5 Parallax Effect iPhone Apps to Upgrade your Photos

Parallax. It’s a word you’ve probably heard a lot. From the parallax wallpapers introduced in iOS 7 to the parallax backgrounds that took the world of web design by storm, this technique has made its way into many places. Now, it’s even in your photos. 

If you don’t know what parallax is, it’s a design technique where objects in the foreground move faster compared to objects in the background when a page is scrolled or a photo is moved. These differing movement speeds create a sense of depth, adding life to the design or photograph. 

Recently, many apps have begun to appear in the App Store that utilizes computer vision and the parallax effect to convert 2D photos into 3D photos. Today, we’re going to introduce 5 parallax effect iPhone apps you can download today to take your photos to the next level.

Parallax – 3D Photo Film Camera: For those who don’t mind doing a little extra work

The word “parallax” is in the title, but does this app live up to its name? Upon opening the app, you’re greeted with four options. You can edit a photo normally, convert a 2D photo into a 3D photo, capture a 3D photo, and blur the background of a photo. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the 3D options.

First, you have the option to take a 3D photo. To do that, the app presents you with 4 types of 3D options to choose from: Manual, Classic, Short, and Smooth. Then you hold the shutter button like you’re taking a burst photo, move your phone around your subject, and the app does the rest. Because of the requirement to move your phone to capture the photo, it’s more work than capturing a regular photo, and you have to make sure your subject stays completely still. The end result is stunning though! 

Fyuse's user interface when taking a photo
The app asks you to move around while taking a photo.

It did a great job capturing the edges of the subject and adds a nice blur effect to add depth. However, you can only choose one direction for the parallax effect to work: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. 

Next, you can convert a 2D photo into a 3D one. This works best with portrait photos because they have a lot more data for the app to work with, but it also works just as good with regular photos.

2D photo converted to 3D by Parallax app.

LucidPix: Best for everyone

The next app on our list is LucidPix. LucidPix’s main focus is 3D photography, so upon opening the app, you’re greeted with a feed of 3D photos generated by its users. On the bottom of the screen, you have the ability to generate your own 3D photo with LucidPix. 

Unlike the Parallax app mentioned above, LucidPix only requires you to tap the shutter button once, the same as you would to take a normal photo. It even works in photos without a clear subject! 

After you tap the shutter button, AI steps in and estimates the foreground and background and applies the parallax effect accordingly. This prevents you from having to move around in awkward positions or asking your subject to stay still, which isn’t always possible. This ease of use and versatility makes it an ideal choice for beginners who are experimenting with 3D photography. 

In addition, the parallax effect isn’t only limited in one direction. Once your photo is processed by the app, you can move your phone around and see your photo move along with it in parallax. It’s like you’re peering into a different moment in time, sometimes it’s actually very surreal. Give it a try!

The app even has 3D text and filters that you can add on top of your photos. From water droplets to donuts, this app has got you covered. These filters move in parallax with your photo as well, rather than just staying still like an Instagram frame. Did I mention a majority of these filters are free?

This was a photo taken outside of the app then converted to 3D!

Loopsie: For the love of filters

Loopsie works in a similar fashion to LucidPix, in the sense that it’s really easy to take a 3D photo. Just point, shoot, and the app does the rest. However once again, you don’t get to choose how the parallax effect works. The app processes the image and then you have to choose how you want your photo to move. The photo does not respond to your phone’s movement like LucidPix. 

However, what it lacks in movement, it makes up for in filters and effects. When you open the app, you’re immediately given a plethora of 3D filters and effects to choose from. What the app doesn’t tell you, however, is that even though you can apply the filters, you won’t be able to export many of your photos without paying for their subscription. So while the app is fun to use, prepare to spend a few dollars if you like to share your creations.

3D parallax effect photo of doll showered with money.
One of the many effects Loopsie offers. You have to pay to export the 3D version though.

PopPic: An alternative to LucidPix

The next app we’re going to look at is PopPic. This app once again works very similar to LucidPix as it created a 3D photo from a 2D one, and doesn’t require moving the camera around when taking a photo. The parallax effect also isn’t only limited to one direction. You can tilt your phone around to view the photo from different angles, just like LucidPix. 

Unfortunately, the app only works best when there is a clear subject in the photo, otherwise, the photo looks blurry and unnatural. Sometimes the app would have a hard time differentiating between the foreground and the background, ruining the parallax effect. But if you’re working with pictures with a clear subject, this is a great app to try! You’re even given a lot of unique effects like kaleidoscope and green screen to add a splash of quirkiness to your photos.

The head is a little blurry, seems like the AI didn’t predict the depth correctly.


Our final app is Fyuse. Upon opening the app, you’re given a feed of 3D photos taken by its users, and the option to take one yourself. Taking a photo is very similar to Parallax since the app requires you to move your phone around your subject to capture it in three dimensions. Because of this, Fyuse is not able to convert 2D photos into 3D ones. You must create your photo within their app in order to utilize the parallax effect.

However, Fyuse seems to have a large user base, with some of their galleries (they work kind of like hashtags) having up to two thousand posts. So if you’re looking for a new creative platform to post on, Fyuse could be your app.

Wrapping it up…

Parallax effect iPhone apps are still in their infancy, so there’s a lot of potential for it to grow in the future. If you want to try it out yourself, these apps are your best bet to get into the 3D photography game. They each have their upsides and downsides, so I would personally recommend experimenting with each one of them and seeing which one fits your needs.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend LucidPix just for its ease of use and stellar results. Good luck on your 3D photography journey!