Facebook announced today that it will now let you users post 3D photos to their timeline from the Facebook app even if they have a phone with a single camera. This should make it possible for a lot of phones to take 3D photos — and Facebook states that users can also use your front-facing camera to take 3D selfies.
This feature was first made available in October 2018 but was exclusively available to phones that had two or more cameras that could take portrait mode shots. Earlier, 3D photos relied on using each of the cameras to take an image that Facebook could use to create the “depth” in a 3D picture.
This new single-camera feature uses machine learning to infer the 3D structure of an image to create the 3D effect, according to Facebook. Here’s an animation the company provided of what that depth generation process looks like:
And here’s an example from Facebook of how the tech could look in an image on your timeline:
Facebook states that anyone with an iPhone 7 or higher, or “a recent midrange or better Android device,” should be able to use the 3D photo tool in the main Facebook app. However, the feature doesn’t seem to have fully rolled out just yet — right now, I can only make 3D photos using images taken in portrait mode on my iPhone 11 Pro.