You can use Photoshop to create a whole range of interesting effects in just a few simple steps. In this ‘essentials’ Photoshop tutorial, I’m going to teach you how to create a fun 3D effect on your images. This tutorial is suitable for complete beginners, and shouldn’t take you longer than five minutes.

3D image effects are really fun to play around with. However, a quick note before you start: you need to carefully chose the image you use for this tutorial to ensure the 3D effect compliments the photo. For example, take a look at what happens when you apply the 3D effect to an image like this one:

Although very striking, the 3D effect is almost overwhelming: in this tutorial, we’re looking for something a little more toned down. 

However, pick the right image and you could end up with something like this:

We think this looks great: you can almost see the rocks flying right off the screen. The best way to get started with this effect is just to spend some time playing around with it until you get the look you’re after. Now’s your chance to have some fun!

#1 Start by duplicating the background: you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + J. You’ll need to create two layers of your image before you get started; rename the duplicate ‘red’ so that you can easily tell which layer is which.

#2 Right click on the red layer then select ‘blending options’. Un-tick the red and blue channels here, then press apply.

#3 Next, select the other layer and rename it ‘cyan’.

#4 Right click this layer and head to blending options again. Un-tick the red channel and make sure green and blue are selected, then press apply.

#5 Next select the red layer using the move tool and move this layer to the right using the arrow key. Press the key 10 times to get it in the right place.

#6 Press CTRL + D to deselect. Then select the cyan layer using the move tool, and click the left arrow key 10 times.

#7 Once you’re finished, hide the background!

Once you’ve finished, you’ll have your very own 3D image ready to use however you like. If you get stuck with any part of the process, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to talk you though it. This tutorial will work with any version of Photoshop.

Feel free to share your results with us – and as always, if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share.