Gerry O (and lots of others) kindly sent through this great site that shows how it’s possible to create a 3D effect by simply adding two white bars onto animated gif….


Check out the site for other great examples!


  1. I’m not sure you can call it “simply adding two white bars”. You *do* have to give depth information to them by doing non-trivial editing to hide them behind objects in the scene. It’s the same thing you’d get if you had shot everything through a doorframe/window as a way to give an absolute depth reference. Directors have been doing things like that for years, including more advanced techniques like the dolly zoom.

    And the site loses points for not applying the effect to those old “3D” sketches on SCTV. For shame!

  2. Very effective. Re dolly zoom – not sure I would class that as 3D effect. It’s more about making the background recede while the subject appears to remain unchanged – usually to illustrate a sudden or shocking comprehension e.g. the famous shot of Brody in Jaws.

    1. It’s toying with depth, which definitely puts it somewhere in the 3rd dimension. Just like forced perspective or shifting focus or some of the bullet time stuff. Mirrors and shadows are other ways that have long been used to add depth (both literally and figuratively) to shots.

  3. I think the changing point of focus helps with the illusion as well. If the shooters image did not change from sharp to blurry I don’t believe the 3D effect would be as pronounced. It tends to pull the viewers attention from him to the gun (from far to near).

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