3D Projection: Still images to 3D

Wouldn’t it be cool to turn a simple photograph into a 3D scene? It can be done. Basically you arrange several white solids in 3D space to resemble the shape of your photographed room. Then using a 3D light you can ‘project’ the image onto the walls with Light Transmission. Now you can use a camera to move around the room.

NOTE: The video below was created from a single image. Only 2 white solids where used, one for the floor and one for the wall. Additional solids can be used to create more walls as needed.

See Example

In the new After Effects CS3 there is a feature that allows you to use PhotoShop to create a similar effect called Vanishing Point. Obviously if someone is standing in the room it messes up the illusion. Ideally you would want to have a simple scene that could be composed using square solids.

I was going to record the tutorial tonight but I’m not feeling so hot, but I will try to have it ready for tuesday (tomorrow) and the Earth Zoom for next week and the meaning of life the week after. Needless to say, this is a trick that everyone should at least know about.

POSTED:
7 years ago
RECENT POSTS
Announcing Element 3D V2!
It has been a little over 2 years since the release of Element 3D V1 and I still remember it quite vividly. I recall staying up all night before the launch, trying to get everything done. I was nervous and excited.  My son Josh had just been born a week earlier and I was working from home at the time. […]
Pixel Screen Experiment!
Here is a fun experiment I created to simulate cool LCD Pixel effects using built-in plug-ins only! It uses the Camera Lens Blur effect along with a depth map to create realistic DOF. Watch Breakdown on Youtube Download Project File (CS6) Sound FX Created with MotionPulse!
One Week!
Element 3D V2 is almost here and we have been holding back on a few cool features!  Be sure to check back on Monday as we reveal several new features! Be sure to Follow us on Twitter for additional updates! Updates from twitter:  New for C4D Users: Element 3D V2 let’s you import most materials and textures […]
Element 3D V2: New Specular Model!
Of the many new features announced with Element 3D V2 (so far), there is one I am particularly excited about and that is the new specular highlight model. The new spec model takes advantage of the new physical shader system and features a natural light falloff  helps create more realistic shaders! You can even get the specular to […]
60 Comments

Very cool way to fake 3D.
oigreS
4 years ago
Hello Andrew!!
Thank you very much!!
All this tuts are so great!!
makes me focus on this amazing software!!
and you are a very good teacher!!
all this information take my head to a new level!!
very good job, and keep going on!!!
big hug form southamerica!!
vineeth sagar
4 years ago
Hi,

I just want to say thankx for the efforts that u put in for providing free tutorials, its really very helpful, i've learnt a lot through your tutorials. Even the plug-ins that u've generated are awesome man. Cool good goin man, keep up the good work,
Joanna
7 years ago
Hello Andrew,
My name is Joanna and I am a student at University of Colorado at Boulder. My majors are art and film, and my interest is in animation. In Experimental Digital Animation class the focus is on compositing and the main tool we use for that is After Effects. My instructor, Chris Pearce, when I described what I wanted to do for my final project recommended your website as the best tool for After Effects tutorials. 3D Projection is the first tutorial on your site that I have seen and I already learned a lot and I am a step closer to realizing my idea for the animated project.

I think you teaching style are both entertaining and clear. I was able to follow your tutorial without much difficulty even through I am still a beginner with After Effects (I have never used camera or lights). I will tell everyone interested in After Effects about your website.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to create those tutorials and even more for generosity in sharing them for free.
Joanna
7 years ago
woth a try. i am abig photography fan. wil try it for sure. lets share more facts
Dave
7 years ago
the one thing i cant get over is that you can spend hours if not days or weeks messing around with a composition trying to get your video right. sometimes you get what you want, other times you completely mess up your video or go mad clicking on all the tools to find you dont get your result, But Andrew, you just whiz through AF with absolutly no worries at all and you are like a master. The one thing I can't get over is your knowledge of script when adding code to the wiggle and stuff, I would never know or understand what i'm typing. And as for the 3d picture, you have just solved a whole lot of problems for me.
Patolinx!
7 years ago
Hi!
As always Andrew, your tutorials are awesome.
Thanks for your time and your wonderful products.

I just bought 10 minutes ago, designer sound!!!!
I got all the collection!

From Chile.

Patricio Veloso
Jon Walker
7 years ago
Have you explored the limitations of this to building 3d scenes with several photographs like a real viz stitcher scenario where you have multiple angles and project them onto 3D planes? I'm sure with AE you'd hit a point of diminishing return where the pull on the processors would be too much and you'd be better off building in something like Cinema 4D. Just curious. Thanks for the cool tut.
Some other guy
7 years ago
Another great tutorial, it got a little complicated at about 10:00. Looking forward for the next one!!
Langalot
7 years ago
Sir Andrew FXalot: I humbly lay my sword at your feet, sir.
7 years ago
Hey that was a sick Tut. Could you have added a mirror edges? Just wondering if cast shawdows would allow that.
SGT Rock
7 years ago
Excellent tutorial Mr. Kramer, perhaps the best 3D yet. Making use of this process will hopefully take my projects to the next level. Many thanks and keep up the great work!!!
Gianni (ITALY)
7 years ago
HI JC buy the “Serious Effects and Compositing” it's wonderful, its tutorials are very useful!!!
JC
7 years ago
Yo man this is the most informational and entertaining video tutorial I have ever watched (I actually laughed out loud). I am seriously gonna get the "Serious Effects and Compositing" Tutorial DVD. Keep going with the tutorials, they rock.
chris
7 years ago
wow, that's incredible. i remember the original matrix was the first movie to ever do that to entire rooms. i always wondered how they did it. thanks for all these amazing tutorials andrew. when i get enough money i'm gonna buy designer sound fx + serious fx and compositing
7 years ago
This is Awesome! I was wondering if you are ever going to do any matchmoving tuts? Is 3d-camera mapping possible in AFX with live footage, or do I still have to use 3ds max? I want to be able to film stacked boxes for example, with the camera moving around them. Then in the middle of the camera pan I want to change one of the boxes and move it around. I have used boujou in the past to matchmove, but I have never been able to find out a perfect method of mapping the box in 3d. Will this tutorial enlighten me, or is it only good for still images. I hope it works because my brain is filled with too much tracking point data. Thanks for the great tuts!!!
jose luis
7 years ago
Tus tutoriales son de lo mejor, la verdad he aprendido muchisimo de ellos y espero que te des una vuelta aca a mexico, no te vas a arrepentir. Sigue asi.Saludos.
Ade from london
7 years ago
Andrew thanks for the tutorials on the 3D room i just did my first 3d room chk it with a graffiti picture i took in my hood i saved it as psd to after effect 7 tell me what u think.
Andrei
7 years ago
what' 42? I don't get it..although I know it will rock ..like any other Andrew Kramer trick ;))
Ezequiel
7 years ago
looking forward to 2 weeks from now!
i always wanted to know what that meaning of life was all about
GrAnD
7 years ago
Very cool! Reproduced using Spot light and Cast Shadows Only on materials. Thanks for the tip!
Jacob Aaron
7 years ago
Yeah Josh I saw that movie lol. Yes Andrew has helped us out alot. Gosh andrew I wouldn't go to anyone elce for help. Thanks a million for your help.
Jasper Wiese
7 years ago
Make a tutorial, now! :D
Josh Dunn
7 years ago
nice effect, i've learned a LOT from your tutorials, can't wait for the Earth Zoom tutorial as i used Google Earth (just like everyone else without any other ideas) and the 3d room with a still, that's awesome, i'll have to think of something to use that for defiantly....

oh! and as far as the week there after for the tutorial on the meaning of life, well that's an easy one... it's 42!! (read "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" for those who don't get it...)
Vali
7 years ago
yea, indeed a great effect, this could help me alot, because i work as a cg artist, and i have alot of architectual vizualizations projects, and this could realy save me some render time,i`m just curious about the limitations, can`t w8 for your tutorial, good luck
7 years ago
I've seen this done a number of ways, I'm interested to see how you are planning on achieving it. Can't wait to see it.
Jacob Aaron
7 years ago
Hehe, funny. I can imagine that it would be hard.
7 years ago
This effect will work with AE 6.5 and 7 and CS3. I knew how to do it in 3D max and yes it was a bit complex. Translating was the hard part. Them come to find out a guy named Stu Maschwitz and some other have successfully implemented this. Now as for the automated program, yeah I saw that very cool. But I doubt it can be imported in AE for all of us to have fun with. Well now that it is all built up I'd better not let you guys down. Probably not a good time to tell you that it was a hoax! Just kidding.
Helge
7 years ago
Can't wait for the earth tutorial, but i already know the meaning of life. Its 42! :)
Gonads
7 years ago
Thats a pretty cool trick. Only thing I can't get CS3 till I've got a new computer =[
im pretty excited for you meaning of life tutorial....its gonna be amazin
Jacob Aaron
7 years ago
Wow thats awsome! Cant wait to see it. Hope you feal better.
Alexander Jansen
7 years ago
Sweeeeeet
7 years ago
Its nice that you are making the tutorial, but I missed the point, havent you been posting tutorials about making 3d walls for a wile now? I can name at least 3.

Someone please explain it to me
Andrei
7 years ago
i'm waiting for the tutorial too. I've been trying this a couple of times but I just can't get the effect right with only one image..
7 years ago
WOW!! Thanks so much for doing this blog, it's really inspired me lately !
7 years ago
Ah yes, very anxious I am for this tutorial. Unfortunately though, I'm on 6.5. is this going to work? Please God tell me it will. I've been looking for a solid tutorial for this kind of thing for a while.

Bones
Jim W.
7 years ago
Andrew, how is it a single image yet the floor doesn't distort out when stretched/projected across the horizontal plane?

If you've got a solid for a floor plane, and the still is the only image used, was the original image actually larger than the final result allowing for more 3D image coverage? Or maybe the source image was a high enough res to allow you to scale the floor and wall separately?

Let me know if I'm not being clear (which I think I'm not).

Thanks,

Jim W.
Mad MNovie Maker
7 years ago
That's hot! you are a genius!
Livedraz
7 years ago
You can find the same thing here on youtube :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuoljANz4EA

What to you think about it Andrew ?
It's "completely automatically" ...

I find some information here :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuoljANz4EA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuoljANz4EA
jim
7 years ago
ah the age old 3d photo move , some have tried to teach it and come up with boring half ass ways , but i am sure yours is gonna rock .
tusday morning rss locked and loaded
Johnny Handsome
7 years ago
Does it only work in cs3 or 7.0 aswell?
Gianni (ITALY)
7 years ago
Hi Andrew, but the tutorial will be for CS3 only? I'm studing your SOUND FX...it's very wonderful!!!!

Cheers,
GIanni
Jeroen
7 years ago
Nice to know are the properties of a picture where you can find the focal length which the camera used. Use the same length in your AE Project and it's locked.
Sandy
7 years ago
Awesome Andrew!!!!

u r superb everytime, Can't wait for the tutorial.
Thanx & keep it going

Warm Regards
Sandy
Spence
7 years ago
I've seen this effect done in Lightwave and Maya, but didn't think it was possible to do in After Effects! Sweet! That'll save a lot of time!
thanks.
bouncy
7 years ago
btw, tunslike, i also am interesting in that effect you are talking about, but i dunno how to do it :D. But i think that something close is when you decrease the video saturation to Zero and add an effect called effect/stylize/find edges. looks like a sketch although not very cool though
bouncy
7 years ago
Thats awesome indeed. Cant wait for that tutorial too :D !!!
pardon me for this enquries, how can you turn a video into a hand draw effect, something like a pencil draw effect, i guess am the only one that like the effect, but i tried figuring it out but its kind of complicating, i tried using scribble, but its not that realistic, please give a tip, i tried following Mark Val tutorials on 3D toon on paper at creative cow.net but its kind of complicating, pls help out...




tunslike
yeah, yeah, i know folks are going to discriminate 3d max for camera mapping and projection maybe cuss its complex? well whatever , its CS3 new features, thnks to Andrew for his discovery, however after effects is trying to gain more of most 3D program's functionality, its great though.... i cant wait for the tutorial, come on andrew, make your self feel real hot to creat the tutorial and remember adding your humors, i bet its going to be great huh? i guess this trick is going to have few limitation, let ask andrew?

tunslike
Andrei
7 years ago
Yeah, cool feature, thanks Andrew..and like Ferdi said, no need for 3d max ;))
7 years ago
You are a genious :D Im really looking forward to it! :D
Tim
7 years ago
great, although I already know how to create those "3d" effects, but good idea to show how this is possible! Great Work, Andrew. Keep it up.
7 years ago
Awesome just awesome
Alan
7 years ago
Indeed, you are powerfull. As the Emprorer has foreseen, er, I mean... This is indeed a powerful technique. Here's hoping it's not a CS3 only piece oif functionality.
7 years ago
Wow, thanks for the tip, Andrew! This can save a lot of time for simple projects instead of using Max.
GeeNee
7 years ago
DUDE!
Thats a still?!?!?!?!
Harry McHugh
7 years ago
Thats pretty neat
7 years ago
Oooh I like. I too have seen the vanishing point feature in CS3 shown, and that looks quite nifty.

I was wondering, what you use to create some of the more musical sounds in DSFX. I seem to hear a bit of Fruity Loops synth in there.
7 years ago
wow...thats awesome!
Tutorials
149. Solar Atmosphere
Create a powerful sun effect in After Effects
152. Sci-Fi Weapon FX
Create a variety of futuristic weapon FX
Plugins
Stock Footage