Parallax Effect in Photography [Photoshop tutorials]

This time, Chris from Spoon Graphic blog will show us how to create the parallax effect with three cool examples. It is not the usual step-by-step photoshop tutorial (hence the 6 minute length), but it does gives us a lot of useful tips and tricks.

And that’s all for today. What do you think about our list? Do you feel interested to try any of them? If you think there is another cool tutorial we forgot to add, please share it in the comment section.

In this 12-minute video tutorial, Brandon Bradley will guide you on the necessary steps to convert your standard 2D photo into a fun 3D parallax video.

Made by Lankapu Chen, this tutorial is a 2-parter, each less than five minutes long. It shows us the basics on how to collaborate Photoshop and After Effects to create a simple parallax effect with two flowers patches.

This video from 2-minute Design channel will show you how to achieve parallax effect using only Photoshop CC. The video is short (hence the 2 minute timeframe) but it does give us a lot of tricks on how to deliver this effect.


Check his work in this video below:

In this professionally done tutorial, Joe Fellows shows us how he’s able to bring photos to life using the parallax effect with Photoshop and After Effects. It’s so exciting to watch because with the right tools and creativity, we can “freeze time” or imitate a “slow motion scene” with these tricks.

Parallax Effect – 2-Minute Design

Inspired by Joe Fellow work’s for WWF, Patrick David played around with open source software to achieve the 2.5D parallax effect. You guessed it, he successfully combined Blender and Gimp to achieve the parallax effect. You can read his full step-by-step guide here.

Animate Photos in Photoshop – Michael Tierney

And here is another good example:

Here is an example of the parallax effect in action to illustrate what I’m trying to describe.

2.5D Parallax Effect Photoshop Tutorial – Spoon Graphic

The effect can also be called the 2.5D parallax effect. 2.5D refers to the visual depth perception in an otherwise 2-dimensional image or view. If you want to adopt this parallax effect in your photographs, you can, with the help of Photoshop.

Ken Burns Effect – Photoshop Training Channel

We’ve been collecting some of the best tutorials on Parallax in Photography. Some of them may require extra video editing software like Adobe After Effects to execute. If you don’t have it, you can check out the tutorial which creates the parallax effect with open source software.

Parallax Effect Tutorial – Lankapu Chen

Create a 2.5D Parallax Video – Brandon Bradley

In under 5 minutes Steve Martin will teach you how to to "fake" the popular parallax effect in Final Cut Pro X. He will show you how to use Pixelmator to create two layers, then import them into FCPX. The finished result looks very cool.

How To Animate a Photo – Joe Fellows

The Parallax Effect is also known as the Ken Burns effect, which is named after the filmmaker who made this effect his signature visual style in his documentary films. This technique is a panning and zooming effect that is used to create something like a video from still images. The zooming and panning across photographs gives the feeling of motion, which keeps the viewer visually engaged.

Using only Photoshop layers and a timeline panel, Michael Tierney guides us on how to animate more complex parallax photos comprising buildings and a bridge in the shot. In 12 minutes, you would know more about creating parallax effect than before.

2.5D Parallax Effect using free software – Patrick David

Photoshop Training Channel give us this awesome 30 minute long step-by-step Photoshop tutorial. What these guys do differently is animate both panning and zooming simultaneously, which is super cool. They’re using Photoshop CS6 in this tutorial.

Faking a Parallax Effect in Under 5mins – steve Martin

20 Free Photoshop Actions All Designers Must Have

Here’s another browser templating tool but with a flat UI. If you don’t want to go with the Mac-styled browsers then try this PS browser action instead.

The list includes a toggle for pixel snapping on & off, auto-duplicating an entire canvas, centering in a selection, and even cropping a Dribbble-sized shot from a document. The Bjango Actions collection is currently in v4 with dozens of actions, scripts, and OS X workflows.

The isometric conversion action Mapita is a way to build 3D-looking artifacts in Photoshop. It doesn’t work great on every design but flat graphics can be brought to life with this free PS action (including a sample PSD file).

iOS 7 Blur

Layer exporting is another manual task that nobody really wants to do. This PSD to SVG export action takes the mundanity out of exporting vectors and graphics for the web.

This may be a somewhat experimental Photoshop action but it can be incredibly powerful. Pixel2Vector by Michael Tzscheppan is a free action pack that converts pixel layers into vector shapes. The action supports Photoshop CS3+ and it can operate as a plugin for CS5+. I love this concept because it can help designers quickly turn raster shapes into editable elements.

ios7 frosted glass action

Bjango Actions

Jeff Broderick built a simple action called No More Banding which is a free download and it’s incredibly valuable for digital design work.

Note this does not work very well on raster graphics. Try to use shapes and vector elements, or imported smart objects, to keep quality consistent when sizing up.

bjango actions photoshop atn

No More Banding

Artista is a Photoshop action for manipulating photos and digital designs. Custom actions can be applied to layers or to the entire document as a whole. This particular action set allows designers to build interesting media styles like energetic lines and paint canvas-styled filters. Check out the sample previews to see what’s possible.

Starting with iOS 7, the Apple design team introduced a milky-glass blur effect. This can be replicated in Photoshop but requires a bit of layer manipulation.

no more banding photoshop action

ScreenShot Photoshop

Note this action was built for Photoshop and Illustrator but only supports versions from CS5 or higher.

Anyone that needs a stereo display will get a kick out of this action. This free stereo display action creates a 3D effect with shadows and skewed edges, all from the input of flat UI elements.

screenshot actions photoshop

PSD TO PNG Automator

psd to png automator

Browser UI

Ever wanted to see how your mockup looks in a browser window? Thanks to the Browser UI action it’s now just a click of a button.

Here’s a really cool effect created by Albanian designer Vasjen Katro. With his action titled ScreenShot Photoshop you can take a flat mockup and automate a skew with implied lighting. This creates the effect of a screen tilted to the side and looks like a photograph of a monitor.

browser ui design action

Retinize It

Here’s a unique concept built by the creative agency ENVOY. Since Photoshop has a great “save for web” option, the ENVOY team built this action specifically for iOS export. There are similar scripts like this but it’s worth adding another one into the mix.

Digital designer Geof Crowl built a custom collection of iPhone 6 actions for organizing graphics from a PSD into retina dimensions. Mobile app designers typically work with shape layers so this should fit right into any typical design workflow.

retinize it action photoshop

Export To SVG

Designer Matt Smith created iOS 7 blur actions to replicate the effect on any top layer. If you have trouble getting the actions to run you can download an accompanied PSD file with the frosted glass layer already applied.

Retinize It is a free Photoshop action for building retina copies of icons and interface elements. You just select a layer(or layer group) and run the action. Graphics can be named and exported with custom @2x and @3x size requirements.

photoshop svg convert action

Flat Browser UI

This is perfect for skewed perspective shots to display interfaces in a unique fashion. Although this may not help you design better, it can improve your presentation.

Gradients in Photoshop can have color bands where the gradated color switches are blatantly obvious. This action will clean up banding effects, with one catch: it also increases a document’s file size dramatically. So it may not be useful on all projects but it’s certainly worth keeping this in mind.

photoshop browser ui action

Stereo Display

Moscow designer Aram Mirzoyants released his long shadow actions for free on Dribbble. You can download and use these actions for any layer from vector shapes to text and icons. This will auto-generate a 3D shadow effect with the option to lean shadows in various directions at differing lengths.

stereo display photoshop action

Magnifying Action

I’ve collected a handful of actions geared directly towards UI designers, icon designers, and product designers building interfaces for web and mobile. All of these actions are completely free to download for multiple uses. Be sure to check the details before downloading to make sure everything runs on your version of Photoshop.

Everyone knows about Lorem Ipsum for filler text. But what about LoremPicsum for filler photos? This site can operate with direct URLs but it comes with a Photoshop action as well. Two separate versions are available for CS users and newer CC users.

magnifying glass photoshop action

iPhone 6/6+ Actions

Rasterized document elements work best, although it’s just as easy to flatten all contents onto a new layer and use that instead.

iphone 6 plus photoshop action

Save For iOS

I’m confident these actions offer enough resources to improve at least part of your daily design workflow. But if I missed any quality Photoshop actions please feel free to add them in the comments area.

save for ios photoshop


Although GitHub is typically associated with dev projects, it’s possible to find great design resources like this GUI Automation Toolbox. In the toolbox you’ll find scripts for Photoshop and Illustrator. These can help with exporting graphics and rebuilding layer groups.

artista photoshop action painting

GUI Automation Toolbox

This is one of my favorite actions because it’s so practical for graphic displays and presentations. UI designers will enjoy this magnifier action created by Mario Semeš for interface magnification.

web design actions collection


This particular action does have a premium option but the free version includes more than enough features. Every browser window renders in the OS X style but the windows can stretch to fit whatever canvas you need.

pixel to vector convert action

Long Shadow

It plants a magnifying glass on top of a Photoshop document with a blur effect applied elsewhere. This is a great way to focus on one particular element or effect, and could be useful for team projects or online tutorials.

long shadow photoshop actions

3D Isometric Actions

Here’s a custom wallpaper generation script for Photoshop users. It can export at various sizes for different screen dimensions while keeping quality intact. Wallpapers are not specifically relevant to UI design, but this script is just too cool to leave out of the list.

isometric maps 3d actions atn


Bjango is a creative studio building apps and open source projects for designers. The site publishes handy articles for PS users and offers a full GitHub repo of actions that you can download for free. These actions include various nuances for building designs in Photoshop.

lorem picsum photo actions

Wallpaper Maker

Exporting a design requires time, but it can be made simpler with Luis da Silva’s PSD to PNG export. This converts a full PSD file into a PNG from Photoshop’s action panel. From what I can tell this works for all versions of Photoshop from CS to CC.

photoshop action wallpaper maker

Automated scripts save time and improve workflow in all creative fields. Adobe products like Photoshop offer scripts called actions that automate a process several times at the click of a button. There are exclusive Photoshop action websites but many of them cater to photographers.

80 Free Photoshop Brush Sets to Bookmark

Clouds (15 brushes)

WG Watercolor (20 brushes)

  • 100 Awesome Photoshop Brushes Sets You Should Have
  • 50 Free Photoshop Brush Sets You Should Bookmark

Rain (4 brushes)

Watercolor Splatters (32 brushes)

Alien Pencil Doodle (6 brushes)

Lightning (18 brushes)

Brushes Texts (6 brushes)

Cute Arrows (16 brushes)

Splatter (11 brushes)

Subtle (15 brushes)

Trails (19 brushes)

Feathers and Birds (12 brushes)

Smoke (4 brushes)

WaterColor Brushes (7 brushes)

Various Brushes (9 brushes)

Handmade Halos (8 brushes)

Nature Silhouettes Trees & Grass (19 brushes)

Paint Lines (24 brushes)

42 Subtle Brushes (42 brushes)

Spray Paint (10 brushes)

Kurdistan Floral Brush (1 brushes)

Destroyed Ornaments (6 brushes)

Subtle Grunge (10 brushes)

Tech Brush (9 brushes)

Crown (10 brushes)

Lightning (50 brushes)

Ink and Postage Stamp (29 brushes)

Kaos 2.0 (15 brushes)

Photoshop brushes are awesome time-savers. They allow you to create beautiful artwork faster, as you don’t need to draw up individual elements for your design project.Of course, Photoshop is equipped with a standard brush set, but it has not been updated ever, which is why we should be glad that designers out there love creating and sharing their favorite brush sets for free.

30 So What (30 brushes)

Extreme Lashes! (8 brushes)

New Grunge (5 brushes)

Aurora (10 brushes)

Rose Petals (17 brushes)

Night Sky (13 brushes)

Brick Wall (4 brushes)

Smudged Vines (10 brushes)

Arcane Circles II (28 brushes)

Grunge (1 brush)

Beautiful Brushes (19 brushes)

Watercolor and Ink (25 brushes)

Radiate (12 brushes)

Doodle Swirls (6 brushes)

Cup Stains (105 brushes)

Paint Trails (7 brushes)

Seamless Bokeh Textures (24 brushes)

Brushes (36 brushes)

Abstract (10 brushes)

Flower (4 brushes)

Photoshop Fireworks (12 brushes)

In today’s collection we have collected 80 high-quality Photoshop brush sets which will help you to create breathtaking illustrations. In the list below you’ll find stars, flowers, grunge, watercolor, splashes, rain, tech, abstract brush sets and many many more. If you’re looking for more brush sets, check out our earlier compilations:

Bokeh (10 brushes)

Splat Circles (12 brushes)

Abstract 5 (5 brushes)

Attractors Effect (50 brushes)

DBD (2 brushes)

Summer Brushes (8 brushes)

Painted Strokes (13 brushes)

Scratchy Grunge (5 brushes)

High Res Grunge (7 brushes)

Hair (22 brushes)

Crystal Shapes (5 brushes)

High-Res Star (6 brushes)

Strings And Bubbles Brushes (12 brushes)

Gladius (12 brushes)

Watercolour and Ink (25 brushes)

Fabric Textures (9 brushes)

Artistic (18 brushes)

Random Shapes (10 brushes)

Grunge-Splatterish (7 brushes)

Strokes (4 brushes)

Cute Flowers (5 brushes)

Ballon (1 brush)

Grunge Paint (6 brushes)

Fashioned Hearts (4 brushes)

Emoji Brushes (6 brushes)

Vintage Lace Ornaments (6 brushes)

Tentacles (4 brushes)

SP Watercolor (10 brushes)

Watercolor (25 brushes)

Diamond Scatter (2 brushes)

Grit and Grunge (7 brushes)

50 Best Photoshop Tutorials of 2015

For more Photoshop tutorials check out:

  • Tutorial: 75 Steps to Making a Car Fly
  • How To Create Stunning Flaming Text Effect in Photoshop CC
  • 20 UI Design Photoshop Tutorials That Will Come in Handy

1. Stuck In The Wall

2. How To Add Bokeh Effects in Photoshop

3. How to Create Realistic Water Droplets

4. Dynamic Lightning Filled Background Tutorial

5. Creating an organic smoke & texture Composite

6. How To pull Off A Cool Watercolor Effect

7. How To Create A Valentine’s Day Card

8. How To Create A Geometric Effect

9. How To Sharpen images

10. How To Create A Retro Collage

11. How To Pull Off An Eerie Eye

12. How To Make A Sewing Embroidery Effect

13. How to Make an iMac Illustration

14. Creating An Abstract Geometric Photo Collage Art

15. How To Create The Stencil Banner Text Effect

16. Creating a Futuristic Effect with Your Portraits

17. Creating Lighting Effects

18. How To Pull Off A Trendy Double Exposure Effect

19. How To Pull Off Geometric Pixel Art

Looking to improve your Photoshop skills before saying good bye to 2015? Or perhaps you are looking for Photoshop tutorials you can follow during the holiday break? Look no further because I’ve gathered 50 of the best Photoshop tutorials that will teach you how to manipulate images to create surreal images, improve portraits, or transform your photos into something peculiar! On to the list!

20. Pulling Off A Realistic 3D Text Art

21. How to Pull Off An Awesome Sports Event Poster

22. Creating Sci-Fi Landscapes

23. How To Create Screen Print Designs

24. Advanced Collage Techniques

25. How to Create A Retro Star wars effect

26. 80’s Inspired Artwork

27. How To Recreate this Medical DNA effect

28. Seamless Compositing Using Layer Mask

29. How To Create Easy HDR Effect using Luminosity

30. Iron Man Fanart Tutorial

31. How To Pull Off A Text Portrait

32. An Aquatic Photo Manipulation Tutorial

33. How To Use Grids as Design Elements

34. How to Create a 3D Chrome Badge

35. How To Add Light Rays in Photoshop

36. Futuristic Photo Manipulations

37. How To Design a Floral Pattern for Fabrics

38. Kids Mini Me Effect

39. Windows 10 Style Wallpaper

40. How To Create An Animated Neon Sign

41. A Film Noir Style Tutorial

42. Stencil Poster Effect

43. Christmas Glass Ball Tutorial

44. Halloween Card Tutorial

45. How To Pull Off Realistic Autumn Leaves

46. Sculpting a Face using Dodging and Burning

47. Turn a Photo Into a Jigsaw Puzzle!

48. Halftone and screenprint poster style

49. How To Transform a Portrait Into a Caricature Artwork

50. Pixel Explosion Effects

70+ Photoshop Mistakes That Makes You Facepalm

Some people take that thigh gap challenge too seriously.

Everyone wants to be Barbie in real life.

Zahara has a twin we don’t know of?

  • 52 Worst Photoshop Mistakes – Part I
  • 70 Worst Photoshop Mistakes – Part II

Where are Kim and Kanye’s reflections?

Can someone explain why this girl only has an elbow?

This is all kinds of weird.

Ok, before I buy this, let me see if I have anymore of these detachable thumbs lying around.

There is something unnatural about her leg(s).

They might have chipped off too much from her thighs.

Ouch, that must have hurt.

The aprtment is so big, it spans across two suns!

Isn’t her waist a little too slim to be human sized?

Sometimes it’s the thighs that become the center of attention.

Does that coke cup look plastered in?

Oh no, you didn’t.

A fatal error has occurred near the waiste region.

Now that’s something you don’t see everyday.

The celebrities you see sprawled across the pages of glamorous magazines and on tabloid papers give us unrealistic expectations of how the body of a woman or man should look like. The pictures of course have a secret ingredient: Photoshop.

Yikes, Mandy’s got an extreme hair parting treatment right there.

If that is yoga, no one wants to do yoga.

Apparently, Kylie has feet she can tuck away for a photoshoot.

Even Paris Hilton prefer taking the Photoshop route for a waistline.

One of her legs is missing and even the text can’t hide it.

How is that girl in the back standing upright with no feet?

The diet "secret" of celebrities.

Poor thing has a hand growing from the back of her head.

Michelle’s head got far too much of the Photoshop "goodness".

Apart from the lame car door shadow, the designer also forgot which direction the sun was shining from.

The rails are curving from the irony.

There is no way that a neck can be that long without health concerns.

Reflections tell a different story.

Her fingers are far too long to be human.

Run! Evil baby strikes from behind.

… while Kirsten has limbs she can tuck away.

Kiera looks awesome on her own but they still had to make alterations.

How does this ad compel anyone to buy their product, we may never know.

Fergie’s thighs get an extreme makeover.

The problem is sometimes Photoshop sucks the reality out of a shoot, and you get misplaced limbs, elongated necks, minute waists, and sometimes "warped space" around the subject.

How about NO?

The guy lost half his body trying to take this shot.

Someone messed up her right shoulder and tried terribly to cover it up.

Which American Idol finalist has too many fingers? This one!

Here are 72 of the worst Photoshop mistakes ever found on magazines and advertisements and posters. For more Photoshop mistakes, check out:

They took the "nothing to hide" quite literally with this one.

The more hands, the merrier?

I’ve heard of dance contortions but this is getting ridiculous.

With equipment like this, no one is going to exercise.

Leave it to Photoshop to distort the space continuum here on Earth.

Unimaginably long legs sell dresses designed for inducing nightmares.

That can’t be right.

The only way you can fit into this line of underwear is with Photoshop.

Is her head even attached?

Where they are going, do they need to powder up that much?

Worst crop job ever?

Ghostly hand on the left shoulder. Freaky.

You have to wonder if anyone actually bought tickets to this match.

There are three women here and only 5 legs.

When you focus on just one arm at the gym.

Is the Barbie treatment an automatic Photoshop action designers overuse?

… and this model’s missing feet.

Her tattoo got cropped, in the same magazine.

Three arms are always better than two , I suppose.

Jessica must be having a terrible time contorting her body and hand for this shoot.

Guess she has some feet issues to take care of.

Let’s curve everything.

Eminem’s face got the Ken doll treatment. Don’t think he likes it.

The model on the right got an extension on her neck.

Smile for the camera.

Something is wrong with this boob job.

Warp the walkway! Seriously, check out the floor carpet pattern.

Her waist is missing.

Not only is it humanly impossible to be carryign that many bags, but her forearm is uncomfortably long.

Yeah, something is definitely wrong with this model’s legs.

Who is holding the girl in red’s waist?

Not sure who this is, but she isn’t Kerry Washington.

Now Read:
10 Sites to Get Useful Photoshop Actions