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How to make the out of bounds, pop out effect in Photoshop Tutorial

This is such a fun effect, that really gives life to your action photos.

These out of bounds / popup style effects in Photoshop can make photographs look really 3D as they appear to come right out of the frame.

This tutorial is going to show you exactly how to achieve these effects. You will learn how to create a frame that looks dynamic, how to protrude your subject out of the fame and then how to apply the shadows. The shadows are a key element is making something look like it off the surface. In fact I have created a Photoshop tutorial on making cast shadows here.


I hope you enjoy this step-by-step tutorial. The written steps will be coming soon.

Why don’t you post your results to our PhotoshopCAFE facebook group 


The photo used in from Adobe Stock. you can find it here


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this is a transcription of the tutorial, actual written steps coming soon


How to make OUT of BOUNDS pop out effect in Photoshop

Hey Cafe Crew, it is Colin Smith here from Photoshop Cafe and today, I am going to show you how to create a really cool Out of Bounds effect inside of Photoshop.

So the Out of Bounds effect is a really cool effect that maybe you have seen before where something is just leaping out of a photograph. So basically what we do is we make it look like the photo is in a frame and the object is actually bursting out of the frame. It just adds a bunch of 3 dimensionality and also just a lot of visual impact is there. The object just appears to be leaping right at you out of the screen. I am going to show you how to do that.

And the kind of thing that lands itself well to that is things like these, sports images, action images look really good. So here is a photograph I got of kayaking, I got this from Adobe Stock. So don’t forget to check out Adobe Stock by the way. You can grab 10 free images from there, just check out the link underneath and also, if you are a photographer, you want to contribute, get your photo in front of millions of people and also make some extra money, check that out in the link underneath.

So let’s start on this tutorial right now.

Okay, so the first thing we want to do is, we want to cut out our kayak but there’s a new feature that was actually added yesterday inside of Photoshop CC under the Selective Mask option and that selects subjects. So if I click on there, it is going to use Adobe Sensei which is artificial intelligence to figure out what the subject is and make the selection around it and look at that! It did a pretty good job. Now there’s a few little things to know about that. I am going to be making anew tutorial tomorrow, so check that out. I am going to be talking more about these new selection features.

Now, if you don’t have that just use your quick select tool and go around there, you can see, we have got a good start there. Now we are going to choose Select and Mask and there’s one little refinement I want to do to this. It is looking pretty good but one of the things I always love to do is to turn on Show Edge and then I am going to turn this Edge detection up just until we start to see that edge, see that? And we are going to turn that back off again and what that is going to do is that’s going to clean it up and make it sharper edge for a better selection. So we are just going to go down here and we want the output to a new layer with layer mask. And then we just click OK, and now we have got a new layer with a layer mask.

Now, if you have Photoshop CS6 or earlier and you don’t have access to this feature, just use you know, the Quick Selection tool or other selection methods. I have got tons of tutorials on selections. Just check out my channel or for detailed tutorials on how to cut the things out.

So, what we have got now is we have got this guy on his own layer and then, underneath we have got the photograph itself. Okay, so what we want to do here is let’s turn that back on, I am going to create a new layer in between. And what we are looking to do is to create a rectangle around here and this rectangle is going to look like the photographic frame. Now here’s a thing I want to do with this, I want to make this frame look more alive and more dynamic than just a rectangle. So I am going to create a rectangle and then I am going to skew it and warp it so it looks more 3 dimensional and then I am even going to give it a little bend to just really make it feel like it is flexing.

So let’s do that right now. So the first thing we want to do is grab our Rectangle tool and then that’s right there you will see it is hiding under the line tool. Make sure we choose Pixels. The color doesn’t matter, right now we have got white, it is completely irrelevant. We are just doing it for the selection. Make sure we are under new layer and then what we are going to do is we are going to just click and drag around to define the area that we want to be the picture frame. So that’s pretty good and you can see it ready, you can see how it is bursting out but this is nothing compared to what we are going to do.

So I am just going to hit the V key to get back to the move tool. And then we want to transform this rectangle making sure the rectangle is still selected, we are just going to hit Command T and that would be Ctrl T on Windows to activate Free Transform. Free transform enables us to start dragging these little corners and doing different things. Now we are going to do little bit more than that. So if we hit the Right Mouse Button on Windows or we Ctrl Click on Mac, it brings up a menu that gives us other things that we can do with the Transform. And what I want to do is I don’t want to use perspective although that would seem like to be the best option. I am actually going to use Warp. Because when I choose Warp, I can grab these corners independently and notice it kind of bends and that’s what I am sort of going forward with this.

So I want to kind of make it bend a little bit. So let’s kind of drag that down a little bit. And here and we just kind of want to pull this up so that we have got perspective going on. Maybe up a little bit more. You can see how we are kind of getting this bend. Now we can grab this ones in the corner here and we can do that to get a nice kind of a warp, just kind of you would give with a sail, imagine. You can also click on these regions and manually do it. So we are just looking for something that seems to be bending and flexing a little bit. That’s pretty good. Maybe drag it down a little bit more. The more we pull these edges, the more dramatic and extreme that is going to get. So we don’t want to get too extreme. But that’s pretty good. So I am just going to hit enter to apply that and now what I want to do is, I want to make a selection around there. So I am just going to Ctrl Click to make that selection. And all we are going to be doing now, we are just going to be using this selection, there are couple of ways we can do, in fact, let me show you another way, is if I drag this underneath and we just turn that Padlock up, we drag that layer above it, now if I go in between, the two, see this image and our background where we made our square and I hit the Alt or the Option keys, see this little arrow, tap and what it will do is it will clip in there. And this is actually a good way of making that selection, if we want to make it non-destructive because within here, I can actually move this around, see that? I can recompose this. And it is completely non-destructive. Now, I can also move this layer around, that is going to mess if we don’t do the top as well. So, if I hit the Shift key, I can move these around as well to recompose this shot exactly how I want to have it, bursting out of the frame.

Okay, that’s looking pretty good. Now there’s a couple of things I want to do. I want to put a little white outline around there. So the way I am going to do that is I am just going to make a selection, notice I have done that there. And then I am just going to create a new layer and then what I want to do is just contract this a little bit. So I am going to choose Select, Modify and everything to do with Modify selections are there and we are going to choose Contract. And let’s contract this by, I don’t know, let’s tract 15 pixels and see how it looks. Maybe a little bit more. So we are going to choose Select again, Modify, Contract and maybe let’s do another 15. There we go and that’s going to give us a pretty good area. But remember this area selected, we want to select everything else. So we are going to Command Shift I and that would be Ctrl Shift I on Windows to inverse [Inaudible 06:57] marching ends around here and marching ends around here. So now, we have selected this region and we just want to fill that with white.

So there’s a couple of different ways of doing this. You know, actually there’s many different ways of doing this but I am going to take advantage of this Clipping Group. So I am just going to fill the whole thing with white. And notice we have got white for the foreground color. Just make sure you have got white selected. And then just hit Alt Delete, that would be Option Backspace or actually Option Delete, Alt Backspace on Windows. And then what it has done is it just filled the area with white and if we also clip it, we can see now we have got out white outline around it. Now we could have done a stroke, there’s many different ways and you know, why don’t you drop in the comments how you would have done that. Because Photoshop is million different ways of doing anything and this is just kind of a way we are doing things right now.

Excellent. So what we have done is we have kind of done the out of bounds, we have got a little bit more to go though. We are going to add some shadows to give it that depth and realism and we are also going to drop something in the background, so that we don’t have the transparent area around there though, well, it doesn’t look too bad.

So why don’t we try that first. Let’s create a new layer and we are just going to drag this to the bottom and I just want to kind of create a gradient. So why don’t we grab something, maybe this blue is kind of nice, we will base it off there. We are going to reduce that saturation, maybe make it darker. And we are going to hit the back key there and I am just going to tap on there. So what I am doing is selecting the same color again. So we have selected the background picker rather than the foreground packer to bring our background. Notice that and by tapping that with the eyedropper, we have selected the same color for the foreground and the background.

So what I am going to do now is I am just going to make it brighten up a little bit and reduce the saturation. There we go and now we have got that foreground background, grab our gradient tool, set to linear and just drag it down and just play around until we get something that makes us feel good. You know maybe something a little bit more, maybe even more abrupt, maybe something very abrupt like that so that it kind of looks like a desktop. Or the other way, meh, I think I like it the other way. That way, that looks good.

Excellent, so now we are just going to do our shadows and this is really what is going to make the whole thing pop right now. So I am just going to add, on the very top, I am going to add a [Inaudible 09:11] type frame. Why don’t we add a drop shadow to our frame. So we are going to select it right now and what we are going to do is grab this actual area that we are clipping to, because this is where we are going to add our shadow and we are going to create a drop shadow. Let me just drag that out of the way. Now one of the things with the drop shadow is you can drag this around manually and I think I want to get it this way a little bit. We are going to drop down the opacity quite a bit and also the size.

So there we go. Now we hit the size a little bit, just to kind of soften it. There we go. Now looks like it kind of popping. Maybe give it a little bit more of a shadow. So like 50%, that’s not bad. Click OK.

So that’s looking good. Now we just want to add a shadow on this. Now there’s so many different ways of doing this. Just like you know, everything else, there’s a ton of ways of doing it. And what I am going to do is I am just going to create a new layer. And I am going to pop that new layer under beneath here. And I don’t want it to be clipping. So let me just hit the Alt or the Option key and pull that out. So we have got a new layer right there. And now what I want to do is I just want to paint my shadow inside. So I am just going to grab a black brush, grab the Brush. Make sure we have got a soft brush which means the hardness goes all the way down. Drop that size down a little bit. I am going to go up a little. I want it to kind of match there. That’s not bad. And also I am going to hit the D key, to reset the foreground background colors. So now we are going to be painting with black. Now remember the light direction is coming down here. So what I am going to do is I am going to start under there and I am just going to paint, now don’t worry if it is too dark. We are going to adjust this in a minute. And we went too far there, just go here. Just do it like that. Let’s drop the size down a little bit. So that we can get a little bit of shadow there, I think that’s going to be interesting. And let’s increase the size of that shadow again, we are going to drop it down here. Now we are just going to kind of paint that by hand. And the reason we are doing that is because if we apply it to here, it is just going to kind of look weird. It’s not going to work.

So anyway, what we are going to do now is we just want to adjust our opacity so that it matches the rest of the shadow. So let’s just play around with that a little bit. Slowly bring it down. We have got a pretty good match there. And if we want to smooven that out, we can add blur, just choose Filter, Blur. Give it a Gaussian Blur. There we go, notice it just smoves out some of our moves there. And there we go guys!

There we have it. There’s our out of bounds effect. I hope you have enjoyed it. Once again, if you want to grab some free images, from Adobe Stock or you want to become a contributor, click on the link underneath. Check it out and I hope you like this video. If you did, smash that like button into dust. If you like these kinds of tutorials, I am doing new tutorials, at least once a week, usually 2 to 3 times a week. Hit the subscribe button right now. Become part of the Cafe crew. Maybe you have been watching these videos and you haven’t hit the subscribe button yet, hit it right now. Become a subscriber and also hit that little bell, get the notifications and you are going to know when I have a new tutorial.

So did you guys enjoy this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments underneath. Also let me know what you want to learn next. So anyway guys, I hope you have enjoyed that and until next time, I will see you, at the Cafe.



18 responses to “How to make the out of bounds, pop out effect in Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Very much enjoy your effective style of teaching. I have learned so much and continue to do so with all the new updates you furnish for us.
    Thank you

  2. Hey Colin,

    Great Tutorial! I’ve been wanting to so something like that, but never knew how! So now I’m off to try it out!



  3. I enjoyed your tut and learned a lot.
    is there a way to make the shadow of the front of the boat more realistic. Coming out of the layer of the photo this shadow should move away from the boat. The greater distance to the gray-blue background the more the shadow will move away from the boat. Perhaps you can transform the outline of the front of the boat and fill it with a gray gradient.

  4. Wahwww, I’ll try this today with one of my pictures. I have ever seen this tutorial but I could not remember it.

  5. We are always told to ‘smash’ the light button at the bottom. Where exactly is this light button. How does it look?


  6. I learned a lot from your wonderful tutorial. I would appreciate it if you could let me know the actual picture identification number of the kayak picture on Adobe stock. I looked at a lot of kayak whitewater pictures horizontal and could not locate it.

  7. When I try the out of frame tutorial.
    I find that the Select Modify is greyed out and therefore I cannot put a frame around the warped selection.
    Any suggestions ?

  8. Colin, thank you once again for sharing with us. Your generosity and enthusiasm is infectious and has challenged me to become a more competent photographer. Just know that on the other side of the world there is someone who is inspired and delighted by your tutorials and who recognises the value and generosity of your experience and teaching. I extend my sincere admiration and gratitude…..all the way from Australia.

  9. I have a question from a different email: The free Adobe Video pages at Adobe are only for Premier Pro?? The will not work with Elements Premier?? Are there any free ones for Ele. Premier???? Appreciate your help with this!!!

  10. Thank you, Colin,
    I have wanted to know how to do a pop out. I need to practice this. i have watched other tutorials that you have done.
    These are awesome tutorials.

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