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Learning how to use Adobe Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best way to get the most out of your pixels and create stunning imagery. Master the fundamentals of this program with Julieanne Kost, and discover how to achieve the results you want with Photoshop and its companion programs, Bridge and Camera Raw. This comprehensive course covers nondestructive editing techniques using layers, masking, adjustment layers, blend modes, and Smart Objects. Find out how to perform common editing tasks, including lens correction, cropping and straightening, color and tonal adjustments, noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, sharpening, and retouching. Julieanne also shows how to achieve more creative effects with filters, layer effects, illustrative type, and the Photomerge command for creating panoramas and composites.
In order to create a realistic Drop Shadow for an image like this I can't really use the Layer Effects panel. I can't do begin with but then I am going to need to make some modifications to that. As you can see I have these two layers and the object is actually sitting on its own layer and it's the object that I want to add the Drop Shadow to. So that it looks like it is actually resting on the table here. So I'm going to go ahead and select that in the Layers panel, and then I'll choose the Effects panel to create our initial Drop Shadow.
So I'll choose Drop Shadow from the list, and let's just move that out and over to the right. You can see the problem with a Drop Shadow here is the shadows being cast on a wall behind it. So it's not laying down on the top of the table. But we'll go ahead and use this as a starting point. I'm going to increase the size a little bit, click OK. And now I need to separate the effect from the layer. Under the Layer menu, I'll choose Layer Style, and then, Create Layer.
Photoshop warns me that some aspects can't be reproduced, but we're OK in this instance, so I'll click OK. And now, we can see that our Drop Shadow is independent from the other layer. Now before I start making modifications to this Ill want to turn this layer into a smart object. So I'll use the context sensitive menus, Ctrl+Click on Mac or right-mouse click on windows and convert to smart object. Now, I can transform this and I don't have to worry about losing any image quality if I need to make slight modifications to my transformation later. So, I use Cmd+T or Ctrl+T in order to select Free Transform. And then, I'm going to hold down the Cmd key and see that my cursor changes to a white arrow.
And, I'm going to skew this over to the right a bit. And I might also make it just a little bit shorter bring it back to position it underneath the original object. And then if you need to, you can hold down the Cmd + Q or the Ctrl key as well and I click on one of the anchor points at the corners in order to distort it, but I can use it in mid point it in order to skew. I'll tap Return or Enter, but the problem is that the Drop Shadow should be getting softer and fading as it moves away from the initial object. So, I need to change that by adding a filter.
I can select filter and then we'll go to blur and I'll use the Tilt-Shift Blur. But I don't want to blur this area down here. So, I'm going to reposition the pin so that it starts at the bottom of the shutter. I can also position my cursor in this area between the solid line and the dotted line. And click and drag in order to tilt the blur the same angle as the shadow. And let's increase the blur significantly so we can see what's going on. So between the solid line and the white line here, we're starting to see that blur.
So I'll scoot over a little bit. And then by the time it gets past the dotted line it's completely blurred. So that's kind of our fade range, the area in here And then the total amount of blur is determined by our blur slider here or of coarse we can move over to the blur tools and use the slider over here. So once were happy with that, we can tap Enter or Return in order to apply that. And then I also just want to do one last thing. I want to fade the Drop Shadow as it moves away so now what I have is I've got a gentle blur where it's not blurred very much here and it blurs more and more as it moves away but the shadow is too dark back here.
In order to hide that, I'll make sure that the layer is targeted, and add a layer mask by clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, then I'll tap G to get my Gradient tool. And I'll make sure that I have the linear gradient. I'll tap the D key to get my default black and white colors. In this case, white is the foreground, black is the background. We know that black is going to hide, so I'm going to click maybe, right about here, and drag back towards the end of the shadow.
Well, that took a little bit too much of it away, but we can always fix that by using the Properties panel and then changing the density of this mass. You can see what's happening, instead of going from white to black, now I'm just going from white to gray, which is going to show some more of that shadow. I'll close the Properties panel by clicking on the double arrows. And one last thing that we can do in order to just warm up the shadow here and make it look like it's blending with the background is we can add a color fill layer to add a color overlay. So I have the shadow layer targeted.
So that means if I hold down the option or alt key. And I add a solid color layer. If I switch the mode here, to color, an click OK, we can see that, that solid color fill layer, is added right above my drop shadow. So now all I need to do is position my cursor in the image area. And I can just click here in this antique oil spout right here, and it will select that color. If I don't quite like that color, we can continue clicking.
I'm just looking for kind of a brownish color. Now there's a little bit too much saturation in here, so I'll just bring it down a little bit, maybe right about to there, and click OK. Now, we can see that I've warmed up not only the background, but also this drop shadow, so that it looks like it blends a little bit better. And that's how to create a realistic shadow to place one object onto a different background.
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