Rotation For the Stupid
August 19, 2006 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Best way to rotate an image or text into 3d space?

I have an image I'd like to rotate into a faux-3d space... basically, taking the picture by the 'top' and pushing it back into the monitor so that it's lying on its 'back'. I know this is easily done, because I see it ALL the time in images (that Colbert On Notice Board is a perfect example), but for some reason I can't figure out the term that's used, so my searches haven't come up with a good piece of software.

The term 'rotate' seems oriented around 2-d rotations, and I see how to do that fairly easily with imagemagick, but 3d has, so far, escaped me.

Alternately, I can recreate the logo I want to rotate with text, and then rotate THAT, so a 3D-text solution would also work.

I have access to any operating system needed. I'm perfectly happy with either GUI or command-line tools. I'd prefer it to be free, since I only want to do it a couple of times, but if there's some really neat software I should buy, I'd be willing.
posted by Malor to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
In Photoshop, Edit->Transform->Perspective.
posted by neckro23 at 5:40 AM on August 19, 2006

If it's simple, and a one-off thing, email it to me and I'll do it.

In Photoshop, this is called a "perspective transform" as neckro notes, and in other apps, it can be called any number of things.

You can do things like this in any 3d package, but that's overkill. Try tilt, perspective shift, etc. GIMP can do it, too.
posted by fake at 6:21 AM on August 19, 2006

Best answer: It's easy in GIMP (which is free and GUI-based) but it's not immediately obvious how.

Open your image, right-click on the canvas, and select Filters --> Map --> Map Object..., then make sure Map to Plane is selected, along with any other options you want, then go to the Orientation tab and have a ball. Click "Preview" to update the preview; it doesn't update automatically.
posted by musicinmybrain at 7:19 AM on August 19, 2006

P.S. You can also simulate the effect in most image editors using perspective shift, rotation, shearing, etc., but it's a lot easier to be able to set X, Y, and Z rotations as above.
posted by musicinmybrain at 7:20 AM on August 19, 2006

There are plugins for Photoshop that do this and lots of other spiffy stuff, if you are a photoshop guy. I think ImageMagick will do it too, but I'm not positive -- it seems to do most everything.
posted by baylink at 9:01 AM on August 19, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you very much, musicinmybrain.... that works perfectly, and I would probably never have found it on my own. GIMP's interface is, um, well... Byzantine comes to mind. But with your pointer, it worked fine.

This was a lot easier in Deluxe Paint, back in the day. :-)
posted by Malor at 8:54 AM on August 20, 2006

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