Want to upload 3D photos on Facebook but don’t have iPhone? Here’s how you can do it

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Published: April 20, 2019 5:54:55 PM

This is set to change as Facebook has now allowed 3D photos to be uploaded from a desktop browser, with Android support and will be rolled out in the coming months. The 3D photos can be uploaded to your stories as well.

3D photos, Facebook, iPhone, how to upload 3d photosWant to upload 3D photos on Facebook but don?t have iPhone? Here?s how you can do it

A few months ago, Facebook launched ‘3D photos’ feature allowing an enhanced perspective to timeline photos by using the depth information clicked by Apple’s dual-camera iPhones.

However, users of other devices were in for a disappointment as the 3D photos feature was not supported by Android phones or even desktop computers.

This is set to change as Facebook has now allowed 3D photos to be uploaded from a desktop browser, with Android support and will be rolled out in the coming months. The 3D photos can be uploaded to your stories as well.

While uploading a 3D photo is a cakewalk from an iPhone, it needs a bit of a work as it does not has the feature built into Facebook’s iOS app. However, users would be happy to note that it is more flexible in comparison to iPhone, as this lets users to customize the effect or add depth to their images which were originally captured without any depth information, like computer graphics or paintings.

How to upload a 3D photo to Facebook from browser

In order to upload a 3D photo, one must have an image file along with an associated depth map. This depth map is essentially a grayscale version of the image where objects are dark in the distance and become lighter as they come closer to the camera and getting a depth map is easy too; this will follow soon.

To create a 3D photo on Facebook, one must ensure that photo and depth map follow the naming convention for 3D photos on Facebook. Make sure you give the depth map the same file name as the original photo, with ‘_depth’ added (Note that you add that before any .jpeg extension). Here’s an example – My3DPhoto.jpg and M3DPhoto_depth.jpg

Now, upload the two files together as a single Facebook post, similar to how one would add a normal selection of photos. Facebook will then identify the two pictures a 3D photo and then will automatically combine the two.

How to obtain a depth map

In case one does not have a depth map for the image, check if your source image has any depth information.

Users can also create a depth map manually by using an image editing app or use an online tool for the same, however, the most convenient way to start is by accessing the depth information which is stored within a portrait mode image clicked by a compatible phone.

There are several devices for example, the Google Pixel 3, few HTC models and the Nokia 9 Pureview which embed depth information within their jpeg files. These can be accessed in order to produce the needed depth map for Facebook. However, it is to be noted that there are many phone brands such as Huawei which give no access to depth maps.

How to extract the depth information from the image:


One could use Rafal Lindemann’s Depthy online viewer to extract the depth information. If you own a smartphone that can take portrait mode images with a blurred background, then try uploading a photo to Depthy for an automatic depth map extraction. If you are successful, save the image and depth map together. If the depth map by Depthy is a negative of the file needed by Facebook, swap the light for dark in Photoshop before you upload it.


If Depthy is not for you, use Phil Harvey’s ExifTool to extract the depth map of the image.

While there’s no standard procedure of storing depth information within jpegs each device needs a slightly different command for an extraction. Visit the ExifTool Forum for more information


Facebook is also planning to bring the feature on Android in the coming few months. It is being reported that Samsung handsets will be the first ones to get it and then it will be expanded to other manufacturers. As soon as your phone supports it, you can upload 3D photos with a single tap, just like on an iPhone.

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