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This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, this week, I'm going to show you how to take an object that's casting a shadow, and preserve its shadow from one background to another to yet still another. Now we've discussed how to preserve shadows in the past, but the great thing about this technique is it's specifically geared toward these kinds of stock photo shots where you have an object set against a white background, whether it's a photograph, or in this case a 3D rendering.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Now once again we have this volleyball with its natural shadow. Now this happens to be a 3D rendering from the Fotolia Image Library about which you can learn more and get special deals at fotolia.com/deke. But it could just as easily be a standard photograph against a white background. And we've gotta make this image look at home against any background, really, I've got a total of 3 ready and waiting here. We've got this deck, and these tiled bricks, and also this beach.
I'll go ahead and switch back over to my volleyball. With my rectangular marquee tool selected here at the top of the tool box, I'll go ahead and right click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layer. And then I'll change my Document to three backgrounds. So we're moving the image against the backgrounds. And I'll go ahead and click okay. And now I'll switch over to that image right there. And you can see that we have a new layer called Background at the top of the Layers panel. We really want it to be called Volleyball, so that's what I'll call it. And then I'll press the Enter key, or Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change.
Now I'm going to change the Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply, which allows us to burn the image into the first of the three backgrounds, the wooden deck here. Now that's great where the shadow's concerned, because Multiply always does a great job of burning shadows into backgrounds. However, it's tragic where the actual volleyball is concerned. So, I'll go ahead and click on the Beach layer to make it active. And then I'll go ahead and click and hold on the Shape Tool icon down near the bottom of the Toolbox. And I'll select the Ellipse tool because we want to draw a kind of circle here.
And then I'll go ahead and switch my foreground and background colors, so that the foreground color is white. And that way we'll be multiplying against a white shape. So in other words, we'll regain our orignal image here. Now I'll drag around the ball like so. It's pretty easy to mask a ball. Now notice I'm pressing the space bar in order to get the top and left ellipse aligned with the ball. Then I'll go ahead and release the space bar and continue dragging to scale this shape like so.
And I'll release when it seems like its about the right size and it looks like I've done a pretty good job. I'm going to hide that Properties panel and then I'm going to ahead and zoom in on some details. And let's say that we want to move these points around independently of each other, well the way to do that is to select the white arrow tool, also known as the Direct Selection Tool, from the Arrow Tool flyout menu right there. And then, I'm going to marquee around this anchor point right here, so it's the only one selected. And I can confirm that by spacebar-dragging up here.
And you can see that the top point is not selected neither are any of the other ones. Alright now I can press the arrow key to nudge this point around, at which point Photoshop CC, at any rate, is going to ask me if I want to turn this live shape layer into a regular path and the answer is Yes. There's no down side to doing this where an ellipse is concerned. And now, I'll just try pressing the arrow keys a couple more times, just to see, if I've got alignment or not, and that looks very good to me. Alright now, I'll go ahead and scroll up to the top, it looks like this anchor point is too far down, so I'll press the Up Arrow key to raise it.
And then, we've got this one detail right here, along the edge of the volleyball, that needs to be adjusted. So I'm going to zoom in some more and I'm going to select my Pen tool, and I will click right there and also click right about there, that's where the volleyball edge kind of dips down. And I'll click at this point in order to set it. Now I'm going to press the Ctrl key or Cmd on a Mac which gets me the white arrow tool on the fly and I'll go ahead and drag this point down and in, like so.
And now I'll release the Ctrl or Cmd key, and now I'll press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and hover my cursor over this control handle right there. And you can see it changes into the convert point cursor, which allows me to drag this control handle independently of the other one. So, whereas we used to have a smooth point in which the two handles were locked into alignment with each other, now we have a cusp point, in which the control handles can go whatever way they like.
Now the point is still selected, you can see that. And I'll just press my right arrow key and then my down arrow key to move that point in a little more. Then I'll press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the mac. And drag this control handle out a little bit. I still have the Ctrl key down here on the PC or the Cmd key on the Mac, which allows me to move that handle as well. So I'm just going to keep moving these guys until I feel like I've got a good match. Which happens about here, I think that, works out pretty reasonably well. I am going to select this point by Ctrll or Cmd clicking on it.
And I'll press the up arrow key to raise it slightly. Alright, now I'm just going to press the a key to switch back to my white arrow tool, because that's the tool I want to use from now on. And I'll just go ahead and space bar fling the image here. Actually, I better zoom out, because I'm way too close to it at this point. I have no idea where I am. Alright, here's where I'm looking to be. I'll go ahead and Spacebar drag up a little bit, let's select this far right point in what was formerly an ellipse and I'll go ahead and nudge it around just to see where it belongs.
Looks like it should be right about there. And you can also scale the shape if you wanted to, with the free transform command. But my experience is this is the easier way to work. And now I'll go ahead and click on this bottom point to select it and I'll nudge the point down and I'll nudge it back up. I just want to make sure its in the right location and it looks like it is. Alright now I'll go ahead and rename this layer Circle even though its not a perfect circle. It very much nearly is. And now I'll press CTRL+0, or Cmd + 0 on the Mac, to zoom out. And then I'll just go ahead and press the m key to switch back to my rectangular marquee tool, which hides the path outline around the volleyball and you can see now that we've got a great match.
So this is what things would look like if we didn't have that white circle in place and this is what they look like thanks to the contribution of the white circle. So you just want to put a white shape in back of whatever object it is that's casting the shadow. Just make sure the shadow region of the image does not have a white shape behind it, and then you're good to go. You can slap in any background you like. We're currently looking at the wooden deck, which is a good match. It's not necessarily going to fool anyone. Into thinking that this 3D rendering is actually sitting here, but it looks as good as it can.
And same goes for the tile bricks. You can see that we've got a good match there. And the beach looks just beautiful, because it's just as brightly colored as the volleyball is. And in case you're thinking well, we're at the beach, shouldn't it be a beach ball, the answer is no. It should be a volleyball, because they're playing volleyball at the beach. And that friends, is how you preserve the actual cast shadow, whether it's a 3D rendering or an actual photograph, from a stock photo or any other photograph that is captured against a white background and set it against any other background you like here inside Photoshop.
Alright, if you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, I have a follow-up movie. And it's an answer to a member's question, actually. And they were saying, alright, well I know how to keep the transparency of a shadow inside Photoshop. But what if I want to be able to hand off this object complete with it's translucent shadow. As a ping file to my boss who can then put into Powerpoint or Key Note. In other words we need this right here where the checkerboard represents transparency and that's exactly what I'm going to show you how to do.
If you're waiting for next week's free movie I'll show you how to take a typically crummy, noisy, iPhone photo and we're going to clean it up and make it look its very best. Deke's Techniques each and every week. Keep watching.
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