Articles, Blog

Photoshop CC 2015 Tutorial: How to Make a 3D, Pop-Out Photo Effect!

September 2, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how make any object, person or thing pop out of its photo giving
it a kind of 3-dimensional effect. This is an update of a tutorial I did quite awhile ago on an earlier version of Photoshop. Before we begin, for a limited time, you can get the most current versions of Photoshop and Lightroom and 20 GB of cloud storage altogether for only $7.99 per month. Click the link in my video’s description to get the discount. Open an image you’d like to use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step is to convert it into a Smart Object, so
we can modify it non-destructively. To do this, click the icon at the top, right corner
of the Layers panel and click, “Convert to Smart Object”. Next, we’ll crop and size our
image. Open your Crop Tool. At the top, there are fields for the Width, Height and Resolution.
Clear the amount in the Width field. Leave it empty. In the Height field, type in 1000
“px” for pixels and for the Resolution, type in 150. Go to a corner and drag in the Crop’s
Bounding Box. To reposition it, just drag your image and make sure you leave room below
your subject. Then, click the check-mark at the top or press Enter or Return. To fit it
back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Next, we’ll separate our subject from the
background by making a selection around the subject. There are many ways to do this, but
for this example, I’ll use the Quick Selection Tool. If your using this tool, as well, make
its Radius between 5 to 10 pixels. Drag the tool inside your image to make a selection
of it. Even though I’m dragging the tool over the entire subject, the bottom two thirds
of your subject isn’t really necessary to make a selection of, since just the top third
will be popping out of the background. To remove areas of the selection, press and hold
Alt or Option as you drag over those areas. Click the “Refine Edge” button or go to Select
and “Refine Edge”. I did an in-depth tutorial on Refine Edge, so if you’d like to watch
it, I provided its link in my video’s description. Drag the Radius slider to the right a bit.
Check “Decontaminate Colors” and drag the amount approximately this much. Output it
as a “New Layer with Layer Mask” and click OK. Don’t be concerned if the bottom two thirds
of your subject is roughly cut out. Hide the top layer and make the bottom layer visible
and active. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Let’s name it “Frame”. We want
to make a new layer below the bottom layer. To do this, make the bottom layer active and
Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the active layer.
I’ll name it “Bkg” for “Background”. Hide the middle two layers. Let’s fill the background
with a dark gradient. Open your Gradient Tool and make sure the Linear Gradient icon is
active. Click the gradient bar to open the Gradient Editor. Click this black and white
box. Click the lower, right Stop and the color box. In the Brightness field, type in 50.
Then, press Enter or Return twice to close both windows. Go to the top of your document
and press and hold Shift as you drag the Gradient to the bottom. Then, release. Holding Shift
kept the tool vertical as we dragged it down. Make the two middle layers visible and make
the “Frame” layer active. Open your Rectangular Marquee Tool and drag a rectangle below the
top of your subject and a bit below the bottom of your subject. Go to Edit and “Stroke”.
Make the Width: 20 pixels and the Location: Inside. Click the color box and pick white.
Then, click OK on both windows to close them. Immediately, the selection took on an inside
white stroke 20 pixels wide. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. Next, we’ll change
the perspective of the white frame. Open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T.
Go to a bottom corner and press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift on Windows or Cmd + Option +
Shift on a Mac as you drag out approximately this much. Continue to press and hold those
hot keys as you go to a top corner and drag it in. Then, release. Go to the top middle
anchor point and when you see a vertical, double-arrow, drag it down until you like
the amount your subject is showing above the frame. Then, press Enter or Return. To reposition the frame, press “v” to open your Move Tool and just drag it. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click
on the thumbnail of the frame to make a selection of the frame’s shape. Change it to a quick
mask by pressing “Q” on your keyboard. As soon as we did this, our foreground and background
colors inverted. Now, white is our foreground color. Open your Paint Bucket Tool. At the
top, make sure “Contiguous” is checked. Click inside the frame to remove the quick mask
inside that area. Click it again to ensure that we removed all of it. If we didn’t click
“Contiguous”, the entire quick mask would have been deleted including the
outside of the frame, as well. Press “Q” to revert it back into a selection. Make “Layer
0” active and click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection. Make the top layer visible. Double-click “Layer 0” to open its Layer Style window. Click “Drop Shadow”. The Blend Mode is Multiply, the Color is Black and the Opacity is 35%. Make the Angle 90 degrees, the Distance: 6 pixels and the Size: 9 pixels. Then, click OK. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Momo Doichi November 23, 2015 at 1:25 am


  • Reply Saad q November 23, 2015 at 5:12 am

    perfect man

  • Reply JawwAd Ali November 23, 2015 at 5:14 am

    thnxs sir and how to easy cutting photo please turtiol

  • Reply Landon Cheatham November 23, 2015 at 5:25 am

    If your youtube career ever ends up not going well, you could always apply as a narrator for How it's Made. You have that Brooks Moore type voice

  • Reply 520 Pavel November 23, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Where we can write some topics which one we want to see in next video? Can we post it on facebook or anywhere else?

  • Reply DBABY November 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Marty, i've been watching your videos for about a year now. Love all your content. Just wondering if you ever use illustrator? some tutorials on illustrator would be nice!

  • Reply Juan José Losantos Guachalla November 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I like your videos, would be very grateful if you did a picture like this

  • Reply iraqihot hott November 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    this amazing video thank you so mach body appreciate

  • Reply Angga Buana November 24, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Lovely work… thanks for sharing

  • Reply Design 98 November 24, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Hey Marty What wordpress theme you use on your website?

  • Reply Arbaz El November 24, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for giving this amazing video

  • Reply Saw Khaung November 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

    You are no 1

  • Reply Mohamad Bayat Zadeh November 24, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Marty

  • Reply Mohsin Fareed November 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Thanks  Great man . I  like your tutorials which are always very  clear.

  • Reply Aditya Darak November 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    hey i wanna work as a photo editor as my part time job and earn some money so could anybody give me cool web sites for these kind of online job or any online job!!????

  • Reply Sachin Kumar November 25, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Nice video tutorial on Photoshop and how to Make a 3D, Pop-Out Photo Effect
    , THANKS so much

  • Reply robert November 25, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    i love all of your tutorials dude! they are so clear explained! i just started with ps and making amzing edits thanks to your channel. THANK YOUUU

  • Reply adel almilad November 29, 2015 at 3:48 pm


  • Reply Jake Pitner December 2, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Marty, in honor of Star Wars 7 coming on the 18th, you should make a video on how to do the Star Wars poster effect !

  • Reply helmy elmasry December 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    thanks for your lessons we thanksfull to u
    u must be photoshop is god

  • Reply walid messai December 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    thank u Marty ….u are doing a nice work

  • Reply Majo Martinez December 10, 2015 at 4:28 am

    HELP how can i open the window: layer style? when i double click doesnt work for me! tks

  • Reply Gaëtan Boutet December 21, 2015 at 10:28 am

    For 3D Photo Effects you can try this awesome Template Too
    Volumax V2 – 3D Photo Animator:

  • Reply Sketch Book Photos December 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

    this amazing tutorial i like 3d pics it's awesome

  • Reply Sketch Book Photos December 26, 2015 at 8:35 am

    blue lightning tv i like you all tutorial so do step by step

  • Reply daorma December 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Awesome video, thanks

  • Reply moussa rebai January 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

  • Reply Virtuoso Designers January 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    hey martey can you please tell which video editor you use on Windows

  • Reply khayri January 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    easy to folow 😀 nice job

  • Reply Haitam Farrouha January 30, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Hey !! i have done all the process but when i press Q the mask doesn't change ! what is the Problem ??

  • Reply Megan B February 23, 2016 at 5:37 am

    for reason my background kind of looks transparent with the squares

  • Reply Marc Schimsky February 25, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Hi Marty! Like your tutorials. Very clear.

  • Reply SimpleStep1 March 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Great effect! Will try out your on some vacation pictures, thanks.

  • Reply Palmas Nguyen March 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for the tutorial. it's very helpful!

  • Reply Amber Robinson April 11, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    wow thank marty

  • Reply Michael Chen April 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I sat at it 1 hour and made everything build into only one smart object, now i can create a hero emblem with another letter in just seconds ^^

  • Reply Joanne Luciani April 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    That is awesome Marty!!! Your tutorials are so easy to follow and understand! Thanks!!

  • Reply Rafik Reseize May 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks mArty,… I've learned Photoshop from your tutorial… Will never forget Bluelightning TV 😉

  • Reply Nirja Gauchan May 11, 2016 at 7:46 am

    awesome !!!

  • Reply MDV Studio June 21, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    is it real? the voice? or is it a software?

  • Reply Aman Gowalkar June 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    the earlier tutorial of the 3d pop out was my first creative photoshop effect i ever made

  • Reply Trinityblukwt July 4, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Marty,
    your tutorial is very simple to follow…clear & concise, But every time I clicked Q on my keyboard, the quick mask was just transparent not red like yours, I went back & tried again, but same transparent red came…do you know why?…and after that, nothing I could do…can you please help?

    P.S Do you have an easy tutorial like clipping magic to remove backgrounds?
    Thank you.

  • Reply Good old uncle Sideous August 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    double clicking layer 0 doesnt bring up a box for me, only shows me the whole picture again in a new picture next to the 1 in working on. 🙁

  • Reply Vendra Kurniawan August 28, 2016 at 5:37 am

    4.34 holly shit

  • Reply mavuri ramesh October 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    your awesome bro

  • Reply louis antoine October 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

    nice explanation with a super toppppp voice

  • Reply Urnanabha Bestcobweb October 8, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Easy and effective way of representation. I love to follow them as they are easy to learn. Thank you very much sir for your presentation…

  • Reply Latif Arif November 20, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    thanks man

  • Reply garry Basnett November 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I got all the way to the paint bucket then nothing would happen. It would not fill or do anything. I have spent ages trying to do this. Can you tell me what is wrong? All the best
    garry B

  • Reply garry Basnett November 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Also my history will not go back as usual. Do you know why?

  • Reply Nic December 20, 2016 at 2:42 am

    This worked sooooooooooooooooooo well!! Thx so much!!

  • Reply Mori Montgomery January 10, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    mine does not have the refine edge option what do i use instead?

  • Reply DanWilker January 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm


  • Reply DjBranco Official February 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    why buy if you can crack it. is cheaper then 21 euro

  • Reply César Ariel Salica Orellana February 23, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Excelentes Tutoriales … muchas gracias por transmitir sus conocimientos… Muy agradecido … éxitos!!!

  • Reply David Flores April 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

    My image the I masked with the quick selection doesn't popup. I clicked on my Layer with the quick select to try and fix it but it adds another layer of quick select. I keep making it worst please help

  • Reply Queen Q'Ell April 19, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I just got adobe so im assuming mines updated since the software in this video however when i get to the paintbucket nothing happens and i can't find contiguous option . I need help

  • Reply Tina Giles April 29, 2017 at 9:06 am


  • Reply Alexander Perry June 12, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I love you Marty 🙂

  • Reply lloyd landersz August 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    thank you

  • Reply Returning Shadow August 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I'm gonna try this with an image I created last year. However with my image I have my subjects already on a separate layer as well as a background object from the background itself. I and going to try and create two separate items from the background to "raise up" and them move the background into perspective. If this works I will have a total of 4 objects "raised" into the 3D mode.

  • Reply Returning Shadow August 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I tried this technique. While your video is VERY informative and easy to follow (I appreciate that very much) I only used the part of flattening the background image. The reason I did this was because in the composite image I had created last year I had different objects on different layers already. This allowed my not to have to copy half of the intended 3D subject. In my 3D image I place multiple objects as pop-ups. I also didn't use drop shadows on all pop-ups. I created copies and turned them into shadows. On the main pop-up subjects I had to make copies of the shadows to offset them from bottom to top to give it just that much more realism.

    Tell me what you think.

  • Reply Shelley Maalona September 6, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Awesome loved this one

  • Reply VR GAMES September 6, 2017 at 5:26 pm


  • Reply conquer online 3.0 September 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Very beautiful
    but im looking for all ur videos , i like all
    im looking for you to make bg for youtube and fb
    i will be thanks if you make it how i do it

  • Reply Maleek Allan September 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    One of the best Photoshop Tutorial out there

  • Reply Tuvshinbat Sundui September 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

    refine edge tutorial..?

  • Reply imran immu October 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm


  • Reply Soulless512 October 31, 2017 at 12:20 am

    could you make a tutorial on this technique for photoshop cc 2018

  • Reply iTx NoBi November 29, 2017 at 10:06 am

    thank u Marty ….u are doing a nice work

  • Reply Laurie Pepper December 10, 2017 at 2:38 am

    You're the BEST instructor I've ever found online. Others either talk too much about extraneous topics or they talk too fast when they're telling you how to do stuff. You make it simple to follow along. Thanks!

  • Reply araz karimi January 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    It was good

  • Reply Kingfish King March 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    can you please renew the discount (7.99 $) for adobe?

  • Reply J Gopi nath July 9, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I Cannot Able to Mask The Object

  • Reply Bweleo icon July 31, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    nice and thanks far too much

  • Reply Just 4 Fun January 10, 2019 at 5:21 am

    My brother sent me a really old photo of family. I used this technique and what a crowd pleaser. Thanks so so much Marty.

  • Reply Pete Howarth May 11, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Great video, but something is puzzling me. At 6:19 Layer 0 is a Smart Object but then at 6:46 it isn't. Ive watched this a few times and haven't noticed any mention of that. Can anyone enlighten me.

  • Reply CJ Balasta August 24, 2019 at 4:19 am

    Amazing! I wanna try this. Hope it work . More power to blue lightning TV

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