The 2.5D Effect: How To Make a Parallax Image

There is something magical about having your 2D photos seem like they're actually 3D. It brings them to life in a way none other method can. The depth, the complexity and the subtle movements give your regular 2D photos more meaning and context, and it makes the viewer focus on the image much more than normal. Joe Fellows is a master of the 2.5D (Parallax) Effect and in this short video he shows you everything you need to know to make this effect yourself on your own images.

Below is an incredible video made by 'Make Productions' for WWF with archival photographs using the parallax technique. Just think how great it can look with your own photos.

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Noam Galai's picture

Noam Galai is a Senior Fstoppers Staff Writer and NYC Celebrity / Entertainment photographer. Noam's work appears on publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, People Magazine, Vogue and Us Weekly on a daily basis.

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This is freaking amazing. After that Van Dam video I have got to go to bed. I can't take any more awesome tonight

how did he make the ping-pong balls spin?? You can see the seams rotating around the ball… Does anybody know how he did this?

I guess a good magician never gives away his tricks... :)

Wow. Very impressive.
One note though : if you have the luxury to shoot the background alone, you should do so :D

I was thinking the same thing. If you are planning on doing this effect and don't have any footage shot, shoot in front of a green screen. It would be far less time consuming. But like he said if all you have is archival footage then this is a very good way to bring photos to life.

Yea, this was my first thought when I saw him in photoshop cloning the background. he would have saved at least 30 min in photoshop alone just by taking a single shot.

Although we should give props to him for going the hard way, so that we could apply this method to any picture. Very pedagogical.

hehe exactly what came to my mind too.

BAAAM! love it!

Really cool!!!

Very nice technique! I am so going to try it out as well! Coolios! =)

Thanks for this. Amazing!

Shameless self promotion, but I did the exact effect earlier this summer for a music video. There are like 5 or so scenes that involve this technique. Check at the 2:05 mark to see one:

It's a great tool to have in your belt, the effect looks totally awesome! And yes, that wwf video is bonkers cool!

very cool!

thats what i'm talking about!!! COOL!

I had to do this for a credit union commercial. Remember to set your comps up in respect to the photos. Horizontal shots are best, if you do a vertical shot you may have to extend the back ground plate so when the camera is at longest position it's not being clipped.

Another great tool is the camera projection mapping in AE which allows just dup the image so you can get a 3d perspective like in a alley way or room. That allows for you to rotate the camera as well and not just stay in z axis. You can also importing a prospective file from photoshop to map out a back ground plate box.

I really wish I understood the second paragraph :^(

Here, Andrew does a great tutorial on it. check it out to know what I mean. It will give you more control over the scene.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

just did one in Photoshop with animation/timeline...rough edit clip on a youtube link below...oh btw.. not my pic....not my pic!!!!!

belongs to...

..damn, i'd hate to be accused of stealing a photograph.... just googled an image and applied the effect to.....

Came out great!

nice, like the music chose for it too...

Castellorizon by David Gilmour :)

Of course he had to use a little Video Copilot in there. Awesomeness!!

1. I comment so late in the string... but... freaking indeed.

2. I'm thankful some people (other than me) were born with such a personality that loves the pen tool so I can savor the results.

Well, Mine came out rather awesome..Psychedelic apples!

more here-

This wedding photographer inspired me to learn this last year:

love this, so in order to do this i will need after effects? can this be imported to adobe edge animate as well?

great tutorial, but why is the audio such crap? VICE is typically pretty great with their videos ...

thank you so much! this has been so helpful and educational!!! Is there a way to have a text document of exactly the options you clicked? I'm not very savvy on AE so it would really help!