Out of Frame Dragonfly

3d effects are always fun with Photoshop. Some images are already so sharp you feel like you can jump right in, but the illusion of an image extending beyond the frame adds that third dimension even if the background is blurry.

With this particular dragonfly, I had already spent a painstaking few hours separating the wings and cleaning up the translucency, which was dappled from a multicolored background. This was not a task I’d wish on anyone, but it’s a little difficult in the field to tell dragonflies to sit still as you place a solid color behind them.

With a separate layer for the wings, adding the 3d effect was simple. With a patterned canvas for a background, I pulled the dragonfly with its blurred background into the image and erased the portion that would be outside the frame. I created a new layer and filled the area to create the frame with a solid light color, then in blending modes added emboss with a double peak effect under gloss contour. In addition I did a color overlay and drop shadow.

I then grabbed the wings from the layer I had created which allowed them to extend past the frame. With an adjustment in opacity, the frame shows through. I also added a light drop shadow under the wings.

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