When I think of 2D to 3D conversion, taking a flat image and making it into a three dimensional model, the first thing that jumps to mind is an isolated 3D object. For instance, with Autodesk’s 123D Catch, you can take enough photographs to create a 3D model of an item independent of its surroundings. There are those, however, who would prefer not to remove a subject from the richness of its surroundings. They might like to add depth to an entire photograph using a service like 3Defy.
I previously covered 3Defy in a post that compared the online software with the unique 3 Sweep program that had been making rounds on the internet. 3Defy allows users to add depth maps to a given 2D photograph to make it suitable for 3D printing. You can pay to have the company print your photograph for your or to export the file so that you can print it yourself. When it arrives, you find yourself with a sort of topographical map of a photo, with every element extruded to its proper depth.
One of the more troublesome issues facing the site, when I wrote about it, was that, by putting the depth mapping in the users’ hands, the results of the 2D to 3D conversions were a bit rough around the edges. Without significant experience with manual depth mapping, the process of creating a realistic 3D image form a 2D photo would be arduous and time consuming. Now, 3Defy has added a service to their software that allows you to pay members of the 3Defy team to do the conversion for you. “3Defy certified artists” will make sure that your 2D photo becomes a worthwhile 3D model. That way, when you print out a 3D photo, all of the objects display lifelike depth.
If the results are as they appear in the promo video below, 3Defy prints might make novel gifts for the holidays: