Transparent Desktop

The first thing that you need for this tutorial is a digital camera and a tripod or at least a surface where you can rest camera so it doesnt move.

This first step is to work out your scene. I have chosen my workspace where I do my work. Others may want to do it outside or somewhere more imaginative.

The next step is to prepare your camera and setup your work area.  As you can see from the image above I have chosen to leave my LCDs in place and that I want my Laptop LCD to be transparent.

Take a photograph with your digital camera without the laptop on the bench.

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Now take a photograph with the laptop on the desk. As you can see, my keyboard directly behind the Laptop LCD display.
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Open both these images up using Photoshop.
Copy the image with laptop to the original image by dragging the layer from one image to the other.

You should now have both images in one work area. To see if the images line up, change the opacity on the layer.  You may need to nudge the image a little bit.

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Now with the Polygonal Lasso Tool select the area of the display.
Select the original image layer; right click in the selected area and go to Layer via copy.  This will create a new layer out of the selection you just made.

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Now hide all layers except the recently new layer of the display cut-out.
Select > Edit > transform > distort
Now drag all corners to there respective corners so the image fills the screen, dont worry that image looks distorted/skewed.

Now hide all layers except the recently new layer of the display cut-out.
Select > Edit > transform > distort
Now drag all corners to there respective corners so the image fills the screen, dont worry that image looks distorted/skewed.

art-1-7

Save this image to USB drive, network share or something that you can use to transfer the image to the laptop with.

Transfer the recently saved image to the laptop and make the image your desktop background.

I hope you camera is still the same position as before.
You should now have you laptop or device in the same position, have desktop background image that looks like peering thru transparent LCD.
Take another digital photo and you are done. Show you friends, they will be amazed!

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