Actual 3D footage can be a pain, both to capture and to watch, which is why we fell in love with this super simple technique when we ran across it. It turns out, all you have to do to turn a normal photo or animated GIF into a 3D experience is add a couple of white bars…
If it seems like there’s more going on here, trust us when we say that there isn’t. For each of the GIFs below (the effect is more pronounced in a GIF than a regular photo) all the creators did was insert two white bars into the series of images.
When the subject of the GIF launches a projectile or reaches for something towards the viewer, that part of the image is allowed to cover up the white bar, and your brain immediately makes you feel like you’re watching something three-dimensional.
Here are a few examples of this technique in action:
Obviously real 3D is more effective, and we’re not suggesting that James Cameron use this technique when he shoots the next big three-dimensional blockbuster, but for a quick and easy edit, it creates pretty dramatic results… especially if focus is used to enhance the effect.
Plus, if you add a bit of text and further visual trickery, the effect can become even more pronounced:
To see a ton more of these GIFs, head over to Tumblr and just search the ‘#3d gifs’ tag. And if you set out to create a few of your own, don’t forget to drop a link in the comments for us!