How to make shadows in photoshop?

Although it seems complicated, learning how to make shadows in Photoshop is much easier than it seems. And it is that learning to insert that shadow in Photoshop is easy even if you are not very skilled with these graphic design applications.

In times of memes, filters, montages and all kinds of designs, the truth is that applications like Photoshop or Illustrator are almost essential to get that perfect image or to give the perfect touch to the photos on your mobile or your camera. This process is achieved by Photoshopping that image with the multiple tools offered by this design program, which simplify processes such as inserting a filter, blurring in Photoshop and making almost any change you want.

In this case, we are going to talk about how to make shadows in Photoshop, to give any image a different look. By the way, if you have ever made a shadow in Illustrator, you will see how the process is not very different if you are already used to using this application. With that said, let’s jump into action and teach you how to create easy shadow drawings or photos in just a few minutes.

1. Insert image in Photoshop

The first thing we have to do is insert the image we want to work on. It does not matter the type of photo and what is included in it. What is important is that it has a transparent background. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s possible to cut out the silhouette with Photoshop and keep only what’s important. If you don’t know the method, you can look for Photoshop CC tutorials and get the image ready according to your preferences.

We’ll start by opening a blank file and inserting the image. If you need to, you can change the size of the image in Photoshop without deforming it, either by dragging the corner of the image or with the corresponding menu.

2. Create the layer

Once we have the image, it is time to create the layer, using the File -> Place option. Next, we will double-click on that layer to set its parameters. This aspect is essential to make shadows in Photoshop, because if the layer is not well planned, everything you do later will not help.

Among the parameters necessary to create shadows , we have to use a light opacity value of 100, a size of 12, deselect the global light and adjust the angle according to the light that the image has. Do not worry about where the shadow appears, since in the next step we will be able to place it correctly. Once the layer is accepted, the drop shadow is created in Photoshop, which we will see next to the original image. This procedure is similar to other applications, so Illustrator’s drop shadow would be handled in much the same way.

3. Placing the shadow

In this step, we already have the shadow and the main objective. If we have inserted people into Photoshop to make the layer, we will have their shadow behind and almost glued on. The next step would be to place that shadow in the way that suits us best.

To do so, we select it by clicking on it and create a new layer in the context menu of Photoshop. Once the layer is chosen, we just have to press control + T and move the shadow until it is placed in the right place. When it comes to putting a shadow in Photoshop, we have complete freedom to place it as we like, simply drag where we want. Do not forget to lower the opacity of the layer to a value of 50, so that the effect is adequate.

4. Creating the mask

We already have the shadow layer in place and now we select it to create a layer mask. We’ll use Photoshop’s gradient feature to adjust that shadow, since it doesn’t look good if it’s a fixed color. The advantage is that it is very easy to use Photoshop to blur that area, just by selecting a white background and a black foreground color as a layer mask.

Use Linear Gradient for the best results, ones that will look great on all kinds of screens and especially on the best IPS monitors available to us today.

5. Final touches

We already have the image created with its corresponding shadow, aligned and properly degraded, so that its appearance responds to that of a real one. The only thing left for us to do is add an image in Photoshop as a background, if we wish.

It is important that this image is always in the background, so that the layers with the shadow and the original image are in the foreground. It is also convenient that the background that we have included fits properly with the main photo and its shadow, thus avoiding that the result is incoherent.

final notes

The entire process that we have discussed is suitable for people, but also for other types of work. For example, if you want to create a logo with Photoshop and add a drop shadow to give it a more dynamic look, you can do it with this same process. It is true that the shadow should not be as big as in the case of people, but with the procedure that we have been commenting on, you can do it easily.

By the way, do not have any problems experimenting with this system that we have told you about, to obtain the desired results. You can even play around with the opacity parameters, lowering them slightly, to see what happens. The only precaution you should take is to save the base image once created, so as not to lose it between those experiments.

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