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Processing product shots requires a slightly different set of skills than retouching portraits. But with Photoshop and the techniques shown in this course, you can take raw photos of any product—jewelry or electronics—and turn them into ad-ready images. Follow along with Kevin Stohlmeyer, as he color corrects and retouches photos and then makes them pop off the screen with silhouettes, realistic highlights and shadows, and vibrant color. He also shares a series of Photoshop actions and other automation techniques he uses to speed up his workflow.
When you do not have an original shadow to use, or your product shot does not include one, you may have to create your own shadow from scratch. In this case, I do have a natural shadow but it's on a red background and there's a lot of dust and scratches in the background, so it's just going to be easier for me to recreate this by hand. So I already have my clipped out image here without the shadow. Since I do have a natural shadow, what I can do is use a white background layer and drop the opacity back to help me see the original shadow and then manually draw one.
If I don't have this kind of resource I can just start by creating my own shadow layer. So first I'm going to create a blank layer and I'm going to call this layer shadow one. Then, taking my brush tool and my stylus or my mouse, I'm going to adjust my brush size to an adequately sized shadow area. So nothing larger than the object. And in this case, since I have these fine rings of jewelry, I'm starting with the 25 pixel brush, that's kind of the thickest point of the jewelry. I adjust my sizes using the bracket keys left and right to increase or decrease the size.
Now you'll notice that I'm painting with pure black at 100% opacity. For my brush settings, I've gone and I've changed my hardness completely down to zero. I want to have this as soft as possible. Now what I can do is I can go in and I can start to paint in where I think the shadow would go based on the lighting source. And the technique that I'm using, I'm going through and I'm drawing this at 100% opacity, because I have opacity controls on my layer, that will allow me to blend this or reduce the opacity after I'm completed.
If I reduce my brush opacity, what can occur is I can start to get banding, where I overlap the shadows. So I can simply go through here and paint over top of my shadows to create the original shadow, on here. After I'm done with this I'll drop my opacity back and I'll change my blend mode to multiply. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm also going to add a secondary shadow to this, right immediately underneath my product. So to create this, I'm going to add another new layer.
Which I'm now going to name Shadow 02 and I'm going to do the same technique but this time I'm going to reduce my brush size down just a little bit. And I'm going to start to paint in immediately underneath my object and what that allows me to do is have an immediate shadow, underneath here. And my second shadow, we're going to blur in the next movie, which will allow me to create my cast shadow. After I'm done I can drop my opacity back again, change this to multiply and blend the two shadows together to get a more natural looking shadow.
So here you can see the completed effect where I've gone through and kind of blended this out and blurred the shadows using the shadow effect.
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