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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?

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You don't need a plugin just select the layers tarsnform into isometric view and offset –  joojaa Aug 7 '14 at 11:21
How do I do that? This is basically what I understood: i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/572/078/d6d.jpg –  Hamed Saadat Aug 7 '14 at 11:54
See my answer. Its pretty self contained explanation. –  joojaa Aug 7 '14 at 12:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

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 86.062% 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
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Ace! Any good ideas about how to add the edges to give the layers 'thickness'? –  Vincent Aug 7 '14 at 12:06
@Vincent Duplicate many layers in pixel increments on top of eachother? –  joojaa Aug 7 '14 at 12:10
clunky, but easy. –  Vincent Aug 7 '14 at 12:11
@Vincent Too bad you can not make colored image brushes in photoshop then youd just stroke the image upward. Or you can build sides like explained in the reference. –  joojaa Aug 7 '14 at 12:13

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