After Effects Tutorial: How to Convert a 2D Image into 3D (Photoshop & After Effects)

This tutorial teaches you,
how to create a 3D looking image, from a static image. Firstly, import your image to Photoshop. Create a new layer and fill it with black, by using the “Paint Bucket Tool”. Reduce the Opacity to about 70%
so you can see your image through the black. Select the Brush
and change its Opacity to 15%. Switch the color to White. Start drawing the entire object,
by holding down the left mouse button. The second layer we are going to paint,
is the area that is closer to the camera. So let’s start drawing the face and the hair. The next area, which is closest
to the camera, is the face. In the next layer, we are going to draw
some of the facial features, such as the eyebrows,
the nose and the chin. The last layer
is the tip of the nose, which is the closest point to the camera. The eyes are a little bit further
back than the rest of the face, so switch the color to black
and paint them. Change the Opacity back to 100%. Go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur
and add some blur. Save your Project,
as a Photoshop file. Drag and drop your Photoshop file
into After Effects. Choose
“Composition – Retain Layer Sizes”. Check
“Merge Layer Styles into Footage”. And click OK. Double click the Composition. Rename your Layers. Hide the “Map” Layer. Go to “Effects & Presets” and type in:
“Displacement Map”. Drag and drop the effect
to the “Main” Layer. Change the “Displacement
Map Layer” to “Map”. And also the “Horizontal” and
“Vertical Displacement” to “Luminance” Notice that if you change the
“Horizontal”, or the “Vertical Displacement” it looks like a 3D looking picture,
but don’t pull these around too much. Click the Expand Button, on
“Main” Layer, on “Effects”, and on “Displacement Map”. Click on the Stopwatch, to set a Keyframe for the “Horizontal”
and the “Vertical Displacement”. Change the values. Go to the end of the clip
and set another Keyframe, by clicking on the
little diamond. Set the new value of
“Horizontal Displacement” and repeat the same process
for the “Vertical Displacement”. Press “S” and
scale it up a little bit, to avoid the blackness.


  1. Wayne Evans January 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

    This is great but try it this way faceripper4d (dot) com

  2. TheMetalVagabond March 17, 2014 at 4:09 am

    you sir, rock!

  3. Sup Trẫm * Suppeelyar World * January 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm


  4. BLACK Evil TV January 7, 2015 at 11:01 am


  5. JIMENOPOLIX February 10, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Nice job!

    Though what if we blur the brush edges in Photoshop a bit more when selecting what's closer to us? Wouldn't that make the face proportions move a bit smoother and not as much like cookie-cut pieces?

  6. ClubPenguinLetsPlays May 4, 2015 at 3:06 am


  7. ClubPenguinLetsPlays May 4, 2015 at 3:27 am

    lik dis iv yu crie errytim

  8. ClubPenguinLetsPlays May 4, 2015 at 3:29 am


  9. Nada Bokir June 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I do not understand the reason why he did the photoshop part? I mean he didn't use the layer in after effects. Please tell me what was the reason behind doing that ?

  10. JBHMEDIA July 28, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Good tutorial!

  11. Atradies 17 August 7, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Great video, very clear and I found the robot voice soothing.

  12. Yograjsinh Gohil December 15, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Nice !! Please see the photo to animation video

  13. Gaëtan Boutet January 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

    For 3D Photo Effects you can try this nice template, it's really easy :
    Volumax V2 – 3D Photo Animator:

  14. S. W. May 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Do you have to keep changing the Opacity of the Bush to reveal more of the Image.This is not something to omit…

  15. Стерео фото. 3D модели для ЧПУ. June 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Создание карты глубины для анимированного изображения:

  16. anggi yanuariska December 21, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Halo @jase333 how about we created from RGB image (not grascale image)? is that the same way when we brush in to the image as a grascale? and the RGB color I changed in to RGB as the same level. but when I was doing it, it doesn't work…

  17. juan carlos February 9, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Hello I buy my photos in a web that a friend told me that they make a spectacular engraving of glass for your photos, decorative and personalized objects to give away I am encatado with them and the best of all is the price are very economic here you will find them

  18. Guharfuh August 28, 2017 at 12:31 am


  19. ThatOnePerson October 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    DUDE this looks so cool

  20. pixelmasque November 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm


  21. Nikhil jaware January 24, 2018 at 10:47 am

    This is awesome!

  22. 钟山 May 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    That's cool. thank you.

  23. MentalPerspectives August 19, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Or just download an app for free that has an 3d filter, many do. 👍

  24. Hammad Jawaid November 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

    what file to render in after effects

  25. Raymond St Paul December 29, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Can you do a tutorial for Lightwave 3D please I don't have the software you show only Adobe Photoshop.

  26. L BALDRICK June 10, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Hi. That's amazing!. Is there any online service that you can pay someone to do this? I have an old photo and I would love to give it a 3D depth. . Hope you can advise me.

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