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PSD 3D Converter

Purpose of the program

Requirements to computer and system

Image size limitation

Program usage

PSD file preparation in Adobe Photoshop

Command line processing for PSD 3D Converter and PhotoProjector


Purpose of the program

The program is intended for 2D to 3D conversion. The program converts a multilayered PSD file to several stereo viewpoints, that are used for lenticular image creating. Take any layered Photoshop file to generate any number of views. Besides every layer can contain a depth map in layer mask:

Layers and depth maps in layer mask (layer mask can be absent)

We set the parallaxes (or shifts) for every layer, and the degree of depth map warping also (if depth map exists). Layer without depth map is shifted, layer with depth map is shifted and warped.

PSD files are prepared in Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Photoshop Elements, or Adobe Image Ready, where the layers are cut-out and the depth maps are drawn. PSD 3D Converter program process the ready PSD file to produce a 3D sequential series of images. Input image is PSD file in Greyscale, RGB, CMYK colour mode, output images - TIFF files in colour mode of input image, exept RGB. You can choose RGBA (RGB Alpha channel) option, and programm generates RGBA instead RGB (RGB with alpha channel, alpha channel is transparent). Besides you can save lenticular views as multilayered PSD file.

PSD 3D Converter is stand-alone program, does not require Photoshop installation.


Requirements to computer and system

Windows NT4/2000/XP/Vista/7.

2 GB RAM for the 32-bit version of the program, 4 GB RAM for the 64-bit version of the program.


Image size limitation

For the 32-bit version of the program the PSD file size limitation is 150-200 MB, for the 64-bit version of the program the image size PSD file limitation is 350-400 MB.


Program usage

Program Interface

Load a PSD file in Greyscale, RGB or CMYK colour mode.

Load file... - to load PSD file.

Unload - to unload PSD file.

Reload - to reload PSD file and settings.

At loading the table is filled:

At unchecked Preview we use the slide bar to list the PSD layers, at checked Preview we use the slide bar to list the 3D frames. You can see Show image button - it's for the layer image show, Show depth - it's to see the depth map (if the depth map is absent, you can see nothing). It work only at unchecked Preview button. Check Preview and generate the views in miniature.

Menu File contains the standart commands:

Save/Load settings (without PSD file path) saves/loads all the settings wihout PSD file. The settings are loded after PSD file loading. At first you load PSD file, then you load the necessary settings.

Project file has .p3d extensin. Settings file has .sp3d extension.

Menu Settings contains the three groups of settings:

Settings for saving:

Save as multilayered PSD is to save the views as multilayered PSD file.

Preview settings:

Anaglyph preview can only be viewed in 3D using 3D red/cyan glasses! Frame shift for anaglyph show determines the shift between frames what combine into stereo pairs. For example, Frame shift = 3 and stereo pairs are first and fourth frames, second and fifth frames etc.
Grid is used for some measuring.

Crop settings:

Cropping lines are to crop image. Shift the crop lines to remove the empty edges. We can fixed the proportion of crop lines. Choose Settings -> Crop settings, check-on Crop proportionally and enter the image propotion:

Uncheck and check the Preview to see the changing.

100% shift in pixels is absolut parallax (or shift)/ Default value is 1/6 of width of image in pixels. Enlarge this value to enlarge the all shifts and depth map warping.

Number of veiws is number of 3D frames. This number depends on print resolution and lenticular pitch:

(Number of veiws) = 2*(Print resolution, dpi) / (Lenticular pitch, lpi)

Shooting mode: (parallel, convergence) is method of 3D shooting. Parallel 3D shooting:

or shooting with camera rotation (convergence 3D shooting):

At convergence 3D shooting the parallel lines come together at infinity. For example, convergence 3D frames of Strasburg Cathedral Door:

Convergense 3D shooting requires two parameters. Click Option...:

Set all parameters and click Preview to see the small 3D frame set. Move the slide bar to see all frames. Choose Settings -> Preview settins -> Anaglyph preview to see the anaglyph images with Red-Cyan 3D glasses (Red is for left eye). So, we can test the 3D effect.

Click Generate to make the final 3D frame set. Enter the name of sequence (name01.tif, name02.tif, name03.tif ...).


PSD file preparation in Adobe Photoshop

At first, we create the layered PSD file and depth maps. The main work of 3D designer in Photoshop - cut the fragments out one or several photos, combine to layered PSD file, draw the depth map for some layers. Upper layer contains the nearest fragment, the background - remotest.

All layers must be bitmapped. For the vector text - Layer->Rasterize->Type. For the transparency layer mask - Apply (select the layer mask, click the right mouse button and choose Apply Layer Mask) (We use the layer mask as depth map, but transparency map). For layer style - Create layer (select the layer filter, click the right mouse button and choose Create layer). Rasterize all layers.

We can use the cut-out layers to create the 3D frame set. But better to draw the depth maps and create the more natural and various 3D effects. How draw the depth maps? Here you can find some methods of depth map making:


It's very simple. Some images are depth maps for itself. Only desaturate it, sometimes make a inversion.

Gradient Tool

Make a layer mask

Pait it with black colour

Layer mask is transparency mask in Photoshop. Click the right mouse button and choose Desable Layer Mask.

Select the butterfly wing using, for example, Lasso Tool. Draw attention, the selection is some more the wing size. Don't select precisely to the wing form, otherwise the edge can be blured and disfigured (especial with anti-aliasing option for selection).

Attention, attention, attention!!!

Click Alt and the layer mask simultaneously to edit the layer mask. Don't forget - Alt key!

So, paint the wing using the Gradient Tool. Draw attention, Gradient Tool has a different form, we can use it for different depth map drawing. In this case, we use only linear gradient.

Repeat for the left wing. Depth map is ready!

We use a butterfly as a sample. Of course, other images require other methods of depth map drawing. Improvise!

Gaussian Blur filter

Make the layer mask. Select the invisible area with Magic Wand Tool.

Click Alt and the layer mask simultaneously to edit the layer mask. Don't forget - Alt key!

Paint the area with black colour.


So, we choose the Gaussian Blur filter.

Choose the radius of bluring. And mask is ready!

It's simple, very, very simple and suitable for many objects with different form. For concave form, make the inversion.

One way to draw the depth map manually

Depth map drawing for is not very easy for complicated objects. It require some experience and skill. One way is selection of deep layer, greyscale painting and bluring with Gaussian Blur filter:

Select the fragments with different deeps, make a new layers, paint the grey colours. Background is black, next layer is dark grey, next layers are lighter, than previous layer. Upper layer is white.

Now use the Gaussian Blur filter. Finally, flatten all layers to single layer, copy and paste into a layer mask.


Command line processing for PSD 3D Converter and PhotoProjector

The program has full automatically processing from the PSD file to the interlaced image print.