How to Create Shadows in Photoshop – The Easy Way

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Hey guys, in this tutorial I am going to show you how to create realistic shadows using Adobe Photoshop. Shadows generally filter into its environment the further back it gets from its subject. Shadows become lighter and softer towards the edges and the end. There are many ways of creating shadows in Photoshop, this time I am going to show you the easy way of making it!!! So first things first, select the photo, anything with clean background will work for this tutorial.

The first thing you got to do is select your object and make a copy of it on it’s background. There are many ways of making a selection so choose a method that is easiest and most effective for you. I personally like Quick selection tool.


Once you select your object, press Ctrl C to copy and Ctrl V to paste it on its own background. Then we need to make a copy of it again, to do that press Ctrl and a letter J. Then click on the middle layer ant press Ctrl and a letter T which will allow you to free transform it. Then while holding Ctrl key click on the top middle part of selection and drag it down to where you want the shadow to be.



If you need to reposition the shadow, click inside the selection and move it around. Then press Enter to apply the changes.

Next click on Lock Transparent Pixels icon. Select the Gradient Tool and choose third box, which is – black to white gradient. Also make sure that the Linear Gradient is selected.



Go to your object and draw a line above its top.


Click on Lock Transparent Pixels icon again to Unlock it and change the blending mode to Multiply.


To finish it of we need to Blur the shadow, first we are going to blur the base. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the adjustments window select the radius amount. In this case I am choosing 2.5 pixels. Note that the number will vary on each photo so move the slider around to see what works best for you and press OK.


After open the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and drag a rectangle across the top half of the shadow.

b8 Then click on Refine Edge and Move the Feather Slider to the right quite a bit. In this case I chose 60 pixels.


Go back to Filer > Blur > Gaussian Blur and for the top part of the shadow choose the radius to between 10 and 20 pixels. Again this number will vary on each picture, so move the slider around and chose number the suits you. In this case I chose 10 pixels.


Press Ctrl and a letter D to delete the selection.

Lastly reduce the shadows opacity a bit, so make it more subtle and realistic. I reduced it to 80 percent.

And that is it! We have created realistic shadow from scrach using Adobe Photoshop. All we have done: imported picture into Photoshop; selected our subject using Smart Selection tool; applied gradient tool and finally applied lens blur to soften up the shadow. As you can see it is pretty easy and relatively quick to do. I recommend you try this and see for yourself.

If you liked this tutorial be sure to like it and share it with your friends! Have fun and see you in the next tutorial!

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