3D Self Portrait

Create a 3D Self Portrait 

Supplies Needed:

  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Card Stock
  • Computer with Photoshop and Printer
  • Air Dry Clay
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Adhesive (TBD)

Step 1: Cut Hole in Card Stock and Construct Convoluted Set Up for Photo Taking Process

Once I decided I wanted my 3D portrait to look as if I were coming out of a hole in a chair, I felt that having the image at the angle I wanted to portray would make the 3D aspect more believable.  In order to create a “hole”, I used card stock and, ideally, would have used a compass to make a perfect circle.  Realizing I did not have a compass, I attempted to create my own (Image 1) which failed miserably and so instead I free drew a circle as best as I could (Image 2) (This circle can always be adjusted in Photoshop anyway).  Once I set up my “hole”, I put a timer on my phone and slid into place.  Be sure to make the strangest face possible, wait for flash, check to see if photo is acceptable, and repeat as needed.

Step 2: Adjust Opacity in Photoshop to about 30%, then Print Photo

It’s helpful if you remember to take photos of each step, however, I did not.  Therefore, you can’t see my initial light print out, but you can see that after I printed the light print out, I then colored over it with colored pencil.  This is a great way to get comfortable with drawing realistic portraits, and by using your own original photo and editing it in Photoshop yourself, it feels less like “cheating”.

Step 3: Pick a Place to Animate, cut hole, and film animation GIF


For my eye, I used the GIPHY CAM app on my phone.  When it came time to display my final project, I placed my phone under the hole and had it loop indefinitely.

Step 4: Add Depth with Clay and Paint

I had the idea that sculpting parts of the hand out out clay then painting them to blend into the photo would be a great way to add to the “coming out” effect of my portrait.  What I did not take into consideration was 1: the clay takes 3 days to dry. 2: painting wet clay makes it a gross grey color, not the color of the paint, and 3: the clay will not stick to the paper.  I, of course, discovered all this the hard way, so learn from my mistakes and allow yourself sufficient time for clay to dry, be painted, and of course, experiment with adhesives in order to attach “hands” to paper (hint: hot glue will not work).


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