3D Photo
Version 1.1
Price: $1.99 (on sale for a limited time for $0.99)

Rating 3 stars

Bottom Line: 3D Photo renders really cool 3D Effects in a 2D space. Resolution has improved a lot in this version and is definitely now usable, but still isn’t full res.

3D Photo is a new app by unit9.apps which applies 3D Effects in a 2D space. It transforms your photos into abstract geometric shapes. It’s a modernist app that lets you explore iPhoneography from a cubist approach and lets you change your photography into fascinating and fragmented works of art.

These aren’t red/blue jump out at you from the screen 3D effects. Think “Inception”, the film. The effects seem to shatter the image and them reassemble the pieces into a 3D space — something out of a dreamscape. I want to say “mindblowing”, but that would be too easy. Both the pictures and playing with the app are very cool.

You can either use the app’s own camera or import images from your photo library. I suggest importing, as the app does not save the original image to your camera roll. There are 15 different 3D templates to choose from. Scrolling through them is easy — simply swipe across the screen or use the arrows.

Then, simply drag and rotate your image. Effects are previewed live. There are currently 15 effects that apply 3D cubist, geometric or just plain surreal effects to your images. The 3D plane is easily changed by swiping and rotating. Extrusions and shadows are gorgeous and nicely rendered — 3D Photo is doing a lot of work under the hood. The results are stunning and surreal.

Using the camera, the 3D effects need to be set before the shutter is released. There is no changing the effect afterwards. That’s another reason why I like to import from my camera roll. Importing lets you more easily switch between effects and preview them before rendering and saving.

3D Photo renders pretty fast. Resolution has been improved in the new 1.1 update to 1280×1920 pixels on an iPhone 4 — a huge improvement over the 640×960 in the previous version. Greater resolution is promised in future updates. While not huge, it’s still almost 2.5 MP, which is larger than the iPhone 3G and the original 2G. While it won’t please everyone, file sizes are certainly usable and with a little massaging, you can get decent sized enlargements from the app now. The improved resolution seems to be only for iPhone 4 owners. If you have a 3Gs, output resolution is still a low 640×960.

3D Photo just got an update to version 1.1. The new update is definitely more usable than the previous version. The initial version of the app created great effects but suffered from a few version 1.0 bugs. The new update isn’t perfect, but has improvements that should please many iPhoneographers. For instance, the app still doesn’t save in landscape mode. Images need to be rotated to proper orientation in another app. It’s not a dealbreaker but more of an annoyance. The developer is aware of this and it should be fixed in a future update. Once this is fixed and as resolution improves even more, this is easily a four-star app for me.

For iPhoneographers looking for something different than retro camera and LOMO apps, 3D Photo is a good choice for creating modern, cubist effects. In a 2D space, it creates interesting, often stunning 3D effects, shattering your iPhoneography and reassembling it with the appearance of a third plane.

3D Photo is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPod touch (4th generation). Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

3D Photo - Unit9