Photoshop Layer-Based/2D to 3D Conversion

Author: Mock Webware |

The very first step, is to create a Photoshop PSD file composed of multiple layers. These layers will eventually represent different depth planes within the 3D scene. Below is an illustration / sample file with 4 layers taken from a sequence of 20 to the right of our concept image.

2D to 3D Image Conversion with Photoshop done by Softmotion 3D in Chambly

The layers selected represents the foreground, ( the dancer ) the middle ground colors behind the dancer’s leg, a background floor and a background texture.

  • 3D Lenticular Printing of a wall background texture by Softmotion 3D

    Wall Background Texture

  • 3D Lenticular Printing of a floor background layer by Softmotion 3D - Lenticular Printing Company in Chambly

    Floor Background Layer

  • 3D Lenticular Printing of a background color layer done by Softmotion 3D

    Background Color Layer

  • Foreground layer Lenticular Printing of a dancer created and designed by Softmotion 3D

    Foreground Layer

  • Layer Cross Section 3D Lenticular Printing done by Softmotion 3D

    Layer Cross- Section

The 3D simulation below was generated once the 20 layers were interlaced together at Softmotion 3D.

Once your final file is processed, we can print the information on a physical 3D animated print for you.

Guidelines & Specifications:

  • Layer a 2D image with each element in its own layer using the same size and resolution. For exemple, if your artwork has 3 cars, give each car its own complete layer.
  • The back layers cannot contain empty space below the objects on them.
  • Produce at least 3 layers: background, middle and foreground, but 24 maximum and provide files in the TIFF format with alpha channel, at 300 DPI actual size. Always add 1/8’’ bleed on 4 sides.
  • As a rule of thumb, more layers will provide better dramatic 3D effect, and a smoother rendering. Place layers in the final position: background, middle and foreground layers.
  • If your concept contains layers with text or logos, they should be placed closer to the key plane ( middle layer ) to avoid blurriness and promote better legibility.
  • Avoid solid colors or white background and replace with a textured background to increase depth perception
  • Brighter colors will render much better and enhance the 3D illusion. However, B & W subjects will also work fine if the background is textured
  • Use CMYK to minimize potential color shifts
  • Avoid Serif, Italic and fancy fonts. Very fine font size will reduce readability.
  • No text, logo or illustrations within ½’’ from all outside edges.


In order to avoid any gaps or voids while the layers are in motion on the 3D print, it is mandatory that the file is ½’’ wider ( on each side ) than the width of the final print. This is referred to as 3D margin. Furthermore, the back layers cannot contain empty space below the objects on them.

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