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· TSF - Emeritus
15,058 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Out Of Bounds or OOB.

This is a technique that makes a plain flat image come to life by giving it a 3D type effect. In this tutorial the author will explain the various processes needed to convert Photograph 1 into Photograph 2


Photo 2

In this tutorial, I have used Photoshop. The technique can be done similarly in most photo software that supports Layers and Masks

Before creating an OOB, choose suitable subject and resize it to a suitable size to display on monitor or printer

Step 1 - Setting the image up.
Convert original to a layer & name it ‘Original’
Make duplicate of Original layer
Add 5 transparent layers and name them
* Picture Frame – this is the pseudo photo frame
* Picture frame Shadow – the shadow of the pseudo photo frame
* Test View White – used to judge progress but otherwise not used in final image
* Test View Black – used to judge progress but otherwise not used in final image
* OOB Background – the general background of the final OOB image.
You should now have 7 layers. See Fig 1

Fig 1

Step 2 - Arranging the layers.
Re arrange the layers (top to bottom)
Picture Frame
Original Copy
Picture Frame Shadow
OOB Background
Test view Black
Test View White
See Fig 2

Fig 2

Step 3 - Setting the layers.
Use paint bucket to give a white fill to Test View White layer
Use paint bucket to give a black fill to Test View black layer
Leave OOB Background layer transparent for the time being.
Now add a layer mask to Picture Frame and Original Copy layers
Make Original layer invisible (You may never need this layer)
See Fig 3

Fig 3

Step 4 - Creating the Pseudo Picture Frame.
1 - Select the transparent Picture Frame (Not the Picture Frame Mask)
2 – Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw the outline of your picture frame. See Fig 4

Fig 4

3 - Edit-->stroke. Select 15 pixels, inside and white colour, blending normal at 100% opacity. Then click OK.
4 - Select --> Transformation Selection. (Ctrl+T). See Fig 5

Fig 5

5 - Place mouse inside the selection area and single Right Click and choose Perspective. Then use the grab points to alter the shape of the pseudo picture frame to suit the image and effect. See Fig 6

Fig 6

6 - when you are happy with the desired shape of the Picture Frame, press Enter to accept the transformation.
7 - Select --> Deselect (Ctrl+D) to deselect the Picture Frame. See Fig 7

Fig 7

Step 6 - Masking Out the background.
1 - Select the MASK of the Original Copy layer
2 - Select the paint brush in the tools pallet. Set it at about 13 pixels with 95% hardness. Ensure that Black is chosen in the colour pallet in the Tool set.
Note: If you haven’t used masks before, the technique is easy and non destructive. Basically you use a Black brush to paint transparency and White brush to restore the image if you make a mistake or need to do some fine tweaking… Before we remove all the unwanted background, it is wise to test that you have selected the mask properly. Step 3 below will do this test. If the test fails, start over from step 1 of this section.
3 - With the black paint brush, paint over a small portion of the background. It will appear black, however if you make the ‘Test View Black’ layer invisible, the masked area will appear white. If that is so, reselect the MASK of the ‘Original Copy’ layer. See Fig 8

Fig 8

4 - Zoom in to the portion of the image you want to have outside the frame 200~300% and start to black paint out the background. You will probably need to alter the brush size from time to time, especially to get into tight corners etc. If you make a mistake and paint over a bit that you didn’t intend to, just change the brush colour to white & paint it back again. The more time you spend being carefully painting out, the better the result. Fig 9
shows the part process at 300% with the ‘Test View Black’ layer switched off.
See Fig 9

Fig 9

5 - Zoom out to normal size and carefully use the black paintbrush to paint around the picture frame. See Fig 10

Fig 10

6 - Now select a larger brush and black paint the rest of the unwanted background. See Fig 11

Fig 11

At this stage, you can toggle the visibility of the black & white ‘Test View’ layers to confirm all is well.

Step 7 - Masking the Pseudo Frame.
1 Zoom in to 200~300%
2 – Select the MASK on the ‘Picture Frame’ layer
3 – Black paint out the portion of the picture frame that obscures the OOB portion. Pay attention at the edges.
See Fig 12

Fig 12

4 – At this stage you can crop the image to the finished aspect ratio. See Fig 13

Fig 13

Step 8 - Adding a slight shadow to two sides of the Picture Frame.
1 set the ‘Test View Black & white’ layers to invisible.
2- Select the ‘Picture Frame Shadow’ layer
3 – Select black colour and a paintbrush of about 13 pixels hardness = 100%
4 – Draw a line of black at the left and bottom of the picture frame. See Fig 14

Fig 14

(To draw a nice neat straight line, click on the start point, then move the cursor to the finishing point and press & hold shift, then click)

5 – Filter --> Blur --> Gaussian Blur and set radius at 6 pixels. Don’t worry at this stage if the shadow looks too heavy. Just accept it for the moment. See Fig 15

Fig 15

Step 9 - Creating a Pseudo Background.
It is important to have a neutral background to that the picture frame stands out.
1 – Select the OOB Background layer
2 – Select the Gradient Tool (It could be hiding under the paint bucket tool). With the gradient tool selected, select a neutral gradient and drag a gradient onto the background.
3 – Set the ‘Test View Black’ layer back to visible
See Fig 16

Fig 16

Step 10 - Adjust Picture Frame Shadow.
1 – select the ‘Picture Frame Shadow’ layer
2 – in the layers pallet, select the opacity and set it to about 30~40%
See Fig 17

Fig 17

Final steps.
1 - Save the image in a format that will preserve the layers. (For future reference) I use Photoshop’s native format *.psd
2 – Layer --> Flatten Image. (You will be asked ‘Discard Hidden layers’ press OK)
3 – Save as a *.jpg


Article Copyright 2009 - DonaldG &

· TSF Team, Emeritus
57,145 Posts
WOW! That's some work you've done there Donald, Thanks lots :pray:

I'll have a play with that later, I've got a (hopefully) good pic in mind for 'The Treatment' :grin:

· TSF - Emeritus
15,058 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
WOW! That's some work you've done there Donald, Thanks lots :pray:

I'll have a play with that later, I've got a (hopefully) good pic in mind for 'The Treatment' :grin:

Thanks don

Once again I am indebted to you for your help, given without even asking for it!

· Premium Member
12,471 Posts
I still haven't managed to do this (lack of time to experiment) but I have found this tutorial on youtube for GIMP users, which I think will help when I finally get around to giving it a try. I have several ideas about where I would like to try this as no doubt I expect most of us have.

GIMP How to Make Picture Jump out of Frame 3d Effect - YouTube

· Registered
565 Posts
:lol: .. I know just what you mean !!! Also need a slow motion version because these people that do these videos seem to move along at a cracking pace !
DoneFishin - sorry for reviving this, but any luck figuring out Gimp?
The reason I ask, is cuz I spent more than a month (until now) trying to figure out Gimp and just :4-treadmirunning-in-place! :banghead:
Young tutors run at a "fiendish pace"
But for me slow & steady "wins the race!"

Been trying to figure out how to Mask the white background out of these colorless glasses (i.e. keep glasses & zap the background

The latest video i'm trying is:
How To Cut Out An Image Using Gimp - YouTube
the below instructors are refreshingly slower paced,
but not appropos. for Masking the colorless glasses:

Crop, Resize and Transparent background using GIMP - YouTube
GIMP tutorials photo editing - Background Removal - YouTube

· Registered
565 Posts
P.S. Referring to my above post, note how many assumptions the Automobile Instructor makes. For example:

(1) He mumbles something about "sizing up the image".
"excuse me, sir? What's that you're mumbling? EXPLAIN PLEASE!"
What he should have done, was shot a close-up of the Size-Choices Dropdown
Instead of assuming I know WHAT THE HECK he's mumbling!

(2) He then mumbles something about "this is our image layer, we actually need to add an alpha channel"
Instead, he should have stated:
"Right click layers in this list for a menu, such as to add an Alpha Channel to layer"
For example, see pictorial in this tutorial:
Beginning with Gimp -- Starting tutorial for new users - Gimptalk - Premier Gimp Community

Ad nauseum...

· Registered
565 Posts
OK guys, forget Gimp which I wasted more than a month with!. Also, forget Serif & Inkscape, which tutorials also got me nowhere.

WHOOPIE :3angel1: I finally found a [free] editor which you catch onto in a few hours, rather than endless weeks of running in place. And it's much smarter at cropping - by doing the dirty work for you, without issues. It lets you work in an "intuitive" way, so that dummies can use it.

· Premium Member
12,471 Posts
I've been looking at this for the last couple of days and must admit that for an inexperienced photo-editor it is a very difficult subject to try & manipulate.

I tried going your way then decided that the object colouring and background colouring are so alike that a different approach must be needed. Just doing a simple bucket fill of black onto the unwanted areas showed that there is a major problem trying to remove the background in its current state.

what I did next was to manipulate the brightness and contrast of the glasses so that there was a far better outline of the image required after which I tried the bucketfill again .. still needs some work done to it o stop the "fill" from going through the frame into the glass area though.

From things that I have seen and read, it should be possible to make a mask from the black background that allows you to see ONLY the original glasses after manipulating a copy of the photo of the glasses.

Now that I have told you what i attempted over the last few days please let me know what application you have found .. you have me intrigued although if its one of a multitude of on-line applications then it will not be of any use to me .. I reckon that anything that is uploaded to ANY internet site becomes part of the internet and free to grab by anybody. I even know of one site that literally takes the photo's uploaded by members and offers them for sale to anyone else that is also a member. I have heard of many similar sites that tried similar but quickly took a backward pace after public (membership) outrage


· Registered
565 Posts
Done Fishin, it actually is an online app. and of course I know the risks of uploading stuff online, but in this case it isn't anything "ultra" personal.

It also begs the question:

If a free online app. can offer such bells & whistles in a NON-confusing format, then why can't a popular one like Gimp do the same offline?

Does this make sense? So here's the site, and I'd be surprised if you've not heard of it:

Note that I'm experiencing some nuisances with it, namely, that I can't select(marquee)-plus-move the way I can in Paint.

In other words, when I type a string of text on transparent background, then wish to move, say part of it, as in:

it won't let me move QUICK BROWN elsewhere.

Not only that, lets say I have a white object that's outlined, say, in blue.
The color-changing didn't work for me (I.E. no change from blue to green).

There's a woman on YouTube who's an excellent pixlr teacher (Vilina Hutter)

But whereas her green tree turned blue, my outline failed to turn from blue to green.

I'll have to check out yours above - when/if i've more time. Thanks! :smile:

· Macintosh Methodology Wizard - TSF Retired
13,638 Posts
The thing about the GIMP is it's an open source program, meaning there isn't a dedicated team that gets paid to work on it. It's community driven, so until someone takes his personal time to add the function to the code, gets it tested, and then uploads it back to the community site, it doesn't get added.

· Registered
565 Posts
Ok, here's my attachment of the pixlr glasses.
Not perfect, but very quick.
I just selected the magic wand, compliments, pixlr.
Which made the selection.
I copied the selection to Clipboard.
Then opened a New Image onto Transparent Canvass.
Clicked with the pointer onto the transparent canvass.
Then Control V - voila. :cool:

The attachment was opened into my offline Irfanview, in order to present it on a black background for clarity.

It's not so clear in pixlr - which has a grey/white checkered background.


· Registered
565 Posts
I just now tested the same glasses (with magic wand) in Gimp.
Then tried figuring out how to copy/paste it into a new/transparent file.

For crying out loud, it's not intuitive, so just couldn't figure out how to do that in Gimp, whereas it was accomplishable using Pixlr. :rolleyes:

· Registered
565 Posts
Better yet:
!!!! Lets Learn PIXLR !!!! (Basic tools)

Resorting to puns, even if it's more like a Dodge than a Lexus, it's better for blurry eyes like mine (not to mention red eye reduction ;)

I mean think about it - I spent more than a month trying to figure out Serif, then Gimp, and getting nowhere in a handbasket. So I researched the Net, and came across chat about Pixlr. Within a few days, Minni the Moron accomplished a quite interesting animated text logo, which I never in a zillion years could have learned so quickly to manipulate in Gimp.

I'm at the point of figuring out how to get a background of my choice behind the Logo I made.
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