How to create a 3D layer explosion/expansion in Photoshop?

I need to depict a bunch of layers of an image similar to this:

Layer explosion

What is this style called? Is there any photoshop plugins that can automatically create this kind of view?


Ok, here is how you do this. Prepare your image layers and all. Im going to be using a very simple image with colored squares.

simple setup

Image 1: Original setup with simple shapes, this would work with any layered source however.

Select ALL your layers you intend to stack up, into isometric or perspective. I will be transforming to isometric [1].

  1. Scale down horizontally 86,60254037% using Edit → Transform → Scale
  2. Skew down horizontally 30 (or -30) degrees using Edit → Transform → Skew
  3. Rotate -30 (or 30 if you skewed -30) degrees using Edit → Transform → Rotate
  4. (Optional) scale to fit

Isometric transform of layers

Image 2: Layers after isometric transform

Then shift layers upwards with move tool (holding shift down and by hitting for precise control. Tip if you want a shadow or see where the layers started from duplicate them and hide the original guides are then easier to produce.

Final image with offset

Image 3: Result with outlines of layer positions on layer below.

Decorate to your hears content. Done. Ideas for improvement:

  • turn layers into smart objects befre transformation


  1. Walker C., 2009. How to Create Advanced Isometric Illustrations Using the SSR Method, Tutsplus, referenced 08/07/2014

Source : Link , Question Author : Hamed Saadat , Answer Author : Community

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