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.
Facebook is rolling out a feature today which will allow users to post photos with a 3D effect to their feed — essentially photos that show your subject in richer detail. Despite the name , the photos wont be truly 3D, per se. You wont be able to spin a photo of your dog around to view her from every adorable angle, for example. But the photos will have depth that lets you see things from different angles and tilts within the photo. Facebook describes it as being kind of like looking at your photography subject if they were standing still behind a window. Those sweet cool gadgets? It wont be possible for just anyone to take these kinds of photos. For starters, youll need phone with dual cameras. Facebook gives, as an example, all iPhones which have a Portrait mode. After you take the photo, Facebook uses AI to create the rest of the image based on what the cameras have taken — basically painting in the parts of the picture the camera doesnt show. Facebook gives a brief tutorial explaining how to take the best 3D shots, which basically amounts to dont stand too close and use a subject with interesting color and texture (thanks, Facebook, thats not at all what I try to do with every picture Ive ever taken). The photos can also be viewed within the browser of an Oculus headset, but its cool you dont need one for the 3D effect. 3D photos are rolling out for everyone to view today, and the ability to upload one is rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks.
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 is rolling out a 3D photo feature that adds depth to photos in your News Feed (or your VR headset.) All users will be able to see 3D photos in their feeds starting today. The option to create them is expanding a little more slowly, over a process of a few weeks. And in order to use it, youll need an iPhone with dual cameras — a feature thats been available since the iPhone 7, although its not present in the new, lower-end iPhone XR. A number of other flagship phones feature dual cameras, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and LG V35 ThinQ, but Facebook says it will be adding support for more devices in the future. The 3D photo feature was announced in May, and its relatively straightforward: you select a picture, and Facebook turns it into a pseudo-3D image that changes perspective slightly when you scroll or tilt your phone. TechCrunch explained how the technology works in more detail earlier this year; basically, it draws from the depth map thats automatically created by dual-camera phones, then adds some custom software tweaks that create a more realistic image. The vast majority of people will see these photos on other phones, but you can also view them on the Oculus Go VR headsets web browser, or Firefox on the Oculus Rift. Facebook isnt inventing a new idea here — this kind of perspective-shifting has been around for years on phones — but its making the process intuitive and the results very easy to share. Its also adding yet another little feature that blurs the line between normal Facebook posts and immersive experiences like virtual or augmented reality. And its doing so in a way thats relatively non-controversial, at least compared to the giant home videophone it unveiled earlier this week. Update 3:30PM ET: Facebook has specified that only iPhones with dual cameras are supported for now, not all dual-camera phones.
Leveraging the extra depth data found in certain recent iPhone photographs, Facebook today announced the rollout of 3D Photos: images that look flat at first, but can be examined from different angles either through Facebook itself, or using Oculus VR headsets. The basic premise of a 3D Photo is that the dual cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, X, and XS model can capture depth data in addition to the flat image — data that has generally been used solely to create blurred backgrounds in portrait mode. However, software can use that data to understand some of the scenes three-dimensional characteristics, then simulate them in an image you can move around with your finger or a cursor. Simulation is the key word here. iPhone apps have offered similar functionality since before Apple started to include depth-sensing cameras on its devices, and the results ranged from somewhat interesting to ghoulish; imagine a person appearing to bulge out of a flat surface as if their skin were attached to the wall. But with newer cameras and better depth data, Facebooks results can look pretty believable. The company suggests composing images with multiple layers, colors, and textures to achieve the best results. Youll need one of these listed iPhones to create a 3D Photo; doing so is just a matter of creating a Facebook post; tapping on the three dots (a new addition) to bring up a list of post options; selecting 3D Photo; and picking an image from your Portraits album. Once posted, the image will be viewable by any Facebook user, as well as in VR through the Oculus Browser on Oculus Go or Firefox on the Oculus Rift. The viewing feature is rolling out to users today, and the creation feature will start with some users today, becoming available to everyone in the coming weeks, so it may or may not be available when you go to use the app. A tutorial video is available here.