I discovered this method for adding depth to images while looking for a better way to sharpen. The technique requires PhotoShop 6.0 or later. I've implemented this as an Action routine in PS. See below for more examples.
Before you download and use this Action, please read:
You are free to use this Action for personal enjoyment and non-commercial purposes. If you are posting images produced by this Action, please give me credit for developing it. Even better, add a link to this web-page, so others can download it. This Action is provided as-is, with no guarantees as to how well it performs. I cannot accept responsibility for any accidental damage that this action can cause to your image, software, computer, or psyche. If you want to use it for commercial gain, please contact me first for permission. Use at your own risk!
Click here to download the Action file
After downloading the 3D.ATN file copy it to the Presets\Photoshop Actions folder under your PhotoShop folder (C:\Program Files\Adobe\PhotoShop 6.0 on my computer).
Open the Actions panel in PhotoShop from Window/Show Actions menu. Click on the top right-arrow menu button and choose Load Actions...
Select 3D.ATN from the file list and click Load. The action will now be available in PhotoShop for this and future sessions, until you choose to delete it.
Ctrl-F12 is the key to activate this action. For the action to work properly, follow these steps:
1. Load your image into PhotoShop. Make sure you have saved a copy of your image!!!
2. The image must be in the RGB format, converted to 8-bits, with no Layers. If any of these are not followed, you'll get error messages or some really weird results. If your image is grayscale, simply convert it to RGB mode before proceeding.
3. Press Ctrl-F12 to start the action. Action will execute automatically on the current image. It will pause at the last step where you'll be presented with a Levels dialog. Make sure that the Preview button is checked. If you like the way the image came out, press OK. Or try adjusting the middle slider for different amount of the 3-D effect.
The following examples were generated from real images you can find on my website using the 3-D Action. Click on the pictures to see it enlarged:
Copyright © 2003 Paul Kanevsky