Using Photoshop To Make an Image Jump Out of Frame

By Daryl Moistner

Dateline: February 15, 2005
Version: Photoshop CS

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The following is a tutorial on making an "out of bounds" photo. I am assuming that you have basic Photoshop skills such as sharpening photos, cloning, resizing and working with layers.

First and foremost is choosing the right photo to manipulate. To get a true 3D effect, the target in the photo should be coming towards the camera at an angle similar to:

Though other types of targets can work with lots of practice and imaginative manipulation. Let's begin. First open a photo in Adobe Photoshop. I will use a photo of another boat full of people. Size the photo to about the size you would like it be.

Now duplicate that layer as shown below

Now you need to isolate the target using your choice of isolation method. For this one, I chose the Magnetic Lasso tool, although sometimes the extraction filter works better. Once you have outlined it, you need to put the target (boat) in its own layer. Right click in the middle and choose layer via copy. You can use layer via cut, but it will leave a hole in the background and could be troublesome later during touchup work. The photo here has been put into a layer via cut.

Add a layer at the bottom and fill it with color. I like to use gray but you can use black or white or anything you like. When you are done you should have a layer menu box that looks like the one below. The bottom layer is your solid color; the next layer is your original image, and the top most layer is the target (boat).

Now you're ready to distort the original image. So highlight that layer in the layer menu box. Then go to the Edit menu, select Transform, and choose Distort. Perspective works too, but I like Distort. This will put small boxes around your photo. Grab those boxes on one side and pull them in to shrink that side of the image and grab the opposing boxes and pull them in or out until you get a good result that you are happy with.

It should end up looking something like this:

Now for the touch up. If you created a layer via cut, you will see a hole in the slanted original photo that needs to be fixed. If you used layer via copy you will see part of the target that needs to be covered up or erased. So with the Clone tool, Healing Brush, Eraser...etc...fix that part of the original image to make it look as natural as possible. You could always use an entirely different background image than the one the target came from. It will take practice before you achieve a good result so just keep at it. You can add a frame now if you wanted or add the frame right prior to distorting the background image. Well....that's about Good Luck!

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Daryl Moistner is a Land Surveyor, Travel Photographer, and Graphic Artist based out of Brightwood, Oregon. Check out his site at