Photoshop tutorial: Create manga art to view with retro 3D specs

Whether you think it’s genius or a bit of a gimmick, 3D is huge news in movies right now. However awed you were by Avatar and its stereoscopic 3D effects, though, there’s something pleasingly nostalgic about anaglyph 3D – the sort where there’s a clear red and blue border around everything. 

An anaglyph – or stereograph – image is produced from taking two photographs of the same subject, but shifting the camera horizontally between the second shot; roughly the same distance as between our eyes. The red and cyan colour values are then offset, tricking the visual cortex of our brain to create an illusion of depth. 

But what if you want to convert an existing image, or illustration into 3D? In this tutorial you’ll discover how to produce great results every time. We’ll begin layering 3D renders, then add the cover graphics. 

We’ll be working with multiple layers and toggling their visibility and stacking order – so remember to clearly label them as you work. 

Before you start, download the Frigate font for free from, and the resources from the Download Zone. Of course, it’s helpful if you have a pair of red and cyan 3D glasses – you can buy these very cheaply online.

Step 1 Open Start.jpg in Photoshop and double-click its layer thumbnail, renaming it ‘City’. Add a Colour Balance adjustment layer using the following Midtone settings: Red: +11; Green: -2; Blue: +2. Now tick the Shadows button and use: Red: +25; Green: -4; Blue: -3. Finally, tick the Highlights button and set the Blue to -23.

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