I am looking to achieve a similar effect than what is being achieved on the attached picture. I have an image with several layers on it and I want to overlay a virtual screen. Notice how the buildings can be seen through the "glass" but not several parts of the hand.

My questions:

  1. Is photoshop the right tool?
  2. Can you please put me on the right track or point me to a tutorial to learn how to achieve this effect?
  3. Is there a resource I can use to find similar artwork?

enter image description here

  • Hi Mikael, this can be done in Photoshop. This looks like a white shape layer with maybe a soft blending mode and lowered transparency. Everything above it is just plain solid white. Can you describe specifically what you're having trouble achieving? – AndrewH Jun 2 '15 at 15:38
  • I was able to get the layer to be see through and using a separate layer (i found online) for the hand but I can't seem to intertwin those two so that it looks like the hand is holding the layer. – Mika Jun 2 '15 at 15:41
  • Show us what you have? This will require the use of Layer Masks, to achieve the effect of the hand actually holding the screen. – Manly Jun 2 '15 at 15:49

To answer your questions

1) Yes 2) See below 3) Any stock website

Here is the general rundown on how to achieve something like this.

The box is a basic white shape layer. For this background image, soft light, lighten or normal blending mode works well. You can lower the opacity to like 30%. This all depends on the background layer.

The white layer also uses a drop shadow and a thin white stroke.

Note: Dark background layers won't work well with soft light blending mode.

The next part is the hand. They have a slight shadow under the thumb. This gives the impressing of depth. They could also be using a mask on the phone part and make part of it transparent.

Not sure why they cut the fingers out. I would think if the phone was transparent, then you would see the fingers..? But if you want to do that just use the pen or marquee tool and create a mask for the fingers.

To create a mask, select the layer, go to the layers panel and select the circle in rectangle icon. Start painting in black to hide pixels.

how to create a mask

  • 1
    The "finger situation" clearly shows that the item is not transparent, but the fact that you and the OP both thought it was transparent may be a signal of a design failure. You can't be the only two people who see it that way. (of course this is an aside to the actual question) – Yorik Jun 2 '15 at 17:24
  • The UI at the left actually works against the illusion/allusion they are working with, so I am inclined to think it is a failure. – Yorik Jun 2 '15 at 17:26
  • @Yorik I agree on the design flaw. I think it is commonly seen in movies and shows where future tech has a transparent view. I was thinking of how parks and rec future phones worked. – AndrewH Jun 2 '15 at 17:28

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