How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

Content
  1. How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014
  2. How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014
  3. A Custom Shadows Layer in Photoshop CC 2014
  4. Distort a shadow in Photoshop CC 2014
  5. How to Soften Drop Shadow in Photoshop CC 2014.
  6. Masking and Blending a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

One of the hardest basic skills to master when creating composite images in Photoshop is adding realistic shadows. For example, when I come across this in my classes, I make it clear that just because you created it in Photoshop doesn’t mean it’s real. This is mainly because the artist is paying more attention to the screen than getting up from his chair and studying the real shadow.

In this “How To” I’m going to walk through a technique that is quite easy to do and gives a believable result. Before creating the shadow, select an object in the background, refine the edges with the Refine Edge tool, and then move it to its own layer. After that, you can focus on creating the shade.

Let’s start.

How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

While it may seem counterintuitive, let’s start with Drop Shadow. To do this, I select the layer with the tree and press the fx button at the bottom of the layers panel to add a layer effect. I choose drop shadow and used these settings:

  • Shade Color: #544e4b is the color of the shadow in the street.
  • Injection : -180 degrees
  • Distance: 69px to move the shadow away from the tree.
  • The size: 5 pixels. I wanted the shadow to be clear.

When I was done I pressed Okay to accept the changes.

A Custom Shadows Layer in Photoshop CC 2014

I have a shadow, but it’s the wrong type. To fix this, I first select the shadow layer and then I right click on the fx in the layer name. This opens a pop-up menu and I choose Make low † Don’t let the warning bother you, it’s part of other effects. Now I had a layer with just the shadow.

Distort a shadow in Photoshop CC 2014

Of course the shadow is on the ground. Here Free transformation tool becomes unaffordable. I selected the “Shadow” layer and then selected Edit > “Free Transform” † What you don’t do is jokingly pull the levers. I AM right-click selection and chose Distortion in the drop-down menu. I then adjusted the handles and the position of the shade so that it lay over the patio. When I was satisfied, I pressed return/enter key to accept the change.

There was one last problem to solve. It didn’t look real. Shadows have blurred edges and soften and disappear as they move away from the object casting the shadow.

How to Soften Drop Shadow in Photoshop CC 2014.

I started with duplicate layer with shadow in the Layers panel. This can be done by right clicking on the layer and Double layer in the drop-down list. I want to work on the new layer, so I turned off the visibility of the original shadow layer.

Then I selected the shadow copy layer and applied it to the layer 8 Pixel Gaussian Blur † This softens the shadow, and the amount of blur depends on the size of the image and the shadow.

Masking and Blending a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

With the shade in place, I turned my attention to its fading as it moved away from the tree. I selected the shadow copy layer and added a layer mask in the Layers panel. I chose the mask gradient tool and make sure the colors White (foreground) and black (background) , painted the gradient about ¼ of the distance from the bottom of the shadow to the top. It faded quite a bit.

Then I pressed the button Option/Alt and dragged a copy of the mask to another shadow layer below. This combines the two shadows very well.

The last step in this process was to set the opacity of the top shadow to 64% and the cover lower shade – about half this value. This blends the two shadow layers very nicely and gives a more natural result.

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