Today we are going to talk about 2.5D Parallax Photo Effect. What is it? How to create it? When can it be used and what are the advantages? And I will also show several examples I created in the recent months. So, let’s begin.
What Is 2.5D Parallax Photo Effect?
Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. The term is derived from Ancient Greek παράλλαξις (parallaxis), meaning ‘alternation.’ Due to foreshortening, nearby objects show a larger parallax than farther objects when observed from different positions, so parallax can be used to determine distances.
To measure vast distances, such as the distance of a planet or a star from Earth, astronomers use the principle of parallax. Here, the term parallax is the semi-angle of inclination between two sight-lines to the star, as observed when Earth is on opposite sides of the Sun in its orbit.
Parallax also affects optical instruments such as rifle scopes, binoculars, microscopes, and twin-lens reflex cameras that view objects from slightly different angles. Many animals, including humans, have two eyes with overlapping visual fields that use parallax to gain depth perception; this process is known as stereopsis.
2.5D Parallax Photo Effect is a pseudo-3D effect. Meaning we are using regular photos to simulate 3D footage. In other words, we are animating pictures, making them come to life.
After the theoretical explanation, an example will clear thing up. Here is an example I created after a recent visit to the Negev desert:
How To Create 2.5D Parallax Photo Effect?
The most common way of animating a photo is using photoshop. But this is not the only way. There are also apps, like ‘Parallax It!’ and others.
Here is a youtube tutorial by Spoon Graphics is using Photoshop:
Note: if you want to create something similar to the tutorial then consider taking two photos. Both photos will have the same scene, but only at one of them, there will be a person. The second photo, without the person, will be handy in cases when the background after the person is not repetitive. There will be no need to clone stamp it. You can quickly take it from the second photo.
When Can It Be Used And What Are The Advantages
One of the possible usages is animating old photos. For example, you have an old picture or even a historical one, and you do not have footage, i.e., video. You can create 2.5D Parallax and insert the animated photos into the final movie.
Another scenario is when during the shooting you do not have enough time to make both the photo and the video. For example, you are on a family vacation with your kids.
Since not many people are familiar with 2.5D Parallax effect, it remains unique and can spice things up. Not necessarily as a part of a movie, but also as a standalone on social networks. In my case, they performed pretty well on Instagram.
In my case, the motivation for creating this effect was different. First of all, I love learning new things and trying them out. Secondly, I am bummed about video on DSLR. I have a full frame Nikon DSLR, and it can be used to produce excellent photographs. But, when it comes to video, it is, if I put delicately, horrible. Do not let me get started with autofocus issues. But even something more basic like the 4K video recording. I said “basic” not because it is easy to implement, but because most smartphones today can record 4K, while most DSLR can’t. My smartphone which is much cheaper than my DSLR can record 4K. Thus, 2.5D Parallax is an attempt to use my DSLR’s strength (phono) in its weak area (video). And this is not my first attempt. If you take a look at Personal Projects category, then you will see different techniques for creating videos from stills, like Time-lapse videos, Hyperlapse, Stop Motion and Cinemagraphs.
In this section, I will show several additional examples of 2.5D Parallax. Here is an example from Ramat Gan Safari:
And this is from Arbel Nature Reserve:
Red Canyon near Eilat:
In this example, I played with puppet pin tool. And as we zoom in, Nile crocodile’s eye gets smaller.
And lastly, you can create short video clips from photos in many different ways. Here is an example of diver appearance.
2.5D Parallax photo effect is one of those tools that you will not be using too frequently. But, it has its place, and it is worth knowing it.
Have you ever created 2.5D Parallax? Where and how did you use it? Tell us in the comments below.