How to take 3D photos: This free Android app does the work for you

This is a GIF made from a 3D photo taken with the LucidPix app. The movement shows how the perspective changes as you move your phone around.


Products like 3D televisions and 3D phones give 3D a bad name. Part of the problem is that 3D is hyped as the start of a new product category, instead of being seen as a tool for expression. Lucid, the company behind the LucidPix app, smartly embraces 3D’s role as a creative tool. Whether you have a newer phone like the Google Pixel 6 or Sony’s Xperia Pro-I or an older one like the original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or OnePlus 7, you can use the new LucidPix app to take 3D photos. Best of all, you don’t need a special accessory or multiple rear cameras. Instead, LucidPix uses artificial intelligence to render 3D photos that will move as you tilt and pan your phone.

At CES in 2020, Lucid showed how its imaging magic doesn’t require specialized hardware like 2019’s $1,300 ill-fated Red Hydrogen One phone. LucidPix captures 3D photos with software that mimics how the human brain processes depth. The software started out in the company’s LucidCam VR180 camera and was used by Red in the Hydrogen phone. During its time in beta, the LucidPix underwent a thorough vetting of its features and interface by over a million people who tried the app. 

Here’s another 3D photo taken with the LucidPix app. 


LucidPix can also convert your existing 2D photos to 3D. The finished images can be shared with the app’s community or on other platforms like Facebook, which has built-in support for displaying 3D images. Adding this social aspect to the app lets you share and view 3D images just like people do with 2D images on Instagram or Snapchat. In fact, there are several large groups on Facebook dedicated to 3D photos. And at this time LucidPix seems like one of the easier ways to create and customize your own 3D snaps.

“The way consumers express themselves digitally and visually has evolved more and more to what we naturally see with our own eyes with depth,” said Han Jin, Lucid’s founder and CEO. “Thus, over the past few years, the visual medium has become more multidimensional, leading to more portrait photos, 3D content, and AR and VR being created.”

Jin suggests that the technology that powers the LucidPix app will one day have an impact on future photo formats from AR and VR to 3D and holograms, whether viewed on a phone or with a specialized headset.

LucidPix is available for free from the Google Play Store. A pro version includes unlimited use of the app without watermarks for $3 per month, $6 for three months or $20 per year on Android.

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