The 2.5D Parallax Effect

Yeah, photos are cool but have you seen what happens when you add a little animation to a still image?

Neat, huh? It’s called the 2.5D parallax effect and it’s here to bring some of your still images to life.

Move over Ken Burns there's a "new" kid in town!

Ok, so maybe not so much new, but see the difference between the two? The Ken Burns effect merely animates the photo as a whole while the 2.5D Parallax Effect separates the subject from the background while it moves. It also adds a creative option in the editing room. WINNING!


AND since it’s Women’s History Month I can’t think of a more perfect time to give props to the lady first responsible for creating this effect!

Lotte Reiniger


Back in 1923, Lotte Reiniger invented the first multiplane camera, a technique used to film her first and only full length animated feature film, ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed”.

How did she do this? By layering sheets of glass under a camera and moving the background panels within each frame separate from her puppet cutouts, she was able to create the appearance of depth for her drawings.

Known to few as a pioneer in animation she spent the majority of her life creating animated fairytale shorts for children.  (Cinderella)

Walt Disney

Walt Disney would later adopt and alter this technique, claiming it as his own invention and in 1937 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was born, the first feature film to be made using his patented cameras.

He popularized this technique and continued using it up until ‘The Little Mermaid’ in 1989. It would be the last film Disney would shoot with the multiplane camera.

Want to learn more about Disney’s version of the multi-camera? Hear it from Walt himself in this video here: Walt Disney Explains the Multiplane Camera

Creating Content

There are many ways to utilize this effect within your projects. Here are a few examples.


Bring a part of history back to life with this technique. Old family photos? Perfect for that too!

Sports Promos

Relive those game winning moments frozen in time.


Bring out a little personality within a portrait.


Retain your favorite concert moments.

Special Events

Memorialize your wedding day or bring life back to the party!

Ads + Branding + Travel

Create cool ads for your company or look back on a favorite trip.

Once you get the hang of it try adding multiple layers or other effects.


Interested in how to achieve this effect? LEARN HERE

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