I’ve seen some other people do it, so I want to do it too; how can I post “3D” photos on Facebook from my iPhone? I have an iPhone X, if that makes a difference.
I’m not sure that the photo rendering and display system on Facebook quite counts as full 3D when compared to the experience you’d have with an Oculus Quest on your head, but it is pretty cool nonetheless. What’s most amazing about how they’re doing 3D at this point, however, is that all the real work is happening on your smartphone. What you need is a phone that supports “portrait” as a specific mode when you take a photo, because it’s actually using both cameras on the phone to add what’s known as “bokeh”. On the phone it’s intended to blur the background, but that same set of data can be used to produce a virtual 3D image.
For the most part, 3D imagery is only supported on Facebook from the Apple iPhone, but there are some changes in the works that will be adding support for limited Android devices too. You can fake it too, as explained by Omnivert, but that’s a lotta work compared to just having the right device in the first place. Good news? Your Apple iPhone X is very much ready to go!
The first step is one that almost every online tutorial skips, to the massive frustration of users: You need to find and like the “Facebook 360” group on Facebook. Without that step, you just aren’t allowed to do anything with 3D photography. Weird, I know. But search and find:
See that “Like” thumbs up? Tap on it to ensure you’ve liked the group (and it’s no wonder that it has 2.1 million likes if you’re forced to like it so you can proceed with 3D photography!).
Now the rest is actually pretty easy. Basically you’ll take photos in “Portrait” mode on your iPhone, then upload them as “3D Photographs” within the Facebook for Mobile app.
I’ll use a flower for this demo:
Portrait photographs come out best with a central element and a distant background, if you can set that up. This’ll work fine, and pay close attention that it’s PORTRAIT mode I’m using, not PHOTO or any of the many other camera modes on the iPhone.
Take the photo, then switch to Facebook on your iPhone…
Before you get too enthused, you don’t want to tap on “Photo” to share it as a new status because you have to choose “3D Photo” beforehand. That’s done by tapping on the words “What’s on your mind?“, which opens up a full-screen status entry that includes a bunch of options, including… ta daaa!… 3d Photo:
Since I just added it, Facebook’s showing it as the top option, but later it might well be lower down on the list.
From this point, tap on “3D Photo” and it’ll show you a gallery of your Portrait photos on the iPhone:
It is possible that I take a lot of portrait photos of my daughter. Maybe. 🙂
More importantly, you can see the photo that we just took of the flower, so I’ll choose that one with a tap.
Facebook Mobile then renders the 3D image from the photo data present – which takes 10-15 seconds – then presents you with the opportunity to add text, tag, emoji, and all the usual status update elements:
I’ve already added some basic text and that’s good to go! A tap on “Post” in the top right and I’ve got a 3D flower on Facebook!
Of course, it’s much more effective if you see it real while on Facebook, so tap or click on the above to jump over to my original Facebook post where the full 3D effect is available. Cool eh? And now ya know how to do ’em yourself too. So let’s see what you’ve got with the 3D photos on Facebook!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about how to get things done on Facebook for years. Please check out my extensive Facebook help area while you’re here on the site. Thanks!