Photoshop Tutorial: Realistic Out of Border Effect

This tutorial will show you how you can create that cool 3D pop-out effect using simple steps in Photoshop. Here’s the before and after photos;

snake tutorial

Let’s get started!

Step 1. ) Open the image (file > open or ctrl+o)

Step 2. ) Copy your background image (ctrl+j) and you’ll have ‘layer 1′ above your background layer

snake tutorial

Step 3. ) Now make a new layer above the ‘original’ and another one below it. Name your new layers: frame and shadow. Your layer pallete should look like this;

snake tutorial

Step 4. ) Click on your ‘frame’ layer, then create a rectangular using marquee tool, and go to edit > Stroke, change the color to white and the width to 10 pixel, OK. Now go to Edit>transform>Distort and modify your frame until it looks like this;

snake tutorial

Step 5. )Click on ‘shadow’ layer and fill your ‘shadow’ layer with black. Then click on your background layer and fill the layer with white.

snake tutorial

Step 6. ) Click on your ‘frame’ layer. Choose magic wand, and select the inside part of your frame. Now click on your ‘layer1′ and click on ‘add layer mask’ button as below;

snake tutorial

Step 7. )Choose a brush tool, and pick ‘white’ as your foreground color and starts paint the layer mask to reveal the snake body.

snake tutorial

Step 8. )Click on the ‘frame’ layer, click on the ‘add layer mask’ button and using brush tool starts painting your white border with black to hide it.

snake tutorial

Step 9. )Now erase your ‘shadow’ layer using Eraser tool

snake tutorial

That’s about it.. and here’s again our before and after photos

snake tutorial

Tutorial submitted by Ahmad –

See also: Photoshop Tutorials

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Comment by sam
2007-01-22 19:19:31

I wasnt able to find out how to make the background white and the shadow black. I tried using the bucket and the diffrient tools but couldnt find it. maybe it can help if you explained how to turn the background into a white and the shadow into a black. thank you

Comment by christine Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-31 14:30:44

try using the edit and image tools at the top of the page instead, right click on your boxes will give you the options to change colors

Comment by hugo
2007-02-27 09:54:31

Step 7 is not working properly with me.. probably cuz i’m a noob, but painting the mask does not reveal the hidden parts

maybe you can expain with more detail plz ? :(

Comment by Leone Subscribed to comments via email
2007-07-12 18:21:05

I am having the same problems as above…….

in fact I have been working on this ‘project’ for the past 4.25 hours and tried 3 different photos from scratch hoping that I would be able to pick up where I was making a mistake…..

but I can’t seem to get what to do from layer 6.

I am feeling quite frustrated at my own inabilty to see something clearly ………. well I think it should be easy but I still cannot do it. :-(

The above tutorial suggested the first lare be called original, then the above ‘screen dump’ has it as layer 1.

all very confusing for a newbie that is about to throw the computer out the window and I live on the 18th floor!!!!!

Hope someone can suggest what to do or where we are going ‘wrong’!


Leonefabre AT gmail DOT com

Comment by Ahmad
2007-08-30 15:28:13

Oops, it looked like I put the wrong screenshot to the tutorial.
Just make a copy of the background layer, and don’t worry about the name.

I’ve updated the tutorial, and sorry for the confusion.

Comment by christine Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-30 13:53:48

WOW, am I glad I finally read down on the page a little further, I was starting to think I was a COMPLETE IDIOT, You have definitely left out some instructions here, so I hope you are gonna fix this and help us all

Comment by Denise
2008-01-12 11:35:40

I am using PSE 5.0 …can I not make the “add a layer mask” because I cannot find the button on the bottom under the layers for add vector mask ??
I am a newbie to PSE also…

Comment by Denise
2008-01-12 17:20:22

ok I installed Grants tools and got my layer masks now… now on step 6 I cant seem to make the back layer black…gee, am I thick or what???
I’ll keep trying..LOL

Comment by zach
2008-01-19 14:02:49

you guys are idiots, got it on the first try. GREAT TUT!

Comment by Stephanie Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-26 13:11:51

For some reason when I finish my frame and I try to use the magic wand it always tells me “could not use the magic wand because the target is a fill layer”. I am clicking right in side of the frame on the frame layer. What am I doing wrong? I have version 6.0

Comment by mahlon
2008-08-23 22:24:44

that was a very well put together tutorial, easy to follow and fun to do thank you very much.

Comment by ph0neman
2008-10-30 20:14:25

good tutorial… there are quite a few on this subject this is by far the most direct. thanks and guys not sure where you are all having problems but this also worked for me. thanks again

Comment by Nicky
2009-03-20 14:03:39

an easier way to create a shadow for the frame is to just create a drop shadow for it. (select the layer > click on the fx on the bottom of the layer palette > then apply a drop shadow and fiddle with the settings till it looks good)

Comment by Claudia
2009-07-09 20:44:03

Very Clear! Thx!
Guys come on.. this is some really easy stuff… loll anyways good luck.. i guess… xD

Comment by jonnyChan
2009-11-26 09:40:37

Great tut. Thanks!

Comment by Mayur
2010-05-19 03:09:20

Wow i came to this page while looking for something else, but found this tutorial really interesting and useful. So i am thinking of trying this one out right now. Great tutorial, thanks.

I think this same can be done for other objects or images too, instead of snake.


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