Stefan D. Voigt

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Create optimized anaglyph in After Effects

Broken - simple anaglyph previewarrow

Broken - Anaglyph Color Cerrection




In this tutorial I will show you how to get a better depth perception with anaglyph stereo.

red & cyan 3D glasses needed


The whole trick is that your audience will never watch your anaglyph movie without the appropriate glasses.
So the only thing that counts is what your viewers will see through their glasses.

Basically you just have to do a color correction with your glasses on and keep adjusting your image until it looks great in anaglyph.
It isn't important how your movie looks without the glasses! (Actually, it will look really awful.)

But it's still hard to adjust the colors and still keep the stereo effect. So here is the trick:
The red color gives your brain the greatest headache. So the best thing is to convert
red into black/grey – just like it would appear in black and white.

Therefore you simply use the following settings for your left eye:

anaglyph color correction effect

Red-Red: 0 %
Red-Green: 70 %
Red-Blue: 30 %








One problem is that the right eye (cyan) gets the color information of two channels, making the image clearer and brighter.
That's why you want to add a little gamma correction to your left eye, to equalize the brightness.
By the way: Our eyes are more sensitive to brightness distinctions than to differences in color.
To adjust the brightness you choose the “levels” tool (Tonwertkorrektur in German) and adjust the gamma there.


Anaglyph Color Correction Gamma

I was using 1,2. Others (from, for example) are recommending 1,5. I think it pretty much relies on your material.
Just make sure your image doesn't get a violet or red cast. You should play around with all values to enhance your stereoscopic impression.

For example, I've used the following settings on Broken to get to my final anaglyph version:


Left stream:

Broken effect example left eye


Right stream:

Broken effect example right eye


To get this:

broken anaglyph color correction film example


But, when I made this tutorial I found out that my movie doesn't need a gamma correction on the red eye.
A gamma correction with the same values on both eyes - so the image just gets brighter - works better.
This way I don't get the slight violet cast:

Brokene anaglyph color correction optimized


Of course the color representation of these versions doesn't get much better than the standard anaglyph.
But the stereoscopic experience improves, because there is less retinal rivalry. So the audience can concentrate more on your story.



Broken Anaglyph with AE Plug-In

My friend and workmate David Shelton, who runs 3dHippie's Blog, has now published a Plug-in for After Effects (and Flash), which uses the optimisation algorithm of Peter Wimmer from!
The best anaglyph you can get!

Get the Plug-In here, and more information about it here!

Related links: - A comparison between the different anaglyph methods; e.g. grey, color and half-color anaglyphs. This site is great! - Scroll down for some anaglyph color correction examples of Spy Kids 3D!



Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

"Create optimized anaglyph in After Effects" by Stefan D. Voigt  is licensed under a  
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Germany License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.