Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HTML5 video player

One of the hottest topic in web development right now is about HTML5 and CSS3. Tutorials and test implementations of the technology emerge around the web. HTML5 players is one of the most notable new features in HTML5, it allows you to embed video without the use of flash.

HTML5 video player tag is as simple as the following line of code.

view plaincopy to clipboardprint?

  1. <video class='sublime' height='255' poster='poster.jpg' width='600'>  
  2. <source src='' title='mymovie.mov' type='video/mp4' />  
  3. <source src='' title='mymovie.mp4' type='video/mp4' />  
  4. <source src='' title='mymovie.ogv' type='video/ogg' />  
  5. </video>  

Add CSS3 styling and a couple lines of JavaScript, the result is a slick non-flash media player.

In this post I will showcase to you a list of best HTML5 media players around the web.

1. Video JS

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-4.jpg

Video JS is a javascript-based video player that uses the HTML5 video functionality built into advanced browsers. In general, the benefit of using an HTML5 player is a consistent look between browsers.

2. Sublime Video

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-1.jpg

This is an awaited soon to be released HTML5 player from Jilion.

3. YouTube HTML5 Player

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-2.jpg

To enable the HTML5 player, go here, Then click “Join the HTML5 Beta” link in bottom.

4. Vimeo HTML5 Player

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-3.jpg

To enable the HTML5 player, click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.

5. JW Player for HTML5

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-5.jpg

The JW Player for HTML5 is a fully skinnable and configurable player based on the new <video> tag found in HTML5. It is built using jQuery and enables a seamless fallback to the popular JW Player for Flash.

6. Video for Everybody!

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-8.jpg

Video for Everybody is simply a chunk of HTML code that embeds a video into a website using the HTML5 <video> element, falling back to Flash automatically, without the use of JavaScript or browser-sniffing. It therefore works in RSS readers (no JavaScript), on the iPhone / iPad (don’t support Flash) and on many, many browsers and platforms.

7. Open Standard Media (OSM) Player

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-6.jpg

Open Standard Media (OSM) Player is an all-in-one media player for the web. It is an industry changing, open source (GPLv3) media player that is written in jQuery to dynamically deliver any type of web media, including HTML5, YouTube, Vimeo, and Flash.

8. Advection.net HTML5 Player

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-7.jpg

View player in action

9. DailyMotion HTML5 Video Player Demo

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-9.jpg

See player in action.

10. Kaltura HTML5 Video Tools

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-10.jpg

See player in action.

11. FlareVideo

Description: http://blog.insicdesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/pl-html-11.jpg

FlareVideo is an open source and free HTML5 video player that falls back to Flash for incompatible browsers.

Want to add your favorite HTML5 Player in this list? Go hit the comment and I will happy to check it out.

Become expert in web development with 156-215 web development course. Learn about different web applications using 117-201 guide and 156-210 tutorials.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

We’ve got a product review this week! Diamond’s WR300N is a super-compact wireless repeater/bridge device. Does it hold its own, or fall short of conventional devices? Read on to find out!

Out of the Box

Diamond Multimedia put together an interesting piece of hardware here. It’s a very compact wireless repeater device that is compatible with the N standard.
Inside the box, you’ll find the device, an Ethernet cable, an Easy Start Guide and some documentation and software on CD to set things up.
Physically, the repeater unit is pretty small. It’s the size of a mid-sized AC adapter, so It may take up some space on a surge-protector strip. It’s really plastic-y, and is adorned with an Ethernet port, a small WPS switch – a welcome convenience if you use that on your network – and a few status LEDS. All in all, it doesn’t look too fancy, but it’s definitely smaller than a full-sized repeater.
You’ll also find a small recessed “reset” button next to the Ethernet port on the bottom of the unit.


To get things started, you plug the repeater into the wall or a surge protector, hook it up to your computer via Ethernet, and then point your browser to To be certain you don’t have any problems, it’s a good idea to disconnect your computer from any other networks and restart your computer so that no other settings interfere with what you’re doing here. Not doing this has given me problems before, and it’s a small price to pay to make sure things move along as smoothly as silk.
The default username and password are both “admin”. The main page should look like below (click on image to see it full-size):
There’s an “Automatic Setup” mode in the web interface, so I really didn’t bother with using the CD setup. Clicking on Auto Setup just takes you to a Site Survey page where you choose which network you’d like to repeat, and that’s pretty much it (click on image below to see it full-size).
You just click Refresh until your network appears in the list, then click connect. That’s really it.
In addition to this quick setup, the WR300N offers an Access Point mode, a Wireless Bridge mode, and a manual configuration for Repeater mode, but first, I made a few necessary changes to the device’s settings.

Preliminary Changes

The first thing I did was change the default password. You can do this by clicking on the System button then clicking Password.
The second thing I decided to do was change the IP Address of the unit to fit my network’s scheme. You’ll find this setting under System > Local.

Access Point Mode

If you click on the Manual Setup button and then choose “Access Point” from the Operation Mode menu, you’ll see the following options:
Using the WR300N as an Access Point will allow you to add wireless functionality from a wired networking device. You can specify an SSID and encryption and it’ll do its thing.
In my testing, I found that the wireless range was very nice, probably due to the fact that this is an N-standard capable device. Using this as an access point, however, did cause some bottlenecking to occur in comparison to using the wireless on my old WRT54G v1 router running DD-WRT. It was close to comparable for the most part, and the inclusion of this mode is nice, though.

Wireless Bridge Mode

Choosing “Wireless Bridge” from the Operation Mode menu will give you pretty much the same set of options:
Wireless Bridge mode lets you do the opposite of Access Point mode: catch a wireless signal and use the Ethernet port to connect to a wired-only device.
I tested this with both an Xbox 360 and a desktop computer, both without any problems. It was a pretty simple and straightforward endeavor, and for a change, I was using it on a G-only network. I was not disappointed with the speed or range.

Manually Configured Repeater Mode

If you want to customize and specify your criteria, you can choose “Repeater” from the Operation Mode menu.
Be sure to set the Channel to “Auto,” especially if your router is set similarly. You may have some problems otherwise.

Odds and Ends

Once you choose your settings and apply them, you’ll need to reboot your repeater. You can just unplug it and find the optimal place to plug it in for your uses. Then, restart your computer and connect to your network again. I didn’t do this last step and I had problems getting assigned an IP from my router, so if you’re having trouble and you’re not sure you’ve configured everything, restart your computer first and then troubleshoot from there if you still have problems.

Overall Performance

Having replaced the wireless in my house with the Access Point mode of the WR300N, I wasn’t particularly impressed by its performance. There were a few hiccups here and there, but the range was definitely much improved over a Linksys WRT300N when using the 2.4 GHz setting. It’s worth noting that Diamond didn’t include a 5GHz antenna for the WR300N, so if you have a setup that works over this latter frequency, you won’t really get much use out of it.
What really did impress me was the repeater mode. When the stress was divided between the primary router and the repeater, there were no slow-downs at all, and the range was impressive. I was using an old Linksys WAP54G access point running DD-WRT in repeater mode. This device definitely gave me better throughput and the range was 1.5 times the original. I replaced my old repeater with this compact unit and had no trouble streaming HD over my network, something that was a problem for me before.

Summary and Verdict

Diamond’s done a pretty good job with the WR300N Wireless Repeater, and while there was room for improvement, it’s a pretty great product for the vast majority of people.
  • Easy setup for Repeater mode
  • Inclusion of Access Point and Wireless Bridge modes
  • WDS-compatible
  • Very small
  • No 5GHz N antenna
  • Mediocre performance as primary wireless device
The last thing to consider is price. You can buy the WR300N from Amazon for about $60 US. That’s on par with a few of the N-capable repeaters and access points, and definitely cheaper than the nicer 5GHz-capable devices. I think the biggest advantage, personally, is that it’s small and inconspicuous. You can actually pick up two for the price of a really nice router and possibly cover a much larger area than using just 5GHz devices. I know a few people who aren’t comfortable with configuring devices on their networks, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the WR300N to them, both because it’s easy to configure and because it has a WDS support. The same goes for friends who want to augment their network without replacing their router.
If you enjoy messing with DD-WRT and price is a real concern, then this repeater is not for you. If, on the other hand, you need something that is small, can be set up quickly, and is pretty fast without any tweaks, you’ll likely be happy to spend the extra cash on the WR300N.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smartphone Credit Card Apps, Resizing Partitions, and Android Tethering

Description: Tips-How-To-Geek-Template

Once a week we dip into the reader mailbag and answer your tech questions. This week we’re looking at mobile credit card processing for Android, resizing hard drive partitions, and tethering your Android phone to your laptop.

Mobile Credit Card Processing for Android

Description: 2011-08-15_143430

Dear How-To Geek,

I am an independent business owner that does all of my work in the field. I currently can only accept cash and checks as payment from my clients. I think being able to accept credit cards would help expand my business. I was wondering what the best, most secure and cost effective app for Android is that will allow me to accept credit cards over my phone?


Seeking Better Business Strategies

Dear Seeking,

Since we don’t use mobile credit card readers around the HTG office, this would be a great time for readers with field experience to sound off with their Android-based solutions. That said, we can point you in the right direction.

While there are a smattering of credit card processing applications in the Android Market we’re going to direct you towards Square. Square, Inc. has been making waves for years now in the mobile payment processing market with their iPhone app + free mobile reader combo. They’ve brought the same application and reader to the Android market. Not only can you accept credit cards through the mobile interface but with the free reader you can even swipe them. The fee structure is a basic and straight forward 2.75% per transaction with no additional fees, service charges, or other maintenance costs. You can download the Android app here and read more about the service on their main site here.

Resizing Your Windows 7 Partition

Description: image

Dear How-To Geek,

I’ve outgrown the primary partition on my Windows 7 machine. Is it possible to resize it and it and siphon some of the space off the secondary data partition?


Squeezed in Syracuse

Dear Squeezed,

First, make sure all your data is properly backed up. Fiddling with partitions has gotten easier over the years, but better safe than sorry. After that you can opt to approach the problem one of two ways. You can use the built-in partition resizing tools in Windows or you can use the GParted Live CD to enjoy finer control over the process.

Use Your Android Phone as a Data Modem

Description: http://http.cdnlayer.com/howtogeek/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/2011-02-23_1501.jpg

Dear How-To Geek,

My buddy just got a new Android phone with a built-in Hot Spot feature. I’m jealous… my phone has no such feature. I don’t really care about the whole “can serve up to 8 Wi-Fi devices” bit he’s bragging about, I just want to hook my Android phone to my laptop when I’m out and about without having to void any warranties or break anything. What can I do?


Mobile Data Envy in Delaware

Dear Envy,

You’re in luck. If you wanted to emulate the Wi-Fi Hot Spot functionality you’d need to root your device in order to enable it. Since all you want to do is tether your Android device to your laptop all you’ll need is to do is get a USB cable sync cable for your phone and follow along with our guide to tethering Android phones using PDAnet.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Kind of Ethernet (Cat-5/e/6/a) Cable Should I Use?

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/banner1.png

Not all Ethernet cable is created equally. What's the difference, and how do you know which you should use? Let's look at the technical and physical differences in Ethernet cable categories to help us decide.

Ethernet cables are grouped into sequentially numbered categories ("cat") based on different specifications; sometimes the category is updated with further clarification or testing standards (e.g. 5e, 6a). These categories are how we can easily know what type of cable we need for a specific application. Manufacturers are required to adhere to the standards which makes our lives easier.

What are the differences between the categories and how can you know when to use unshielded, shielded, stranded, or solid cable? Keep reading for "cat"-like enlightenment.

Technical differences

The differences in cable specifications is not as easy to see as physical changes; so let's look at what each category does and does not support. Below is a chart for reference when picking cable for your application based on the standards for that category.

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/spec-chart.png

As the category number gets higher, so does the speed and Mhz of the wire. This is not a coincidence, because each category brings more stringent testing for eliminating crosstalk (XT) and adding isolation between the wires.

This does not mean your experiences have been the same. Physically you can use Cat-5 cable for 1 Gb speeds, and I have personally used cable longer than 100 meters, but because the standard has not been tested for it, you'll probably have mixed results. Just because you have Cat-6 cable, doesn't mean you have  1 Gb network speeds either. Every connection in your network needs to support the 1 Gb speed and in some cases, the connection will need to be told in software to use the available speed.

Category 5 cable was revised, and mostly replaced with, Category 5 Enhanced (Cat-5e) cable which did not change anything physically in the cable, but instead applied more stringent testing standards for crosstalk.

Category 6 was revised with Augmented Category 6 (Cat-6a) which provided testing for 500 Mhz communication (compared to Cat-6′s 250 Mhz). The higher communication frequency eliminated alien crosstalk (AXT) which allows for longer range at 10 Gb/s.

Physical Differences

So how does a physical cable eliminate interference and allow for faster speeds? It does it through wire twisting and isolation. Cable twisting was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 for use on telephone wires that were run along side power lines. He discovered that by twisting the cable every 3-4 utility poles, it reduced the interference and increased the range. Twisted pair became the basis for all Ethernet cables to eliminate interference between internal wires (XT), and external wires (AXT).

There are two main physical differences between Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables, the number of twists per cm in the wire, and sheath thickness.

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/twist-comparison.png

Cable twisting length is not standardized, but typically there are 1.5-2 twists per cm in Cat-5(e) and 2+ twists per cm in Cat-6. Within a single cable, each colored pair will also have different twist lengths based on prime numbers so that no two twists ever align. The amount of twists per pair is usually unique for each cable manufacturer. As you can see in the above picture, no two pairs have the same amount of twists per inch.

Many Cat-6 cables also include a nylon spline which helps eliminate crosstalk. Although the spline is not required in Cat-5 cable, some manufactures include it anyway. In Cat-6 cable, the spline is not required either as long as the cable tests according to the standard. In the picture above, the Cat-5e cable is the only one with a spline.

While the nylon spline helps reduce crosstalk in the wire, the thicker sheath protects against near end crosstalk (NEXT) and alien crosstalk (AXT) which both occur more often as the frequency (Mhz) increases. In this picture the Cat-5e cable has the thinnest sheath, but it also was the only one with the nylon spline.

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/sheath-thickness.png

Shielded (STP) vs. Unshielded (UTP)

Because all Ethernet cables are twisted, manufactures use shielding to further protect the cable from interference. Unshielded twisted pair can easily be used for cables between your computer and the wall, but you will want to use shielded cable for areas with high interference and running cables outdoors or inside walls.

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/utp-stp.png

There are different ways to shield an Ethernet cable, but typically it involves putting a shield around each pair of wire in the cable. This protects the pairs from crosstalk internally. Manufactures can further protect cables from alien crosstalk but screening UTP or STP cables. Technically the picture above shows a Screened STP cable (S/STP).

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/stp-udp.png

Solid vs. Stranded

Solid and stranded Ethernet cables refer to the actual copper conductor in the pairs. Solid cable uses a single piece of copper for the electrical conductor while stranded uses a series of copper cables twisted together. There are many different applications for each type of conductor, but there are two main applications for each type you should know about.

Description: http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/solid-stranded.png

Stranded cable is more flexible and should be used at your desk or anywhere you may be moving the cable around often.

Solid cable is not as flexible but it is also more durable which makes it ideal for permanent installations as well as outdoor and in walls.

Now that you know which type of cable you should use, have a look at our guide to making your own Ethernet cable.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When Should You Properly “Eject” Your Thumb Drive?

When do you safely remove a device? Some users put caution to the wind and yank out any device, while others perform religious rituals every time. Here are some tips and guidelines for practicing safe drive removal.

Removable storage has been around as long as the personal computer and safely removing or "ejecting" drives is something that OS X and Linux users are very familiar with. Whenever an external storage device is plugged into those operating system it becomes mounted to a location, and if you just pull it out without warning your OS, typically you receive a nasty warning saying you may have just lost all your data.

In Windows, however, drive mounting is different. It doesn't always require you to safely remove a device and rarely does it send out nastygram popups when you remove a device without warning. At most, you may get a popup the next time you plug in the device asking you to scan and fix the drive.

So how can you know when you should eject a drive before unplugging it? Here are some never, always, and sometimes situations to consider.

Never Eject

Let's start with the easy scenarios first; devices you never need to eject before removing. This includes the following:

  • Read only media like CDs and DVDs as well as write protected USB, CF, or SD cards. When a device is in read only mode there is no way to corrupt the information on the device because Windows does not have the capability of changing information. For USB devices, make sure there is a physical switch on the casing that allows you to switch between read and write modes.
  • Network drives stored on a NAS or in "the cloud". This doesn't mean the information won't ever become corrupt by disconnecting your network while writing files, but these drives do not need to be safely removed like other devices because they are not controlled by the same plug n play subsystem.
  • Portable devices like media players and cameras connected via USB. These devices hold a special place in Windows and do not need, nor can they be, ejected before removing. For portable devices you won't see a safely remove option in the menu.
  • There is one more type of device you should never eject and that is a device you have booted an OS from. By "never eject" we mean don't ever pull the drive out of the system unless the computer is turned off or the entire operating system is loaded into RAM like winPE. Most typical live Linux distributions only load what is needed from the disk when asked for it. Because the OS needs access to the drive to load files and software you should never pull out the boot device while the OS is running. The same goes for your Windows system drive (C:) because technically you could install Windows on a removable device and Windows 8 will have the option for a portable workspace.

Always Eject

On the other end of the spectrum are storage devices that you should make a habit out of safely ejecting every time you remove it. This includes:

  • USB Hard drives that are powered via USB. Spinning disks do not like when power is abruptly cut off from the device, and by ejecting the device first you can allow Windows to park the read/write heads off to the side so no damage occurs.
  • Storage devices you have specifically turned on write cache for better performance. Turning on write cache greatly increases the devices performance, but the downside is you should always use the eject prompt before unplugging the device to prevent file system corruption.
  • Drives that are in use. You won't be able to safely remove these devices until you close all the open files or the read/write operations finish. If you were heavily using the drive, it is good practice to eject the drive first to make sure Windows is still not using the files. Technically you only need to safely remove a drive when you are writing to the drive, but if you have files open you may get a file not found error in the program or crash if the device is no longer available. If you are copying files from the device you will probably end up with corrupted files in your destination which can be just as bad.
  • Devices with ReadyBoost. I know no one uses ReadyBoost anymore, but if you are using a device for a swap space boost, you should always let the operating system know before you remove it.

Because it is sometimes a pain to eject a drive, here are two how-tos for creating a shortcut or hotkey to quickly eject your drive(s). Create a shortcut using disk ejector or create a shortcut using built in functionality.

Sometimes Eject

The drives that are left are the typical USB flash drives you probably carry in your pocket all the time. Here are some guidelines and tips to follow before removal.

By default Windows sets removable storage devices to allow for quick removal. This means you should be able to just pull the drive from the system so long as it is not in use. There are still a couple situations you may want to consider though.

  • When running portable apps from a USB drive. The software should run completely from memory, but if the software needs to save a configuration file or reload a portion of the program and the drive is not available the program may crash. In this case, ejecting the drive won't necessarily help, but you should consider closing the programs before removing the drive.
  • Devices with CD emulators or launchers like U3. These launchers are just programs that autorun when the device is plugged in which means the program may be running in memory and prevent you from safely removing the device. Of course we'd just recommend you uninstall the launcher completely.
  • After writing files to the drive. Even if the light on the drive stops flashing, Windows may still be waiting for the device to become ready or another task to finish first. Any time you write files to a flash drive, ejecting is a good idea or you might get the dreaded "delay write failed" error and have to start your file copy all over again.
  • When using file systems with a journal like NTFS and HFS+. A journal helps with errors when power is lost or a drive disconnects allowing the system to continue with its file actions once power is restored. This is great for internal hard drives but can lead to unwanted consequences on a device that plugs into multiple different computers and operating systems. For most removable drives you are probably better off sticking with FAT32 for drives that need to also be used in OS X or Linux or exFAT for drives that are strictly kept to new Windows systems and OS X.
  • USB hard drives with external power adapters. USB hard drives are treated different from USB flash drives and even if the drive has external power, it is still a good idea to let Windows park the heads before removing the USB cable from the computer. Windows removal policy will allow the drive to be removed without major reproductions, but larger drives typically hold larger files too (>2 GB) which means you also probably have the drive formatted with NTFS. As we just stated above, ejecting NTFS drives is good practice.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds

Description: http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/users/500/rosagolijan/6874443.jpg

Shanghai Web Designers.

By Rosa Golijan

Let's say that it takes you exactly one minute to read through this post. In that time, over 6,600 photos will be uploaded to Flickr, about 70 new domains will be registered, over 1,200 new ads will be created on Craigslist, and more. Here's what happens on the Internet every 60 seconds.

Now keep in mind that the data below and the infographic above come from the Shanghai Web Designers team. We have done our best to confirm that the statistics provided line up with known data, but you should still take everything with a hefty serving of salt.

That disclaimer aside and without further ado, here's what's happening each minute:

  • Search engine Google serves more that 694,445 queries
  • 6,600+ pictures are uploaded to Flickr
  • 600 videos are uploaded to YouTube, amounting to 25+ hours of content
  • 695,000 status updates, 79,364 wall posts and 510,040 comments are published on social networking site Facebook
  • 70 new domains are registered
  • 168,000,000+ emails are sent
  • 320 new accounts and 98,000 tweets are generated on social networking site Twitter
  • iPhone applications are downloaded more than 13,000 times
  • 20,000 new posts are published on micro-blogging platform Tumblr
  • Popular web browser FireFox is downloaded more than 1,700 times
  • Popular blogging platform WordPress is downloaded more than 50 times
  • WordPress Plugins are downloaded more than 125 times
  • 100 accounts are created on professional networking site LinkedIn
  • 40 new questions are asked on YahooAnswers.com
  • 100+ questions are asked on Answers.com
  • 1 new article is published on Associated Content, the world’s largest source of community-created content
  • 1 new definition is added on UrbanDictionary.com
  • 1,200+ new ads are created on Craigslist
  • 370,000+ minutes of voice calls done by Skype users
  • 13,000+ hours of music streaming is done by personalized Internet radio provider Pandora
  • 1,600+ reads are made on Scribd, the largest social reading publishing company


Re post : How To Make Classic Red/Cyan 3D Photos Out of Any Image


Want to make photos really stand out? Create a fun Red/Cyan 3D effect that will pop off the page and screen, just because it's a heck of a lot of fun. Grab your 3D glasses, and either Photoshop or GIMP!

While stereoscopic effects like Cyan/Red 3D are often created with fancy photography tricks, we'll be creating one today with simple trick image editing. Dive right on in and see how simple it can be, with a simple version for Photoshop beginners, and an optional second part for users that want to give their image a little more oomph. Keep reading!


Part 1, Beginner: A Simple Red & Cyan 3D Effect


The technical term for a 3D image is an Anaglyph, which are usually created by photographing a subject from two separate vantage points, then combining the images. Today, we won't be doing that, but we will achieve the same effect by digging through our image channels. Open up a worthy image and let's get going!



You can use any kind of image for this how-to, but you'll need to be in RGB Color mode. So if you start in Grayscale, Indexed Color, or CMYK, you should convert to RGB by going to Image > Mode > RGB Color (in Photoshop).

Author's Note: This method is appropriate for any image editor that lets you mess around in channels, like Photoshop or GIMP. Photoshop Elements and Paint.NET do not allow this sort of image editing out of the box.


Start editing your image by making multiple copies of your photograph (left hand screenshot). One of the easiest ways to do this is by right clicking your "Background Layer" and picking "Duplicate Layer." With two copies made, select the topmost one, and jump to your channels panel. You may have to show it by going to Window > Channels.

When you've reached your channels panel, pick your Red channel as shown above right.


Press Ctrl a (same keyboard shortcut in Photoshop and GIMP) at this point to Select the entire canvas. Your isolated Red channel will look like an incomplete grayscale version of your image, so if your photo looks like the image above, you're doing the right thing.


Press v to select your Move Tool (GIMP shortcut key "M") and move the red channel over to the left as shown.


sshot-236 When moving your channel, you may want to make sure that your "background" color is black, as shown to the left. You can set it to black by clicking the background swatch in the tools panel and changing it in the color options dialog. 

GIMP users have a very similar tool, also in their Toolbox. It looks and functions very much like this one from Photoshop.


Ctrl 2 @ will return to your RGB in Photoshop CS5. In other versions, simply return to your layers panel and pick a new active layer. You may decide to stop at this point, as this, by itself, is a halfway decent 3D effect. But let's take it one step further, and add some depth to our image.

Part 2, Advanced: Adding Depth to Our 3D Image


You should have several copies of your original photo layer at this point, so let's return to the topmost layer in which we created our 3D effect.

Create a mask, as shown on the right, by selecting the layer and clicking the masks in the bottom of the layers panel. In GIMP, you can simply right click your layer and choose "Add Layer Mask," choosing "White for Full Opacity."



Grab the brush tool and a soft round brush to paint out the areas you want masked out of this topmost layer. Our goal is to return part of our image to the original appearance of the photo.


Here's the before/after. The background is masked out of the layer with the 3d effect, reverting it to the copy below without the 3d effect.


Here's a shot of the areas that are painted out in the mask. The black represents the areas that are hidden, the white the areas that are shown.


With your 3D effect layer masked off, you can safely jump to a lower layer for some additional editing. With that layer selected (shown left) jump to the channels panel and select the Red channel again.


This is probably looking very familiar. Ctrl a to select the entire canvas again, this time to add a slightly different effect to the background.


Ctrl t to select "Free Transform" in Photoshop. Enlarge the Red channel of this layer in some unusual way. In this example, it was stretched horizontally. You can scale it up, skew, rotate, or simply offset it as we did before. This will allow our foreground and background to look somewhat different from each other.

In GIMP, you'll want to use the "Scale Tool," shortcut key Shift + T.


And our finely tuned image is complete, with our 3D effect applied separately to the foreground and background. If you have a pair of Cyan-Red glasses, you can test it for yourself, or just enjoy the effect for what it is. For those of us that don't have a set of 3D glasses but want a pair, you can always check out youtube for some tutorials on how to make your own.