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Make your subject jump out of the frame with Photoshop

Give your images a 3D feel by making your subject pop out of a photo frame.

|  Adobe Photoshop
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Step 1: Duplicate the layer

Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate it by going to Layer>Duplicate Layer or by dragging it onto the new layer icon in the layers palette. Then double-click the new layer's name to rename it.

Step 2: Cut your subject out

Working on your duplicated layer you need to cut your subject, which in our case is the hokey player, out of the image. You can do this several ways but the quickest we found was to delete most of the parts you don't want with the Magic Erase tool and tidy up any small unwanted bits left with the Erase Tool. You can also use the Quick Selection Tool or the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select your subject then hit Ctrl J to paste them onto a new layer if you prefer.

Magic Erase Tool
The Magic Erase Tool in action.

Step 3: Make a large frame

On the same layer use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw a frame around your subject. We want to make it look like he's running out of the frame so will position it so his right foot looks like it's just lifting over it. Then go to Select>Inverse to create the shape of your frame. Click on the black & white circle at the bottom of the layers palette and select Solid colour. Choose white then hit OK. The legs and stick of our hokey player have vanished but this is easily rectified by moving the cut out layer above the layer we've just created.

Draw a frame

Pick a colour

Step 4: Create a smaller frame

It now looks like our hokey player is running out of the image but we can enhance this illusion even further by adding a slightly different coloured frame and some shadows to the image.

To create a smaller frame to go around the image double click on the layer you filled with white to open the Layer Style box. Click on stroke and adjust the size of the line created and the colour. We set ours to 10px and used an off white colour for our frame.

Layer Style

Step 5: Give your subject a shadow

Next we are going to give the frame and hockey player a shadow to make them jump out of the screen a little more. Hold down Cntrl and click the left mouse button on the layer your person/object that you cut out is on. This will select them. Then Create a new layer and go to Edit>Fill. Choose black and hit OK.

Add a shadow

Make sure the shadow is under the layer which includes the subject you cut out then use the move tool to move the shadow slightly away from your subject. It's a little harsh so go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur to soften the shadow. If it's still too strong use the opacity slider to reduce it even more. It should now look like your subject is casting a shadow on the frame. The problem we have now though is they're casting a shadow over the pitch so we need to use the erase tool around the edge of the hockey player to remove it.

Shadow applied
Shadow applied.

Step 6: Give your frame a shadow

To add a shadow to the edge of the image around the frame create a new layer and select the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Draw around the edge of your frame then go to Edit>Fill and select black. Your image will now have a black rectangle covering it. Double click on your new layer in the layers palette to once again open the Layers Style box. Under Advance Blending reduce the Fill Opacity to 0 then click on Drop shadow. If Preview is ticked you'll see your frame now has a shadow along the edge. You can adjust the Opacity, Angle etc. of the shadow then once you're happy click OK.

Layer Style - Advanced Blending

Final image:
Give your images a 3d feel with the help of Photoshop
This tutorial works best with shots of people or items that are coming towards you. As you can see action and sport shots work particularly well but you can use this technique with piers too.
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