Hylander’s Out of Bounds (OoBs) Photo Editing Tutorial
We have all probably seen at one time or other a graphic in an advertisement that shows someone or something coming out of the screen of a monitor, television, or other display device. This is a quick tutorial on how you can achieve this “3D” effect in Photoshop without any special tools or plugin requirements. You can use just about any photo, as most images can be made into some form or type of OoB. Obviously, some images will be more natural fits than others, and thus be easier to work with. I suggest for learning how to do this technique you select images that are relatively easy to manipulate and compliment each other for this effect.
BONUS FEATURE – You’re actually going to get two tutorials in this posting. Hey, we’re all about value here at Hustedia.com! The first method is about using two different images to achieve the OoB effect. The second method is to take “any” image, and make it into an OoB.
STEP ONE: Start by opening an image of a screen or frame (I’m using an image of a television here). You can use any image that has a type of frame such as a television, computer monitor, photo frame, or even a laptop, netbook, or tablet PC.
STEP TWO: Grab the Polygonal Lasso tool from the Toolbox in Photoshop. Start by clicking on any corner of the screen area that you want your item to come out of, this will set a point to begin your selection. Now, continue by clicking in each corner of the screen area as you work your way around it. Note, that with the Polygonal Lasso tool it does not matter about the angles of the corner or how many ‘sides’ the screen has. As long as you can connect straight lines, you can make the selection on the screen. Lastly, click the original point you started the selection with to complete the selection process.
STEP THREE: Now open the image that you want to place inside the selection you just made. Again, this can be just about anything but I’m going to use an image of a vintage race car that I’ve taken. Press Ctrl-A (I apologize, I’m not familiar with all the Mac short cuts in Photoshop but I believe the equivalent would be “Command-A”) to select the entire image file, and then press Ctrl-C (Command-C) to copy the selected image to the clipboard.
STEP FOUR: Now return to your original image of the frame you are using for this tutorial. With the selection still active, go to the Edit menu and select Paste Into, or Shift-Ctrl-V (Shift-Command-V). This should create a new layer and paste the new image you want coming through the frame into the selection area. This will also create a layer mask based on the new selection which masks the image to the frame. Do not be concerned about where the pasted image is in relation to the primary frame, you’ll be able to adjust that later to your liking or preference.
STEP FIVE: Now, hold down the Shift key and click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable the layer mask. You should now be able to see the entire layer. You’ll now want to reduce the opacity of this layer to somewhere around 50% – 60% so you can see the frame and be able to adjust the position of the item you want coming through it.
STEP SIX: As I mentioned above, if the item you want coming through your frame isn’t in the position you want it to be in for jumping out of the frame, select the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform option. Place your cursor over a corner handle until you see a bent double arrow, then click-and-drag to rotate the image. To reposition the image, click-and-drag it into your desired placement within the frame. When your item is located where you want it to be in the frame, press Enter (Return). The free transformation will now be applied as you had set it.
STEP SEVEN: Now, the process will begin to be a little more difficult. You’ll obviously only want a portion of your item to be coming through the actual frame. So we will need to use the Lasso tool to make a selection around the parts of your image that are protruding through the frame. Once you have made your selection, press Ctrl-J (Command-J) to copy your selection onto its own layer. You now need to reactivate the layer mask by Shift-clicking on the layer mask thumbnail again.
STEP EIGHT: You now are going to have to use the Eraser tool. Make sure you have a relatively hard-edged brush selected for this process. Once you select the Eraser tool, begin erasing the edges of the item coming through your frame. You’ll want to erase anything that is around your item that you won’t want to see going out of the frame. You’ll also want to erase any part of the background that obstructs the main framing element. When you’ve completed erasing all of the above, return the Opacity of the layer to 100%. Please note that there are numerous ways to erase the content you do not want to see. Whether you use the Eraser tool, layer masks, selection deletes, or any other method, it is completely up to you.
If all went as planned, you’ll hopefully see the 3D effect and achieved the desired result!
This second method involves taking any image, and creating the 3D illusion or effect by using a frame. I will begin by using a photo of Stewie, one of our cats.
His ears are so big they serve perfectly to demonstrate this effect. Generally, just about any image can be made to have some sort of OoB effect applied to it. However, some images will be more naturally suitable than others. Lets get started…
STEP ONE: Duplicate the background layer by right clicking on it and selecting ‘duplicate layer’. Now, turn off the background layer by clicking on the eye icon which should now disappear.
STEP TWO: Our next task is to create a mask of our primary image. To do this, click on the mask icon to create the layer mask.
You should now see a layer mask applied to the new layer you created. Also, your background layer should still be turned off. (Please note that my image here is a little different than yours because I performed these tasks ahead of time. My layer mask already has a frame shape applied to it. So don’t be alarmed because yours does not at this point in time. You will be performing this step very shortly.)
STEP THREE: Now we need to create yet another layer, so click on the add layer icon to do so. Once you have the new layer created, select the rectangular marquee tool. This process is completely up to you on how you want to frame your image, so select a corner for your frame by clicking on your left mouse button and drag out a box as shown below. Again, do not worry if your selection does not match mine as your image is unique and this will vary from image to image.
STEP FOUR: Next, make sure white is the primary color selected in your color squares. Now, select the paint bucket and ‘dump’ it into your selected frame outline that you created in step three. Your ‘frame’ should now be filled with white.
STEP FIVE: In the Photoshop toolbar, select the ‘Select’ item, then modify, then “contract”. This should bring up a menu where you can type in the number 30 and hit enter to contract by 30 pixels.
STEP SIX: Now hit the Delete key on your keyboard. This should create a white frame around the selection you made back in step three. After you hit Delete, go back up to the Select menu and select “deselect”. This should remove the selection around the inside portion of the frame you had created.
STEP SEVEN: You now want to select ‘edit’ from the list of tools at the top menu of Photoshop. From the edit menu, select transform, and then “Distort”. You can now grab any corner of your frame and adjust it as you see fit. For my picture, I grabbed the left hand side corners and brought them down to create an angled frame as seen below. Again, this is really a personal preference and you are free to create the frame in any manner you wish here.
STEP EIGHT: Select the add layer mask icon again to create another new layer. Select the brush tool and adjust the size to somewhere in the neighborhood of ‘40’. You now need to make sure that your primary color selection is black. With the brush tool selected, click on your left mouse button and being painting the white parts of the frame that should be hidden by your subject coming out of the frame for your 3D effect. You can be as ‘rough’ or as ‘thorough’ as you want to be here. You can always ‘repaint’ the white border by switching your color selection to white to ‘unhide’ any portion of the frame you painted while black was selected. As you’ve probably noticed, with the layer mask that white shows the painted area while black hides any painted area.
STEP NINE: Once again, select on the add layer icon to create a new layer. You now need to move this new layer down in the line of layers so that it is directly above your ‘background’ layer which should still be hidden. Next, select the Gradient tool by clicking and holding down on the paint bucket icon until you can select the gradient option. Now that the gradient tool is selected, left click on the shaded bar to open the gradient editor. Select a preset that you like or make a new one if you choose, then click the OK button. Left click and hold starting in the upper right hand corner of your image and drag to the lower left hand corner of your image and then release the mouse button. Because we moved the location of the this layer in the heirarchy of layers, you won’t see the gradient applied here in the main window.
STEP TEN: Left click on the layer mask icon for your primary image as shown here.
Now, select the brush tool and select a size of around 50 or so. Again, make sure your color selection is on black. Now begin painting away any part of the image that is outside your frame except the parts of your image that you actually want extruding outside the frame for your 3D effect. As I mentioned above, don’t worry if you accidentally paint over something you later want to show as you can just select white and paint it to reappear.
STEP ELEVEN: Now is a good time to go back and clean up any ‘painting’ that you have done. Just select the layer you need to adjust, click on the mask, and use the white to make things appear and black to ‘erase’ them. Use the zoom and adjust your brush size as needed to get as close and ‘smooth’ as you can.
STEP TWELVE: See, you didn’t even know you were part of a twelve step program here! To finish up your image, lets select the magic wand tool.
Left click in the gradient area with the magic wand tool. The outside of your frame should now be selected. If not, keep trying until you have your frame highlighted with the wand tool. Once you have it selected, go up to the Select menu and in the drop town, select “Inverse”. Now, everything outside your frame should be selected. Left click on the add layer icon again. Now, left click and hold until you select the paint bucket tool in the Photoshop tools. Make sure black is the color selected and fill your selection area with the black. You should have a layer(s) that look similar to below.
Go back up to the tool bar and pick ‘select’ and then “deselect”. Make sure this layer is below the main image layer, but above the gradient layer in your layer heirarchy. See the above image again and notice the arrangement of the layers. Now select the move tool and position it somewhere over the center of your image. Left click and while holding the button down, drag to the left slowly. Your black layer should be moving as you drag to the left. Release the left mouse button once you have that layer slightly to the left and below your original image. Now go to the menu at the top and select the Filter drop down menu and select the “Blur” filter. Then select the Gaussian Blur option. Adjust the Guassian Blur level to approximately 9 to 9.5 and hit OK.
Now, make sure you still have the shape level highlighted and adjust it’s opacity to about 55% to start and adjust to suit your taste. In my image, I have it set at 67%.
Your final image should result in something similar to this, ‘The Stewie’.
Note that before saving your final image, you may also crop or adjust your final photo in any way you choose to achieve the desired effect and size. There are no ‘absolute’ rules to the effects and how you apply them, so please feel free to, and certainly do, experiment! Some of the best effects and final results are sometimes accomplished by ‘accident’. You may want to also experiment with ‘warping’ your frame which can achieve some pretty cool effects as well.
I hope you found this tutorial informational and helpful. Please feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions in the comments section. I hope to have more tutorials available in the not too distant future. If you have any requests, please send them my way and I’ll see what I can do.