Depth maps are being widely used. It is part of the workflow of some Virtual/Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality Apps. Google Camera (Lens Blur mode) and the old Seene and Camarada Apps use it. Lenticular 3D/holographic images from postcards are generated mostly by depth maps instead of making several photos for all the views,if you find a 3D/holographic postcard with big “jumps” between a point of view and another is because they used a couple of photos instead of a depth map.
Depth maps are the key to extract that depth information to generate a 3D or even holographic image, a depth map can generate an unlimited number of views of the same image, so you can generate it 1 single viewing angle or 45 points of view if you want, for example to show it in a Looking Glass display, you can extract all the images for the same depth map. The problem -a big one-, is that likely every transfer of the file may destroy the metadata containing the depth map. Almost all software today do a rewrite of the original file ignoring metadata or even modifying EXIF attributes, including sometimes the operating system itself. If you want to preserve that metadata, you need to avoid any edit of the file.
StereoPhotoMaker and Depthy.me (abandoned, LeiaPix Converter is similar, and LeiaLink can transfer portrait mode photos from most flagship mobile phones without losing the depth map) can generate 3D images from bokeh photos. Facebook copied to Depthy.me/Seene, so you can use animated 3d images on that data trafficking social network. You have to upload them right from the original folder location of the file. Facebook can access directly to the system of your device (for bad reasons, very bad actually), so they override the operating system and can open them directly. On LeiaPix Converter you need to upload the image as a file and instead browse on gallery you have to browse on files (as Documents on Android or if via USB cable from the phone to the PC). On StereoPhotoMaker you have to open the file directly from the device connected to the PC by USB.
Once image is recognized and loaded on Depthy or StereoPhoto Maker you can save it as 3D photo and you can also adjust depth or make an animated GIF.
If following these steps you can’t load the depth map image it means your device uses depth map only internally and after generating your bokeh photo discards the depth map (most likely if your device does not allow to modify the bokeh foucs of your photo), or it save it outside the file or on a different format unrecognizable for other Apps.
We hope you would be lucky and have a device that stores the depth map correctly. Maybe you’re lucky enough to already have tens or hundreds of images with depth stored in the metadata.
Is your device a lucky one? Please comment and share the device you used. Or use our chat.