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Transcript for Out of Bounds Photo Frame Video

Narration by Ron Bigelow

www.ronbigelow.com

Photoshop CS4 Used in this Tutorial

Hello, and welcome to the Ron Bigelow Photography Out-of-Bounds Photo Frame video. Today, we are going to have a little fun making things seem to pop out of a photo frame. We will start with the image of the snake that you see here, and we will turn it into this image. Actually, this workflow is fairly basic. The only part that requires much effort is a selection that we will need to make. We will not need this image, so let’s close it.

Let’s get started. The first thing that we are going to do is change the name of this layer to Snake. Then, we will need to create a layer that will serve as the background for the image. In other words, we need to create the light gray area that you saw behind the snake. This is easily done by choosing Layer/New Fill Layer/Solid Color. We need to make sure that the Color is set to None, the Mode to Normal, and the Opacity to 100%. Let’s rename this layer as Gray Fill. I think that a light gray color will work well here, so let’s type in 220 for the red, green, and blue values. Since all of the numbers are the same, this will create a neutral gray. Next, let’s drag this layer below the Snake layer.

The next step is to create a frame. If you are feeling creative, you can create an elaborate frame. However, today, we are going to create a very simple white frame – like the white borders that you often see on 4x6 prints. To make sure that the new layer is on top of the layer stack, let’s select the Snake layer. Now, we do not want any color on this layer, so let’s choose Layer/New/Layer. Again, we need to make sure that the Color is set to None, the Mode to Normal, and the Opacity to 100%. Let’s call this the Frame layer.

We can now use the Rectangular Marquee tool to create a selection. I think that a selection with a 1.5 aspect ratio would be nice, so let’s set the style to Fixed Ratio, the Width to 1.5, and the Height to 1.0. All we have to do now is draw a rectangular selection.

Since we've already decided that the border is going to be white, we will fill this selection with white by choosing Edit/Fill. Of course, we will set the color to white. Now, let’s draw a smaller rectangular selection inside our white rectangle. We may need to move it around a bit to get it placed correctly. Hitting the delete key now removes the white, and our frame has been created. We will not need this selection anymore, so we can get rid of it by clicking anywhere outside of the selection.

We need to do some transforming on this Frame layer in order to get the frame to appear to be lying down. Now, there are a number of ways that we could transform this layer. Let’s try this: choose Edit/Transform/Distort. Hitting the Enter key will complete the transformation.

Now comes the only challenging part of the entire workflow: selecting the snake and the frame. Actually, selecting the frame is easy, but the snake creates a bit more work. To make the selecting easier, let’s zoom in to the 100% view by pressing Control+Alt+0 on a PC or Command+Option+0 on a Mac. I will start on the snake with the Magnetic Lasso tool. If I work slowly, this will produce an acceptable selection. Unfortunately, this selection will take some time. So, let’s fast forward to the point where the selection is done.

Okay, the selection has been completed, and I have already zoomed back out. As you can see, the snake and the frame have been selected. Now, we need to invert the selection by choosing Select/Inverse.

At this point, we need to soften the edges of the selection. So, let’s click Edit in Quick Mask Mode and choose Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. A radius of about two or three pixels ought to do the job. Now let’s move out of Quick Mask Mode by clicking Edit in Standard Mode.

What we want to do now is remove everything from the image except the snake and the framed photo. All we need to do is select the Snake layer and hit the delete key. Let’s get rid of the selection by choosing Select/Deselect.

Everything looks pretty good except the frame is in front of the snake instead of the other way around. That’s no big deal. Let’s select the Frame layer and add a mask by choosing Layer/Layer Mask/Reveal All. Now, let’s choose the Brush tool and click on the Brush pull down menu and adjust the Master Diameter and the Hardness. Next, we make sure that the Opacity and Flow are set to 100% and the Mode to Normal.

Let’s zoom in to the 100% view to better see the area on which we need to work.

Next, we set the foreground color to black and click on the mask to make sure that it is selected. Last, we just paint out the border.

Now, let’s zoom out to our original view by pressing Control+O on a PC or Command+0 on a Mac.

Our last step is to add a drop shadow to make everything look more realistic. To do this, we select the snake layer, click the Add a layer style button, and choose Drop Shadow. Now, it is just a matter of playing with the settings until you find a drop shadow that you like.

There you have it: a snake popping out of the frame. On the other hand, now that I look at the final image, I remember that I almost walked into this snake on the trail. I think I like him better back in the image.

Well, that wraps it up for this workflow. I hope that you had as much fun with this video as I did.

If you would like to download a copy of the transcript for this video, view several other photography videos, or access over 100 photography articles, please visit my ronbigelow.com website.