Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Combining 3D Models & Layers to Make a Stereoscopic Scene


Since I’ve already stepped out into the 3D Stereoscopic world with my recent posts on Photoshop CS4, I thought I’d put yet one more out there that takes the process a step further – and combines some other techniques I’ve covered in previous posts. In this example, I’ve combined a 3D model I brought into Photoshop CS4 and converted other 2D layers to 3D and repositioned to visually line-up with the model and applied the Stereo Render option to each layer to add depth and dimension to the scene.
*Note: this requires Red/Cyan Anaglyph glasses (see bottom of post for info on getting some for Free!)

Here’s the final scene image in stereo 3D:

Final rendered 3D scene created in Photoshop CS4

Final rendered 3D scene created in Photoshop CS4

I started with a 3D Model I brought into Photoshop CS4 (.3ds file type – see Blog post:, placed it into position and added a second 2D layer of a stretch of road. I then converted the “road” layer to a 3D Postcard from the 3D menu.

Using the 3D Object Rotate tool, I changed the perspective of the Road layer to closely match the angle of my 3D car model.

After adding a Drop Shadow Layer Style to the 3D car layer to simulate a real shadow (as 3D models don’t cast shadows onto other layers in Photoshop CS4), I then add a black background layer and another scenic image layer and convert it to 3D Postcard as well and position it in place. I add a layer mask to the Road layer and paint out the edges of the road with a large soft brush to create a fade to black…

Selecting the 3D car model layer I open up the 3D palette and select Render Settings and choose the Stereo Type (Red/Cyan). I change the Parallax to 30 and leave the Focal Plane at 0.

Next, I select the Road layer and set the Stereo Type as well, changing the Parallax to 10 and the Focal Plane to -100. This pushes the farthest point of the Road layer back behind the 3D car layer. *TIP: This is best to do while wearing your Red/Cyan glasses so you can make adjustments to the layers in true 3D!

I then make adjustments to the layers to match up the best visual position in 3D space using the 3D Object rotate and move tools. Lastly, I added the PixelPainter logo as a regular 2D layer with transparency, as it remains “floating” above the background layer in the 0 Focal Plane. (try moving your cursor over the rendered 3D image and you’ll see it is on the 0 Focal Plane as well! It will look like you’re cutting right into the 3D model)

Don’t have Red/Cyan 3D Glasses? Get ’em here FREE!
Send me a self addressed stamped envelope (letter sized) and I will send you a pair!
(one pair per request)

Jeff Foster
PO Box 187
Ojai, CA 93024


3 Responses to “Combining 3D Models & Layers to Make a Stereoscopic Scene”
  1. Tom Geller says:

    Hey, Jeff — good to see you again in Ventura. I finally arrived in Oberlin and dug out my glasses to see your site. These are AWESOME. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is there any plugin what allows you to use green/magenta colors at stereo type?

  3. Jeff says:

    @Anonymous – yes, there are some that allow you to shift colors or choose from presets – more in After Effects than Photoshop though.

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