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Google Photos will soon be able to add a 3D effect to 2D photos

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Google calls the the 3D images ‘Cinematic photos’

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google Photos will soon be able to take your 2D images and make them appear as if they’re 3D, the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday. Google is calling these types of images “Cinematic photos,” and they’re a new type of image the app can show as part of its Memories feature.

Here’s a GIF from Google comparing a 2D image to a Cinematic photo. I think the feature looks pretty impressive:

To make Cinematic photos, “we use machine learning to predict an image’s depth and produce a 3D representation of the scene—even if the original image doesn’t include depth information from the camera,” Jamie Aspinall, a Google Photos product manager, writes in Tuesday’s blog. “Then we animate a virtual camera for a smooth panning effect—just like out of the movies.”

Google says Google Photos will automatically make Cinematic photos, and they’ll appear in the recent highlights section above your photo grid.

The company is also adding new themes for Memories. Now, you’ll be able to see Memories about important people in your life, and soon, Google Photos will show you Memories about your favorite things (Google gave the example of sunsets) and activities (such as baking or hiking).

These new features in Memories will be rolling out to users over the next month, according to Google.