Photo Effect Photoshop

How to Create a 3D Pop-Up Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a 3D pop-up effect in Photoshop, where the main subjects of your image will appear as if they are popping out of a flat picture. I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS6, but you can use any other recent version too.

3d pop up effect

Step 1

Open your picture in Photoshop. I will be using this stock picture.

 3d pop up effect original

Duplicate it two times by pressing Command+J (for Mac) / Ctrl+J (for Windows) twice. Name the first duplicate “flat” and the second one “pop up”.

 3d pop up effect duplicate

Hide the two duplicates for now by pressing the layer visibility icon (the eye) in the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect hide layers

Step 2

We will first use the background layer to create the background for our effect. Select the background layer and click on the New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect new fill adjustment layer

Select Gradient from the list and click on the gradient preview bar to change the gradient.

 3d pop up effect gradient preview bar

Select the Black, White gradient.

 3d pop up effect black white gradient

We will change the black color to something lighter. Double-click on the black slider at the left present in the bottom half of the Gradient Editor.

 3d pop up effect black slider

Let’s select a light gray color for now. We can change this color afterwards.

 3d pop up effect light gray

This is how the gradient will look now.

 3d pop up effect gradient

Step 3

Now, we will create the flat part of our image. Turn on the visibility of the flat layer by pressing the layer visibility icon (the eye) in the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect show flat layer

 3d pop up effect original

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection around the area that will become the flat part of our image. You don’t have to select the exact part right now.

 3d pop up effect rectangular marquee tool

We will now give our selection a 3D perspective. Go to Select > Transform Selection, control-click (for Mac) / right-click (for Windows) inside the selection and select Perspective. Now, drag the top-left corner of the selection inwards and the top-right corner will automatically follow.

 3d pop up effect perspective top

Then, drag the bottom-left corner of the selection outwards and the bottom-right corner will automatically follow.

 3d pop up effect perspective bottom

Now, control-click (for Mac) / right-click (for Windows) inside the selection and select Scale. Drag the top handle downwards and bottom handle upwards.

 3d pop up effect scale top

 3d pop up effect scale bottom

Continue switching between the Perspective and Scale modes and reshaping the outline until you get a selection that looks like it’s fading into the distance.

 3d pop up effect final selection

Step 4

Now, click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect layer mask

 3d pop up effect layer mask result

We will now add a border to our flat image. Click on the Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect layer style

Select Stroke from the list and change the color to white by clicking on the color swatch and selecting white.

 3d pop up effect stroke color swatch

 3d pop up effect stroke color

Also, make these changes to Stroke.

 3d pop up effect stroke position

 3d pop up effect stroke size

 3d pop up effect stroke result

Step 5

Finally, we will create the pop-up effect. Turn on the visibility of the pop up layer by pressing the layer visibility icon (the eye) in the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect show pop up layer

Using a selection tool (Pen Tool, Quick Selection Tool, Lasso Tool etc.), select the main subjects of your image. Try to make the selection that will “pop up” from the flat image as accurate as possible.

 3d pop up effect selection

Now, click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect layer mask pop up

Step 6

Now, we will curl the corners of the image and add a shadow. Select the flat layer and then command-click (for Mac) / ctrl-click (for Windows) on the flat layer’s mask thumbnail.

 3d pop up effect select mask

 3d pop up effect select mask result

Next, command-click (for Mac) / ctrl-click (for Windows) on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

 3d pop up effect new layer

Name the new layer “shadow”, go to Edit > Fill and use the settings shown below to fill it with black color.

 3d pop up effect fill

Step 7

We will come back to the shadow layer after curling the corners. Click on the flat layer’s mask thumbnail and then on the link icon between the mask and preview thumbnail.

 3d pop up effect link

Go to Edit > Transform > Warp and drag all four corner handles upward.

 3d pop up effect warp

Let’s finish the effect by softening the shadow. Select the shadow layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and drag the Radius slider to the right. The higher the Radius value, the softer the shadow.

 3d pop up effect blur

 3d pop up effect blur result

We will also lower the opacity of the shadow layer to 60%.

3d pop up effect opacity

3d pop up effect opacity result

Let’s clean the shadow a bit to make it look like it is right below the photo. Go to Edit > Free Transform and drag the bottom and side sliders inward to line up the shadow below the edges of the picture.

 3d pop up effect transform

 3d pop up effect transform result

Step 8

If you want, you could change the background gradient now to something more suitable. Double-click on the gradient layer’s thumbnail.

 3d pop up effect gradient layer

Click on the gradient preview bar and double-click on the gray slider present in the lower-left of the Gradient Editor. Now, I will choose the light blue color of the snow in the picture by clicking on it.

 3d pop up effect pick color

And we’re all done!

 3d pop up effect

About the author

Tabish Shaikh

Website designer, website developer, blogger and a writer. These are the things I like, love and live for. Having years of experience in each field. Developing sites since childhood. Getting the most complicated things done is my specialty. Providing each and everything of top most quality to each and every client.

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