Facebook’s 3D Photos Arrive On Your News Feed And In VR

Facebook uses iPhone’s AI depth-sensor to a new layer of realism to your photos.

Originally announced during the 2018 F8 developer conference back in May, Facebook’s 3D Photos feature is now officially available on your News Feed and in VR.

By utilizing the 3D depth maps stored with portrait photos taken recent dual-lens iPhone models, 3D Photos is able to differentiate the distance between subjects in the foreground, from the background surroundings. This creates a realistic 3D effect as you use your finger to scroll, tilt, and pan your image in any direction, delivering an effect similar to looking out of a window. For even more realism, users can view 3D images in VR on the Oculus Go using the Oculus Browser, or on the Oculus Rift with Firefox.

Those with a dual-lens iPhone’s, such as the iPhone 7+, 8+, X or XS, are now free to create and share their own 3D photos using the smartphones “Portrait” mode. You can even convert pre-existing photos taken in Portrait mode into full-functional 3D Photos after-the-fact, although there will be some noticeable drawbacks.

For instance, moving too far in any direction will eventually reveal a blur behind the subject. This is because the dual-lens camera is unable to capture the environment behind the subject, creating a blur effect to compensate for the imagery that’s absent. 

For the very best 3D images, Facebook has a few recommendations. Creating distinct layers for the AI to recognize is crucial for a captivating 3D Photo. Try and remain three to four feet from your subject, and do your best to include multiple layers of depth. Use environments rich with objects and scenery in both the foreground and background to help extenuate distance.

Color and texture are also crucial. Try dressing your subject in colors that directly contrast the environment, such as a red shirt in front of a blue wall. It’s best to avoid any materials that may come off as shiny or translucent, as this can often affect the accuracy of the smartphones depth sensors.

All users are free to view 3D Photos in VR or their New Feed today, with the ability to create your own images rolling out to everyone throughout the coming weeks.

Image Credit: Facebook

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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