 November 17, 2018 at 5:25 am

    wallpaper picture 0:46?

  88. gaming channel November 25, 2018 at 10:28 pm


  89. Locked key December 5, 2018 at 8:09 am

    help me, I don't have transform on my timeline I just have position,opacity and style

  90. Hans Martinez December 16, 2018 at 1:55 am

    I'm sick and tired of spending hours in photoshop/premiere pro perfecting an edit only for it to be compressed down and pixelated when uploaded to instagram…any advice/tutorials on how to export for instagram so that doesn't happen?

  91. The Video Channel January 11, 2019 at 10:49 am

    I created a parallex effect using my phone Redmi 5, thnx for the video, would try this out too.

  92. Mark Hansen February 14, 2019 at 5:42 am

    now answer me this… how do you go about posting this to facebook to actually look like a photo post instead of having it posted as a video which ruins the effect with a big play button on the post! TIA

  93. B Mc February 19, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Hey, could you please talk a little faster? Also, it would be great if you were constantly slurring your words. Thanks.

  94. Eridan Fetahagic March 6, 2019 at 9:19 am

    thanx x this

  95. jeff goldblum March 25, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    thanks man

  96. Chloe Croft March 27, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    'Could not fill because there are not enough opaque source pixels' ???????!

  97. Mark Elliot April 4, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Any idea if this can replicated in Photoshop Elements?

  98. Rodrigo Pederzini June 6, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks a lot for share this tutorial, man!

  99. Eu Sky August 13, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Super easy and fast. Well done my friend.

  100. Viken October 16, 2019 at 11:28 am


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *