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Creating a cast shadow

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Creating a cast shadow

In this exercise, we are going to create a cast shadow, behind the words Chief Executive Nephew. So the letters appear to be casting a shadow behind them. This is something that Photoshop does far better than vector-based applications, because it can work in pixels, you can really get a sense of exactly what you are going to get, whereas there is a little guess work involved if you are trying to pull something like this off in the Illustrator or InDesign. And really I have to say both of those applications are pretty unsatisfactory for the kind of effect we are trying to pull off here. You'll get a sense of what I mean, over the course of this exercise, and the next one. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Pixel-text power.psd, appropriately enough of course because we are about to embark on that topic. And here is what I want you to do, go to the Layers palette and select the layer called Chief Executive Nephew to make it active. We are going to use the text to make its own shadow.

Creating a cast shadow

In this exercise, we are going to create a cast shadow, behind the words Chief Executive Nephew. So the letters appear to be casting a shadow behind them. This is something that Photoshop does far better than vector-based applications, because it can work in pixels, you can really get a sense of exactly what you are going to get, whereas there is a little guess work involved if you are trying to pull something like this off in the Illustrator or InDesign. And really I have to say both of those applications are pretty unsatisfactory for the kind of effect we are trying to pull off here. You'll get a sense of what I mean, over the course of this exercise, and the next one. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Pixel-text power.psd, appropriately enough of course because we are about to embark on that topic. And here is what I want you to do, go to the Layers palette and select the layer called Chief Executive Nephew to make it active. We are going to use the text to make its own shadow.

So we are going to basically stretch and skew the text, but we want to stretch and skew a clone, or copy or duplicate, or what have you of the text. So we can do all that stretching and skewing using the Free Transform function right here under the Edit menu. Of course, you can invoke Free Transform from the keyboard by pressing Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. If you want to free transform a clone, you add the Alt Key or Option on the Mac. So let me show you what I'm talking about. I'll go ahead and escape out of the menu, and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+T, Command +Option+T on the Mac. That brings up of course my transformation boundary right there with handles and so on. However, it did not create a clone, it looks like we are going to be applying our transformation to the active layer, but that is not true.

As soon as you apply any sort of transformation, you will see a new layer pop up inside the Layers palette. So keep an eye over in the Layers palette. I'm going to drag this top handle upward like so, and Bob is your uncle or Ted is your uncle if you will, we've got a new layer right there inside the Layers palette; a duplicate layer. All right, let's go ahead and finesse our settings. Go up to the Options bar and change the H value to 130, the Width value right there, that should remain 100%. So don't turn on that chain icon, just change the Height value to 130.

Then I want you to make sure the Reference Point matrix right here is black in the center. So we are transforming with respect to the center of this clone text block. Make sure that Delta option is turned off, so that Triangle should be off, and then I want you to change the Y value to 1090 like so, and then the bottoms of both Nephews will line up to each other. All right, the next thing I want to do is I want to skew this text by which I mean slanted. If I hover over this top point, notice that I've got this Up-Down Arrow icon, but if I press-and-hold the Ctrl Key, or the Command Key on the Mac, I switch to a gray arrowhead cursor, and that tells me I'm going to slant.

What I want you to do is I want you to Ctrl+Drag this point over. Actually, I want you to press the Shift Key as well, so that you are constraining the angle of your drag to exactly horizontal. So this is a Ctrl+Shift+Drag or a Command+Shift+Drag on the Mac. Of the top point until the lines to the right-most button on uncle Ted's blue sleeve right here, so this is the button that you want to align to. Now, what I've done is totally messed up the alignment of the letters down below. I don't want that, this represents the right-bottom corner of the background W or the shadow W, and this right here is the bottom-right corner of the foreground W, that's casting the shadow. They need to be in a line with each other. So I'm going to have to zoom out by pressing Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus a couple of times, and we don't have to zoom out quite that far, let's try something like 44%, let's say. That looks pretty good on my screen, on yours, it's going to be totally different.

Then I'm going to drop-down to this bottom handle right there. Press and hold Ctrl and Shift on the PC or Command and Shift on the Mac, drag this handle over to the right until the bottom corners of the W is aligned with each other. And then go ahead and release your mouse button and then release the keys and now you are ready to apply the transformation by pressing the Enter Key or the Return Key on the Mac. Now, we have a photo-realistic shadow. Do we not? Yes, we do not. We still need more work. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom back in to 58%, which works for my purposes. I'm just trying to make sure that we can see the image, and I want my shadow to be black. So black is currently my background color. If you have been working along with me, it will be for you as well. So you'd press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete to fill the text with that background color.

That's just a standard fill trick. Now, we need the text to be farther back in the stack, and it's not enough to move it by the way in back of Chief Executive Nephew like so, because it's now behind the type and that's great, but it's still in front of uncle Ted and nephew Scott Stevens and that's no good. It needs to be behind all these guys. It should be only over the table, that's it. So let's go ahead and rename this layer Cast Shadow, why don't we? Just so we know what it is. Then I'm going to twirl open the Background Composition, scroll down, and drag Cast Shadow underneath uncle Ted like so, and now we get that effect there, and that's better.

Now, actually it looks pretty good. Let's go ahead and zoom in on these letters a little bit, so that we can see them nice and up close in personal on 100%. Now, it looks pretty darn good. I would suggest we want to raise the text a little bit, just nudge it up. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Up Arrow and that's Command+Up Arrow on the Mac. Only problem is it doesn't look right because the shadow is so sharp, so we need to blur it, using Gaussian Blur of course. We are going to see that, that affects text quite strangely inside of Photoshop, because we still have editable text, and I could still edit the text with the Type tool if I wanted to even though we have this fantastic transformation applied. We don't want to lose that ability. So we are going to have to take advantage of Smart Objects, and then we are going to apply a little bit of layer effect lighting and you'll see all of that transpire in the very next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

218 video lessons · 23838 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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