A continuous, multi-phase process for debossing and perforating a substantially continuous web of substantially planar polymeric film to coincide with the image of one or more forming structures, each having a patterned forming surface with a multiplicity of holes and an opposed surface. Each forming structure is open from the holes in the forming surface to its opposed surface. The web of film has an indefinite length, a first surface, a second surface and a thickness. The thickness comprises the distance between the first surface and the second surface. The process comprises at least two sequential forming phases, one of which involves three-dimensional conformance of the web to the macroscopic profile of the forming structure and another of which involves aperturing of the web to coincide with fine-scale apertures in either the same or a separate forming structure. The order in which the phases are carried out will depend upon the properties desired in the resultant macroscopically expanded, three-dimensional, apertured polymeric web. Because the process is carried out in sequential phases, previously incompatible characteristics which could not be provided by prior art single-phase forming processes can now be achieved.