I noticed this graphic concept or trend where you have a picture pass through text, not set in it or the text itself being 3D but the effect gives off a similar appearance. I have no idea what its called and I want to learn how to do it, but I can't find a tutorial without knowing what to call it. So I included an example photo of one I've seen. Does anyone know what is the name of this text/photo effect, and how do I accomplish it ( tutorial for Ai or PS)? Flat 3D Text effect -basketball player image flying through text-

  • 2
    It is just layer masks on a text layer, most likely in Photoshop.
    – Scott
    Aug 14, 2015 at 23:41

3 Answers 3


One way to do this with basic Photoshop skills, would be placing the text on top of the basketball player, and then erasing the parts where you wand the 'pass trough' effect. To erase the text, you have to first transform it to image.

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    This is how I did this for years, but I would recommend learning Layer Masks sooner rather than later. It's really no more complicated once you know they exist.
    – Ryan
    Aug 15, 2015 at 0:02
  • @Ryan, you are right. But my answer was based on supposing very basic skills.
    – Mimi spo
    Aug 15, 2015 at 0:04

What you need is to use "Layer Masks" (Tutorials from Adobe here)

You can add layer masks on your letters AND also add shadow later if you need to add more realism to your 3D effect.

You need to type your texts on layers above the image/subject, and "hide" some parts of that text.

Effect 3D image

If it's easier to cut out the main subject of your layout, you can also use the layer mask on the subject instead of the letters only. Sometimes it's easier to use both.

When you'll create a layer mask, you can use a brush or any selection tools to add black to your layer mask; the black will hide the part you want to "erase." If you use white, it will show the area again. To erase parts of your texts, simply add a layer mask on the layer you need to work on, and add black or white to make parts appear or disappear. You can delete these layer masks at any time.

How to add layer masks

This is how it looks like without the background image and what your layer masks will do:

Image without layer mask

  • 1
    Ahh okay, thank you, so that's the key part, just layer masks and shadows, for some reason it looked like there was more to it to me, but thank you so much I'll give this a try.
    – EffieJae94
    Aug 15, 2015 at 22:54

Just add a type layer above the photograph layer.

Add a layer mask to the type layer.

Paint black on the layer mask where you want to hide the type.

enter image description here

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