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Design a Cool Out-of-Bounds Poster in Photoshop
Martin Perhiniak on Wed, March 27th 0 comments
Get your dancing shoes on! Martin Perhiniak shows from start to finish how to take a phone and a break dancing dude to create a very cool out-of-bounds effect poster using Adobe Photoshop.

This time we are going to design a cool advert based on the out-of-bounds effect, which creates a great interaction between the elements of the photo montage and draws the attention to the product in it. This is how the final design will look like:

Final project.


And these are the two photos we are going to use for the tutorial:

Dancer

Phone


Let’s get started, shall we? :)


Step 1 - Open up the two files

Open both files in Photoshop and to see them side by side use Window > Arrange > 2-up Vertical.

Pic 1.


Step 2 - Start building the composite

We can use the Move tool and drag the phone image onto the dancer image. Once the two photos are in the same document we can close the document of the phone image. If the phone image is bigger than shown here, don’t worry, we will resize it later in Step 4. 

Pic 2.


Step 3 - Separate the phone image from its background

We should turn the phone layer into a Smart Object before resizing it to maintain the original quality of the image. To do this we simply need to right click on the phone layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Once that is done we can double click on the thumbnail of the layer to edit the source of the Smart Object.

Once inside it we can make a selection of the background and save it as a pixel mask. The advantage of saving a mask into a Smart Object is that it will also be independent from the transformations of the Smart Object itself. It means that the quality of the pixel mask inside the Smart Object won’t be affected by size changes.

The best way in this case to quickly select the whole background together with the reflection of the phone is to use the Magic Wand tool and click in the area around the phone.

Pic 3.


Once we have the selection visible above we can save it as a Pixel mask by clicking on the mask icon on the bottom of the Layers panel. When the mask is ready we will need to invert its colors with Image > Adjustments > Invert (Command/Control-I).

Now we can save the changes we have done to the source of the Smart Object and we close it to go back to our composite:

Pic 4.


Step 4 - Resize and put the phone in place

Now that we removed the phone’s background we can use the Free Transform tool from the Edit menu (Command/Control-T) to make it smaller and move it to the top-right part of the background photo:

Pic 5.


Step 5 -  Make the screen of the phone transparent

This time we are going to use a Vector mask, which can be placed outside of the Smart Object as it won’t lose quality when resizing the layer. Vector masks are resolution-independent unlike Pixel masks but editing them might be a bit more complicated especially for someone who doesn’t usually work with paths.

To create a Vector mask to hide the screen of the phone, you have to select the phone layer first. Then you can use the Rectangle tool, set to Path mode and draw a rectangle over the screen area of the phone (note that you can use Space to move the rectangle around while drawing it).

Once the rectangle path is in place you can choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path. This is what you should see in your Layers panel:

Pic 6.


Your image might not look like mine. The reason for that is the Vector mask’s Path Operation. Make sure you select the path you used for the Vector mask with Path Selection tool and then set the Path Operation to Subtract Front Shape to make it work:

Pic 7.


Step 6 - Turn the background to black & white

This step will be very easy compared to the steps so far. We just simply need to create a Black & White adjustment layer from the Adjustments panel and Option/Alt-drag the Vector mask from the phone’s layer to the adjustment layer. All you have to check is to have the adjustment layer below the phone’s layer.

Pic 8.


Step 7 - Improve the flexibility of the design

To make things easier we can even combine the two Vector masks into one. Whenever you use the same masking for several layers you should do the following thing. Select both layers and press Command/Control-G to create a Layer Group out of them. Once you have the group you can drag and drop the Vector mask onto the group from one of the layers and delete the other mask. This is what you should have in your Layers panel:

Pic 9.


Thanks to having only one joint Vector mask we can easily move the whole Layer group around and the effect will follow the phone.


Step 8 - Masking the foot

To make things even more complex, we will add another Pixel mask on top of all the other masking we already have. This can be added straight onto the Layer group or you can also create another Group of the previous group. Once you have this new Pixel mask, you can use the Brush tool and draw over the heel with black color:

Pic 10.


What happens technically is that we are hiding both the phone and the black & white effect with this last masking. If you want to be precise you can make a selection first and then use the Brush tool inside that selection.

Pic 11.


All in all you can see masking is very effective and makes the whole workflow completely non-destructive. It is a huge advantage as it will save us a lot of time when we have to make changes to the design. If you can get used to masking, it will also help you to be more creative and free whenever designing with Photoshop.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and well done for your hard work :)

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