Each iPhone update seems to make the camera better and better. The result is that iPhones can take truly incredible pictures. Why not use that wonderful iPhone camera to take 3D photos?
3D photos allow you to look at an image from multiple angles. They show an object or person closer to how they look in real life.
There are several apps that can create these multi-dimensional pictures—even ones you might already have. We’ve made a list of some of our favorites ways to take 3D iPhone photos below.
We’ve covered how the Facebook app can create 3D photos before. It’s a very simple and free process and you quite probably already have the app downloaded to do this with.
To create a 3D photo in the Facebook iPhone app, head to the top of the screen and tap on Photo below the What’s on your mind? status update area.
Take a picture by tapping the camera icon in the top right and then tap Next at the bottom right part of your screen. Or select a photo from your photo library and tap Done in the top right.
Tap the Make 3D button in the photo window. The app will render the image in a few seconds and you’ll be able to move your phone around to preview the 3D effect.
For the best results, make sure the main focus of your image has a little bit of distance from the background. If the focus is close to the background, the 3D effect may show the ghost of your focus or warp things slightly as you move around.
Also, try to make sure your background and foreground colors aren’t too similar. If they are similar you’ll also see issues.
If you’re not satisfied with the rendering on your image tap Remove 3D or the X in the photo window. To select or take a new image, hit the green camera roll icon above your keyboard and follow the steps above.
If you like your 3D image, go ahead and type something for your status and hit Post.
Unfortunately, you can’t save your new 3D photo to your phone or save it in its 3D form on your computer—it’ll just come out as a 2D file. But you’ll be able to see and appreciate the effect on Facebook’s app and website. So at least it’ll be 3D somewhere.
Download: Facebook for iOS (Free)
Like with Facebook, the Snapchat iPhone app can turn pictures you take into 3D effects. It’s a free service on the free app so it’s a very accessible way to make 3D photos.
Unlike with Facebook, the Snapchat app can only take 3D photos with the iPhone’s front-facing camera. So the camera will have to be facing you, or you may not be able to see what you’re taking a photo of.
You also can’t make photos you’ve already taken 3D with the Snapchat app. You have to take the picture with the Snapchat camera for the effect to work. The 3D effect also works best on a human face rather than an object or animal.
The trade off is that the photos don’t usually have warping issues and you get a higher quality picture. We can perhaps thank Snapchat’s AR functionality for that.
To take a 3D photo with Snapchat, open the iPhone app and tap on the downward-facing arrow in the menu on the right side of the screen.
The icons there should now have names beside them. Tap on the icon labeled 3D.
The 3D icon will be selected. Go ahead and take your picture now by hitting the middle of the ring at the bottom of your screen.
Snapchat will render for a few seconds, and you’ll then be able to move your phone around to see the 3D effects. If you swipe right on your screen you’ll start seeing 3D filters you can use along with your picture.
To save your picture, tap the download icon at the bottom left of your screen. You can save it to your Snapchat memories to save space on your iPhone or save it to your camera roll as well. You can then hit the X at the top left to exit this menu.
Note that saving to your camera roll won’t immediately send the 3D photo to the Photos app. To fully export the 3D photo, tap on the Memories icon to the left of the camera ring towards the bottom of your Snapchat screen. It looks like two overlapping rectangles.
Tap on your 3D photo under Snaps or Camera Roll. Your 3D photo will move on a loop. Tap the three dots on top of each other at the top right, and tap Export Video or Export Snap.
From here tap Save Video or Download from the menu that appears. Your 3D photo will save to your iPhone as a video, which you’ll be able to look at or share at your leisure!
Download: Snapchat for iOS (Free)
Facebook and Snapchat 3D photos are fun and free features on social media apps. Whereas PopPic is exclusively a 3D photo app.
This means all the photos you take with it are 3D. And after you hit the shutter button or open a picture from your library you get a lot more options for editing the photos in the app than you do with the apps we already mentioned.
Sadly, the 3D photos aren’t necessarily of better quality coming out of PopPic. In our testing of the app we found we still got a bit of warping around our central figure as we explored the 3D effect.
But the app offers a considerable number of effects to use with your 3D photos and you can adjust the aperture and focal point after you’ve taken the picture, meaning you can blur the background a little to reduce the warp or change what the photo is rotating around.
The 3D effects in PopPic are a lot easier to navigate and apply than the Snapchat ones. And it’s easier to share your 3D photos with other social media platforms as well.
Just tap Share on a picture you’ve taken or on a picture in your PopPic library. From here you can share or save it as a 2D Image and send it straight to your favorite platforms or to your Photos app.
You can do about the same by saving the 3D photo as a Video—you can more easily share to Instagram by tapping this option or you can save it right to your iPhone with the Save button.