3D Photo Depth Maps: 20+ Examples


Below is a compilation of 20+ depth maps along with their transformed 3D photos.

1. Thor

This 3D Photo makes Thor’s hammer the focal point. The hammer takes on the lightest color in the gradient to give it the appearance of being thrown out of the photo. Slightly darker grays for the other layers in the photo, including the text, to allow the other elements to jump out as well.

Note how Thor’s right leg has darker tone–this enhances the effect of Thor and his hammer protruding from the picture. Note also how the hammer has a slight gradient, this makes the protrusion effect even more obvious and create true depth (vs. a parallax effect).

2. Toy Story 4

The boat in this photo made for an interesting element to 3D-ify. The boat takes on a layer in the lightest shade of the gradient to ensure that it emerges from the photo the most. Using the boat as a guideline, added layers to the other elements in the photo give it a tiered effect. With depth – it really appears as if the characters are all standing behind Woody.

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3. Inception

The goal of this image was to test the 3D tool to mimic the movement of an iPhone camera –along with the added fun of creating a 3D finger that would poke through the screen.

To create that “poking” effect, the subject’s pointer finger became the lightest color of the gradient. The other layers were slightly darker, with the exception of the lighter color of the hand holding the phone. This was made lighter so that the hand appeared to be closer more realistic to the viewer.

4. Aladdin

This image was a title test to see if “Aladdin” would float above the photo. To stand out effectively in the foreground, the title took on the lightest color. The other layers were gradually darker to create a 3D movie poster that jumped out of the screen.

Note the gradient at the bottom of the photo to add in more complexity.

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5. Pink Lady

This unique 2D ad creative seemed to be beckoning to be transformed into 3D. The subject’s mouth in the foreground makes for a clear division of depth, so it took on the lightest color. The people inside of the subjects mouth we made slightly darker, and the back of the subject’s throat was shaded the darkest to establish a background.

Note how the lips contain gradients to add more complexity.

6. Rio De Janeiro

This depth map is fairly simple, but the goal was to showcase the beauty of Rio in this photo with “Christ the Redeemer” in the foreground, and the rest of the city in the background. To do this, the statue took on a lighter shade and the rest of the city was given a darker shade.

7. “I Love You” Puzzle

The popular 3D puzzle trend led to the creation of this image. To create the puzzle effect, the image was divided into 2 parts. Half of the text was shaded lightly, and the other half of the text was given a much darker shade. This allowed the lighter text to stay in place in the foreground while the darker text moved in the background. This creates the puzzle illusion when the viewer plays around with the 3D image.

8. Jaws

This 2D advertisement had a clear ocean background, so it was shaded with a dark color. To make the Doritos chip to pop out of the screen, it took on the lightest color. To differentiate the sky from the ocean, the sky was given an even darker color.

The fact that only part of the chip had a depth layer is what makes this a playable 3D Photo—users can try to “close” the clamp of the chip since just one part of it moves.

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9. Pikachu

This movie poster already had natural depth – it just needed to be brought to life. To ensure that Pikachu was the focus of the photo, he was given the lightest shading. A gradient effect was used to enhance the depth of the street, that scaled from lighter in the front to darker in the back.


10. Japan

In order to bring this destination to life, depth was added to create a realistic point of view of this scene in Japan. To make the viewer feel like they are standing near the dojo, looking out into the distance, the dojo was given the lightest color. From there, more layers were added to contrast against the darkest background layer of the sky.

11. Feel the Movement

To enable viewers to really “feel the movement” in this Adidas advertisement, the kicking subject took on the lightest color so that he would appear in the foreground. Conversely, the second subject took on a darker color so that the two would appear to be in action in the 3D photo.

Notice the use of gradient.

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12. Dali

To animate this classic photo, the subject’s eyes and his long mustache were both shaded in the lightest color so that they would appear in the foreground. The rest of his face was colored darker so that it would appear in a separate layer from his crazy eyes and his iconic mustache.

This depth map was created using OmniVirt’s Predict Depth feature, which uses AI to construct 3D photos of human faces. The auto-generated depth map was then further edited, especially to give a crazy eye effect to the photo.

13. Phone Illusion

This illusion became much more interesting after its 3D transformation. The phone appeared to be sticking out of the photo, and the road appeared to go on for miles in the background. To further enhance this natural depth, the phone and the elements in the foreground were given an extremely light color. As the road continued in the background, the shading became darker and darker in a triangular shape until the end of the road was reached.

The gradient is a pretty intense change, from the lightest to gray to the darkest of gray.

14. American Gothic

Depth was used in this photo to add a zany element to this classic piece of art. Eerie movement was given to both of the subjects’ eyes using dark and precise shading. This enabled the subjects’ eyes to move in a separate layer from the subjects’ faces.

15. John Wick

This movie poster is surrounded by an interesting border, which was shaded lightly and set in the foreground. This created a window-like effect that allows for the viewer to look through the border into the rest of the image. However, John Wick is still the focal point of the photo as he is shaded lightly in the center of the image.

16. Game of Thrones

This thrilling 3D photo required quite a few layers as there are many interesting elements of depth to enhance in this image. The lightest colored layer was added to the people in the foreground of the image to create that difference in depth. The dragon, the wall, and the rubble were all shaded in a medium color to add another layer between the people, and the darkest colored subject, the Night King.

Note the blurring of the layer of the dragons’ fire. And the gradients used on the Night King.

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17. Black Panther

Like the GoT photo, turning this iconic movie poster into 3D required the creation of many layers. To enhance the tiers of the characters in the poster and to create the illusion of depth, each character was given a separate layer. Starting with the title in the lightest shade, each layer was shaded darker and darker until the background was reached.

18. Us

Similarly to the “I Love You” puzzle, this chilling movie poster was created to be as interactive as possible. The vision was to use 3D to enable the user to take the subject’s mask on and off. To do this, the mask took on the lightest color so that it would remain mobile in the foreground. The subject’s face was then given a darker shade so that the mask could easily move over it.

19. Star Wars

This vintage Star Wars movie poster already had clear depth divisions – so 3D was used to bring the photo to life. The pointed gun in the foreground was given the lightest shade so that it would emerge from the photo the farthest. The other characters and weapons varied in shade to make for a captivating 3D photo with seemingly realistic depths.

20. Dumbo

This 3D transformation was a perfect use case to show movement in a photo. Dumbo was given the lightest color in the image to ensure that he moved seperately from the other layers in the background. This created a “flight-like” effect.

Notice the contrast in the gradient between Dumbo in the foreground and the  background. This enables Dumbo to “fly” out of the photo.

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21. Bali

Because this image lacks natural depth, separate layers were created to divide the elements of the scene. The pathway leading up to the subject in the photo took on the lightest color in the gradient to give the appearance that it was reaching out to the viewer. The subject was shaded just slightly darker to appear to be walking the path, and the gate was close behind with an even darker shade in the gradient.

This multi-layer technique creates depth where the 2D photo lacks it.

22. Metallica

The crosses move from lighter to darker grays as they go backwards. The “Metallica” wording is chosen to be the foremost layer, which makes the end effect pop even more.


23. Thinking of You

To ensure that the fingers were in the foreground, they were given the lightest shade in the gradient. Half of each letter was colored differently from the other half so that they separate with movement like a puzzle.






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