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Using blend modes to add your shadow to a background is a really important step after you've completed this process. So, you see here I have my shadow layer from the jewelry image processed out and actually saved again as a smart object by right clicking, going to convert to smart object. I'm again going to change my blend mode to multiply, because this may not end up on a white background. If I decide to put this on a colored background, say for instance on a blue background, I can fill this layer with the blue by just doing opt + delete on the Mac or alt + backspace on PC to fill this with the color.
And you can see how it blends in when it's set to multiply. If this is set to normal, it would appear darker in areas and wouldn't blend as effectively. Multiply adds that color to the layer beneath, creating a more natural looking color. The same thing can be done when you create a natural shadow. I have a layer here called shadow, and in-between that I will put a blank layer and again fill this with my blue option delete or alt+ backspace. Now you'll notice that nothing shows up because the layer is set to normal, but once I change this to multiply, my shadow does show up and it shows the natural looking shadow on a colored background.
Remember, I have my object clipped on a separate layer with the layer mask. This is my shadow layer, and here's my object. Now, one last thing that will add a key piece of realism to this, is if you're looking at your image and you notice that there is a grain going on in between your object and your background, what you may want to consider doing is again, with your shadow converted to a smart object, just go into filter noise, and add 2% noise set to Gaussian. we'll go through and add just a little bit of noise.
It's very negligible, but it will add a little noise and tie it in with the actual image itself. And that can be done on either a natural shadow layer, or a normal shadow layer that you've painted.
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