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How to Create Out of Bounds Pictures in Photoshop

written by: Caroline Thompson•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/28/2010

Learn how to create pictures that spill out onto the page. Out of Bounds imagery is easy to create in Photoshop CS3. Images that move onto the page can be created in a few simple steps. Multiple images can be linked with objects moving between different scenes. Great 3D effects can be created.

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    Out of Bounds Pictures

    Out of Bounds pictures literally spill out of the frame. It is easy to create this effect using Photoshop layers and masking. This effect can create images that come to life or fantasy illusions. Two images can be linked with an object crossing over from one image to the other image. The creative possibilities are unlimited.

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    Choose the Image

    Choosing the right image or images to create an Out of Bounds picture can be tricky. The best images to work with are ones where the subject is coming towards the viewer with some movement, either with the body or some part of the image. This will give the impression of motion. This can be a leg stepping up, an arm lifted, a boat moving forward or water falling.

    Objects can move away from the viewer, also. Objects can be walking between images. Body movement is important as it creates the illusion of movement. In surreal images, objects can float from one image to the other.

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    Decide what is Going to Happen

    Once an image is chosen, it is necessary to decide what is going to happen in the scene. Some images have frames that enclose the picture. This is good for images coming towards the viewer. It helps to give the illusion that the image is coming out of the picture.

    Objects moving away from the viewer require background perspective manipulation. For objects moving between images, the angles will need to be tapered to provide a vanishing point. This creates the 3D effect.

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    Step 1

    • For this tutorial, the boxer in the picture will spill out of the frame. Figure 1
    • Open the image in Photoshop and make a copy. Figure 2
    • Choose the Magnetic Lasso Tool from the Tools Palette. Figure 3
    • Outline the image that is going to spill out of the frame. In this case, the boxer on the mat is the target. Figure 4
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    Figure 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4
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    Step 2

    Next, the target object has to be cut out and isolated. A fill layer will be added for a background. It is important to name all the layers as you create them.

    • To put the boxer on his own layer, Right Click on the target and select Layer Via Copy. ( Figure 5) It is important to use the copy command to make the touch up later easier. Layer Via Cut can be used, but it will leave a hole in the background that will not enable an erase to background.
    • Name the layer Object
    • Create a new layer using the Create New Adjustment Layer Button at the bottom of the Layers Palette. Move this layer to the bottom of the row and rename it Fill. Figure 6
    • Add a fill color to the bottom layer. A neutral color works best.
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    Figure 5Figure 6
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    Step 3

    Next, the image needs to be distorted.

    • Select the Boxer Copy layer and select the image by choose Cmd A (Mac) and Ctrl A (PC).
    • Choose Edit>Transform>Distort in the Main Toolbar Menu. (Figure 8) Perspective can be used also. Play around with different options to see what works for the image. Using the Distort command puts grab boxes at the corners and middle of the image.
    • Grab one corner and shrink the side down to bring the image out of the picture. Follow with the other corner on the same side of the image. Your image should look like Figure 7.
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    Figure 8Figure 7
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    Step 4

    Now, it is time for the touch ups. The image will need to be touched up in the areas that are exposed or overlapping. If you used the cut command, then the areas that expose the hole will need to be cloned.

    • Using the Eraser Tool, Clone Tool and Healing Brush Tool touch up the overlap areas. This will take some practice, but vary the tools and set the opacity and flow to 25 percent. Figures 9 & 10
    • The edits will need to be made on the copy layer. Figure 11
    • After all the touch ups have been made, put a picture frame around the image. (If desired) The frame will need to be distorted to fit the image. A frame can be added at the beginning of the process if desired.
    • Your final image should look something like the boxer image.
    • Have fun!
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    Figure 9Figure 10Final Image