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Creating a cast shadow from a layer

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Creating a cast shadow from a layer

In this exercise, I'll show you how to generate a shadow from the shark, so we cast the shadow onto the grass below. I've saved my progress as Deeper and more colorful.psd found inside the 06_color_range folder. The first step is to go ahead and lift the outline of the shark and we do that by Ctrl+Clicking or Command+Clicking on that layer Mask thumbnail for the shark layer and that will go ahead and give us access to the Selection Outline which we'll need to create the shadow. Now, go up to the Select menu, and choose Transform Selection and the idea is we want to go ahead and flip the selection and scale it.

Creating a cast shadow from a layer

In this exercise, I'll show you how to generate a shadow from the shark, so we cast the shadow onto the grass below. I've saved my progress as Deeper and more colorful.psd found inside the 06_color_range folder. The first step is to go ahead and lift the outline of the shark and we do that by Ctrl+Clicking or Command+Clicking on that layer Mask thumbnail for the shark layer and that will go ahead and give us access to the Selection Outline which we'll need to create the shadow. Now, go up to the Select menu, and choose Transform Selection and the idea is we want to go ahead and flip the selection and scale it.

So I'm going to drag this top handle all the way downward beyond the bottom handle like so, and then go up to the options bar, notice that the Height value has changed to some negative value. I want you to change it to exactly -35 %, and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to accept that modification. All right. Let's go ahead and scroll down and let's scoot the Selection Outline downward by pressing Shift+Down-arrow 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 times in a row, so that, that top fin is scooted slightly outside into the pasteboard. All right.

Now, we need a new layer. So click on the background layer to make it active and then press the Alt or Option key and click on that Black/ White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Solid Color from the top of the list, and we're going to go ahead and call this layer shadow obviously, and then click OK. That will bring up the Color Picker dialog box. It should be dialed in to black automatically, which means the HSB values should all be set to 0. Then, go ahead and click OK. Now, the advantage to working with the solid color layer is that our selection is automatically converted to a layer Mask, and then we can go ahead and modify that layer Mask parametrically from the Masks panel.

We're going to do that, but first, let's reduce that Opacity value to 35%. Then, go up to the Window menu, and choose the Mask command in order to bring up the Masks panel. Now, all the options are dimmed and that's because layer Mask is not currently selected. So go ahead and click on that layer Mask thumbnail to make it active, and then I want you to crank up the Feather value to 30, and that is as I say a parametric modification, so we could always decide to change our mind later. But, 30 is the value I'm looking for, so that's what I'll accept.

Then, I'll go ahead and collapse the Mask panel and that's all there is to that one. So I'll go ahead and center the zoom by pressing Ctrl+0, Command+0 on the Mac. So this is what the image looked like before without the shadow, and this is what it looks like now. Not a true 3D effect, in other words, the shark isn't really casting the shadow mathematically perfectly, but it creates an awfully good look. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to mask a layer effect, so we get rid of those obnoxious highlights in the tail and elsewhere across the top of the shark.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 28924 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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