Your Guide to Using Facebook's 3D Photo Feature For Pet Pictures

Everything you need to know about 3D Photos on Facebook
credit: Facebook

Facebook, the website your uncle uses to test new conspiracy theories before sharing them at Thanksgiving and where you keep getting "pokes" from a woman you met a party 4 years ago, has introduced a new feature to its newsfeed — and this one is actually pretty cool.

First announced at a developer's conference in May, so-called "3D photos" starting rolling out on the social media platform earlier this month.

And pet lovers in particular will love the effect, which adds depth and an immersive wow-factor to pics when moused, scrolled, or tilted over.

"Take, for example, these shots of Olly and Buddy, which come to us from Sara Stuart, a Social Media Manager with a national pet retailer (and, full disclosure, former Cuteness employee)."

As TechCrunch has previously reported, the title is something of a misnomer because the images aren't really viewable in three dimensions; instead, "Facebook uses AI to stitch together real layers of the photo with what it infers should be there if you tilted your perspective" (don't worry, there won't be a quiz on this later).

While the tool is still in a limited, beta mode release, early examples of it have surfaced in popular groups with hundreds of thousands of members such as Dogspotting, where they have been showered with comments, emoji, and reaction GIFs.

Here's another good boy boofer, posted under the account of a marketing agency.

Though 3D photos can be viewed by all Facebook users right now, their creation is currently limited to mobile devices with dual lens cameras like the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR (or Android equivalents) that shoot in Portrait mode, but the company promises it will eventually be compatible with a broader range of phones.

Not seeing the 3D photo option in your Facebook menu? Read on to learn everything you need to know to activate it right now on your phone.

One clever workaround developed by a writer with The Mac Observer is to "Like" Facebook's 360 page, quit the app on your phone, and then reboot it (which we can confirm, through experience, actually works and is 100% legit).

From there, create a new post, tap on the triple dot icon in the upper right hand corner, choose a picture from the Portraits folder, preview, and publish.

Everything you need to know about 3D Photos on Facebook
credit: Facebook

Prepared by Facebook, the video tutorial embedded below covers everything noted above in detail and step-by-step.

How to Create 3D Photos

We presented the 3D photos feature and now we're handing the creativity off to you! We can't wait to see what you come up with. If you need a little help getting started, check out our video on how to post a 3D photo. What are you excited to bring to life using this immersive format?

Posted by Facebook 360 on Thursday, October 11, 2018

As with any new feature, you'll need to experiment with it to see what works best with your camera — and pet. To make your posts really pop, the social media behemoth also recommends the following tips and tricks:

Create Layers: "You'll get the best results if your main subject is three or four feet away, and to really make it pop, try to capture scenes with multiple layers of depth, including something in the foreground and something in the background—like a shot of your family standing in a field of flowers."

Keep Contrast In Mind: "You'll get more of the 3D effect when your photo's subject has contrasting colors—for example, someone wearing a blue shirt standing in front of a blue wall won't pop as much as someone wearing a different color."

Use Texture: "Some materials and subjects make better 3D photos than others. You'll get the best results from subjects that have some texture to them, have solid edges, and aren't too shiny. Try to avoid transparent objects like clear plastic or glass, as they aren't always accurately captured by depth sensors."

Have you used Facebook's new 3D photo tool to share pictures of your cat or dog? Tell us about it in the comments below!