I saw this Photoshop down & dirty technique in a print ad for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and thought I’d break it down for you, here.

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STEP ONE: Open your background image (in the Samsung Ad I saw, it had a child holding a bunch of balloons, kinda like what you see here (I downloaded this stock photo from dollarphotoclub.com).

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STEP TWO: Open an image of a cell phone (here’s a stock cell phone photo, also from dollarphotoclub). Put a selection around the cell phone (as seen here), and then Copy just the phone into memory (I used the Magic Wand tool to click on the white background, then I pressed Shift-Command-I (PC: Shift-Ctrl-I) to invert the selection (The opposite of the white background is, of course, the phone. It’s an old trick).

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STEP THREE: Now Paste the cell phone image (that you copied into memory in the previous step) onto the balloon photo and position it over the balloons, as seen here.

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STEP FOUR: Now we’re going to remove the center of the phone (where the screen would be). Get the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the toolbar. Click it in the bottom left corner, then move your cursor up to the top corner and it draws a straight line between the tool. Now make your way around the rectangular screen area clicking once in each corner, and then finish the selection by clicking back where you started once you’ve gone all the way around the screen (as seen here).

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STEP FIVE: Once your selection is in place, just hit the Delete key (PC: Backspace key) to knock a hole out where the screen was previously (as seen here).

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STEP SIX: Now click the Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers panel (it’s the third button from the left) to add a Layer Mask to this layer. Now get the Brush tool; choose a small hard-edged brush from the Brush Picker up in the Options bar. Set Black as your Foreground color and paint right over the bar on the right side of the photos anywhere it touches the balloons, as seen here (see my brush cursor on the red balloon?). As you paint, it masks away (hides) that part of the phone, making it appear like the balloons are coming out of the phone.

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STEP SEVEN: Lastly, add some type to finishing things off (I tweaked the Samsung headline a bit, and added the KelbyOne.com logo at the bottom right because…well…it’s our logo (and I had it on my laptop).

So, that’s it. A quick and easy masking job – hope you found it helpful (and I hope it showed how easy some of the effects are that we see around us every day).

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

-Scott

P.S. We’re kicking off a brand new Lightroom CC tour with our own RC Concepcion visiting cities all over the USA, starting in Charlotte, NC in just 8-days from now. Here’s where to go for more details. 

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

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