It's a technique called displacement mapping...you tell the program (in my case, Photoshop) which areas are further away and which are closer by how the areas of the picture are shaded on the map. Just follow this tutorial..it's the best one I've found so far, and it's how I learned how to do it..[link]
Thanks i already saw that tutorial and followed the instructions im also using photoshop CS4 ive looked everywhere i still can't find a explanation to my problem my images always appear to be going deeper into the screen rather then appearing to come out of the screen which is what im trying to do your vader is the perfect example of what i want to achieve.
Well, one reason that could be happening could be when you adjust the displacement...the 1st image should be a negative number..that's the one that will create the image for the left eye. The 2nd image should be a positive number. (not necessarily a "10" as in the tutorial...play around with the numbers until you get one that looks right and doesn't cause too much distortion). If you do those backwards, you might achieve an opposite effect. Also, you might be tempted to do extreme differences...don't try to make the closest objects TOO bright...avoid using pure white, it only makes things look weird...instead, use an off-white shade..close, but not quite white. Let me know if you have any other questions...I'll try to help you out any way that I can.
Thanks i tried what you said messing around with the values and stuff and here is the effect i have come up with so far [link] and this is the depthmap i made [link] This is a little closer to what i want but the sword still isn't really popping out of the screen if you could upload one of your depthmaps that would help allot i can't figure out what im doing wrong.
Your map looks great so far...one thing you might want to do is make the farthest end of the sword (the handle end, of course) the same shade of grey as the character's arm..they're in the same space, more or less...leave the sharp end of the sword the shade it's at..it's just right. Having the handle end a bit darker should make the sharp end "pop out" a tad more for you. Otherwise, amazing map work....it's coming out nice and sharp...I especially love the way you layered the hair.
Yeah, it's hard to cut down on ghosting sometimes....best thing to do is shade a bit past the edges. I've learned that if I overshoot the edges a bit, it cuts down on the ghosting a little...just have your brush on a good, fuzzy setting..don't want it to be TOO sharp.