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How to Create a See Through Frame Effect in Photoshop

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Learn how to make a see through frame effect in Photoshop!

This fun tutorial is perfect for beginners. Creating a see-through frame effect takes just a couple of minutes and anyone can do it!

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Get Started Here: Download the Sample Image

What You Need to Create a See Through Frame Effect

The best thing about this effect is that it is so simple, anyone can do it!

All you need is a camera, a tripod or a sturdy surface, and a picture frame.

Start by choosing a great location. The effect becomes more stunning if the “picture” through the frame looks like a painting. In this case, we headed to a local park in Chicago and got to shooting!

To complete this effect, you will need to take two pictures. One with you holding a frame, and another of just the environment.

The key to this effect is keeping all the camera settings the same from shot to shot. That is why we recommend placing the camera on a tripod and shooting in Manual Mode with your lens set to Manual Focus. In this example, we forgot to take the white balance off auto, which is why there is a slight color shift from shot to shot – so be sure to keep your white balance constant as well!

Quick Tip: Use an automatic timer on your camera to make this effect a self portrait!

How to Create the See Through Frame Effect in Photoshop

After bringing your images into Photoshop, place the layer with you and the frame on the bottom of the layer stack, and the environmental photo on the top.

Make the environmental photo invisible by pressing on the “eye” next to the layer.

Next, grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool by pressing L and click on each corner of the frame.

If you are using a circle or elliptical frame, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to make a selection around the interior of the frame.

After making the selection, turn the top layer visible and click on the Layer Mask Icon to load the selection as a layer mask, making only that area visible.

That’s it! Enjoy your see-through frame effect!

How to Create a See Through Frame Effect in Photoshop


  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tried this over the weekend. For a beginner this was fun. I already know what I did wrong.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great fun thing to do. I played with this a few times and found that it is best to have something in the background that obviously continues into the picture frame once it is cut out, and by the way this works just as well with a picture in the frame because it’s going to be cut out anyway. Thanks for this fun project, got anymore?