Anaglyph Tutorial in Photoshop

Do you have a pair of those funny red/cyan paper glasses in your chunk drawer?

Why not create a 3-D effect in Photoshop? This tutorial is using one photograph to make things easy for people who are just starting out to learn Photoshop – call it an ‘abridged version’.

Real stereo-anaglyphs require two pictures of the same image, one left and one right. I will cover this in a later tutorial.

Open image in Photoshop. (I’m using version CS5)

In the Layers tab on the right, your image will show as Background.Create a duplicate layer (right click Background). This will give you a Background Copy.With the Background layer selected, click ‘Select all’ (Ctrl+A) and ‘Copy’ (Ctrl+C).

In the Background copy layer, click ‘Paste’ (Ctrl+V). Layer 1 will be added.

Right-click Layer 1 to open the drop down menu. Select Blending Options.

The Layer Style menu will open. In Advanced Blending, de-select ‘Channels R’ (take out the checkmark for R, but not for G and B). Click OK.

Now the fun begins: take the Move Tool (V) and slide the image to the left, right, up, or down until you like the effect. By doing this, you will see the red and cyan layers separating.Crop the image.

Flatten the image before saving. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a very large PSD (Photoshop Document) file.

To Flatten the image, right-click Layer1.  I saved my image as JPEG.

Put on your 3-D glasses and enjoy.

The effect will be even better if you use a photo that shows perspective, such as the one below. Note: You can also separate the colours by using the Channels tab. It’s just another way of achieving the same result. I prefer the above method.


About gamppart

I'm a Visual Artist, Environmentalist, and Art Educator. My areas of creative expression include acrylic painting, mixed media and mosaic art. I especially like working with broken china, which allows me to use discarded, second-hand materials. I'm fond of textures, colours, and organic forms. Cats and chickens are my muse.
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