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Facebook rolls out 3D photos that use AI to simulate depth


What if you could peek behind whats in your photos, like youre moving your head to see whats inside a window? Thats the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos. After announcing the feature at F8 in May, Facebook is now rolling out 3D photos to add make-believe depth to your iPhone portrait mode shots.  Shoot one, tap the new 3D photos option in the status update composer, select a portrait mode photo and users on the desktop or mobile News Feed as well as in VR through Oculus Gos browser or Firefox on Oculus Rift can tap/click and drag or move their head to see the photos depth. Everyone can now view 3D photos and the ability to create them will open to everyone in the coming weeks. Facebook is constantly in search of ways to keep the News Feed interesting. What started with text and photos eventually expanded into videos and live broadcasts, and now to 360 photos and 3D photos. Facebook hopes if its the exclusive social media home for these new kinds of content, youll come back to explore and rack up some ad views in the meantime. Sometimes that means embracing mind-bending new formats like VR memories that recreate a scene in digital pointillism based on a photo. So how exactly do 3D photos work? Our writer Devin Coldewey did a deep-dive earlier this year into how Facebook uses AI to stitch together real layers of the photo with what it infers should be there if you tilted your perspective. Since portrait mode fires off both of a phones cameras simultaneously, parallax differences can be used to recreate whats behind the subject. How Facebooks new 3D photos workTo create the best 3D photos with your iPhone 7+, 8+, X or XS (more phones will work with the feature in the future), Facebook recommends you keep your subject three to four feet away, and have things in the foreground and background. Distinct colors will make the layers separate better, and transparent or shiny objects like glass or plastic can throw off the AI. Originally, the idea was to democratize the creation of VR content. But with headset penetration still relatively low, its the ability to display depth in the News Feed that will have the greatest impact for Facebook. In an era where Facebooks cool is waning, hosting next-generation art forms could make it a must-visit property even as more of our socializing moves to Instagram.

Facebook's 3D photos are here


It turns portrait mode photos into 3D images. In May during its F8 conference, Facebook announced that it was working on a feature that would take a typical 2D picture and make it appear three-dimensional when posted in the News Feed. Now, it's beginning to roll out 3D photos to everyone, allowing users to "bring scenes to life with depth and movement. " All you have to do is take a photo in portrait mode and then start creating a new post on Facebook. Tap the menu icon in the top right of the post screen and select "3D Photo," and that will bring you to the portrait photo folder in your phone. Once you select the photo you want, just post it as you usually would, adding a caption and sharing it to your feed. You can see what 3D photos look like in the video above and you'll be able to view them in the News Feed as well as in VR with Oculus Go or Oculus Rift. Facebook suggests using photos with multiple layers of depth, subjects that have contrasting colors to their backgrounds and subjects that have solid edges and texture. That way, your subject will stand out more distinctly from its background, allowing for a more 3D look. The ability to create 3D photos is rolling out now and it should reach everyone in the coming weeks. But everyone will be able to view 3D photos starting today.