Facebook’s trippy 3D photos are about to become much more accessible. The company first introduced the feature back in 2018, using depth data from your phone’s portrait mode to provide a nifty parallax effect to your images. It helped make images pop while scrolling through your news feed, and though it’s something of a gimmick, it’s still pretty cool. Problem was, it only worked if you’d activated portrait mode for that particular image.
That’s no longer a constraint. Facebook is now able to create 3D images without your phone’s portrait mode. Instead, the company uses AI to calculate depth – a similar method to what Google uses to create portrait mode photos in the first place – meaning no second lens or special portrait mode is needed. This also means it could also work with different subjects like paintings.
In other words, expect 3D photos to become a lot more popular as the feature rolls out to more users. That said, the feature isn’t available on every phone yet, likely because Facebook wants to optimize the technology for each device. The feature should work on the iPhone 7 or higher, as well as recent midrange-to-premium Android devices.
Still, aside from being accessible to more devices, it also means you don’t have to worry about shooting a photo in portrait mode in the first place. I forget to use portrait mode all the time, so I appreciate the change.
If you’re curious to hear more about how the feature works, you can head on over to Facebook’s AI blog at the source link below, where the company breaks down the technical aspects behind the feature in detail.