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Shadow Basics

MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I've had  a LOT of requests for shadow tutorials and my wish is your command.  Oops ... I mean YOUR wish is my command.  ;)

I'm going to start you out nice and easy.  In fact, it's SO easy, you're gonna LOVE this tutorial.  Welcome to the Dark Side of Shadowing.  *insert evil laugh here*



Let's take Morgan here (I love this picture ... she looks so innocent. Looks can be VERY deceiving.  heh):



Let's take a closer look.  Note the natural shadows here.  I've marked in red the underlying shadow ... the shadow underneath Morgan that her body makes on the concrete floor.  I've also marked the shadow her body makes falling on the floor between her arm and torso.



Your mission should you choose to accept it is to recreate this natural shadowing.

I'm going to extract my model and put her on a background.  This background is from JenU's Heritage and Traditions kit.

If you need assistance on learning how to extract, please see the “Extraction for Dummies” tutorial.  For help with creating  hair, please see either:   The "Mane" Attraction or "Combing" Attractions.



Now, I've seen a LOT of layouts that just add a drop shadow.



Do you hear that sound?  That is  the heart-wrenching sound of my heart breaking into a bazillion pieces.  This is:  Shadows Gone Horribly Wrong!

This shadow here is NOT the way to go. It does NOT look realistic in any way, shape or form. And if you use this type of shadow after you read this tutorial, I will cry. We want a happy tutorial writer so please … just say NO to bad shadows.

Let's start over.  First ... create a Layer mask for your model.   Highlight your extracted model and hit "Ctrl + Enter" to select your model.  The ants should be marching around your model.





Then hit "Create a Layer mask" button (circled in red).



You have now created your layer mask.  Why?  We'll get to that very shortly, I promise.

We're going to paint our shadow under our model first.  Create a new layer under your model and name it "Shadow Layer".



Go to your Tool Box and Select your Brush Tool.



I'm going to choose a dark color to paint in the shadows.  Set your foreground to the color of your choice.  I like the dark color of the cracks in the floorboard.



Use a 25 pixels brush (this depends on the size of your model ... I started with 25 because of the smallness of Morgan's fingers), Hardness 25% and color black or a dark brown, Opacity @ 100%. The goal is to paint with the brush right along the edges of your model.



Paint so that you only see the bottom edge peeking out from your model.



The bottom of her dress and legs are larger and it's easier to paint with the bigger brush along the curves, so I'm going to adjust the size of my brush to 35, keeping the rest of the settings the same.



Continue painting along the edge of your model.  Looks pretty good but we've just gotten started.



I'm going to blur it a bit because my freehand painting can sometimes be a little lacking in refinement.  Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur



I've used a Radius of 2.



Mommy likey.  We're getting there.



Duplicate your Shadow Layer by hitting "Ctrl + J" and place it on top of your model.



Umm  ... yeah ... nice paint work, eh?  LOL  We're going to fix the shadows in a second.



Remember the layer mask we made earlier?  Here's where it comes into good use.  We're going to clip our shadow into that layer.

Go to your extracted layer and Highlight the mask.  You'll see a black box around it.



Hold down the "Alt" key and take your mouse and hover between this layer and the Shadow Copy layer above it until you see a little icon that looks like a bug with a little arrow beside it.  I'm not able to take a screen shot of it so I've recreated it as best I could.



Press Enter and your Shadow Copy layer should now be clipped to your Mask.



Highlight the clipped layer and change the Blending mode to Soft Light.



Ooohhh  Pretty!



Almost done!  The only thing we have left to do is re-create the body shadow on the floor between her arm and torso.  Create a new layer under the model's body.



Using the original photo as your guide, paint in the rough shape of the shadow.



I'm going to blur it as I did before.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur



I've used a Radius of 2.



I'm going to change the blending mode to "Multiply" and lower the Opacity to 70%.



Honestly, your shadows don't get much better than this.



I added a couple of more goodies from JenU's  kits: "Heritage and Traditions" and "Vintage Lullaby" and Lorie Davison's kit: "Before the First Snow" and used the same shadowing techniques for the elements.

Here's the final result:



Shadowing is muy importante.  It honestly can give a beautiful depth to your layouts.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and you find it useful.  Depending on the feedback from this tutorial, there may be more.  If you have a specific tutorial you'd like to see regarding shadows ... please post it in the comments and I'll do my best to help out.

Good luck and happy creating!  Go forth and experience the shadows.
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Tara
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
MissB this is just rocking, but you knew that already!! hehehe! Love it heaps!!
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justpattyanne
1 Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
WOW! This is MIND-BLOWING ---- that second shadow layer clipped to the mask on soft light is a TOTAL REVELATION!!!
THANK YOU!!!!
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Tumble Fish Studio
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
Well, I've been breaking your heart using drop shadows!  I'm so sorry.  But, in my defense, I just started using Photoshop about 3 weeks ago, so I'm learning!  While this shadowing thing overwhelms me a bit, I am so glad you shared it and I will study, study, try, try!  Invaluable!  Thank you, thank you!
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justpattyanne
1 Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
p.s. When will you be creating the action for sale???  *hint hint nudge nudge*
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stampin_rachel
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Thank you so much for this little lesson.  I am learning so much already!
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you guys!  
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OrianaVianey
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
HELP!  I can't clip the upper shadow to the mask... I use CS2 :
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lmgdonahue
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Thanks for the excellent tutorial.  I am off to give it a try!
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Oriana, I'm using CS3.  When you hover over the clipping mask and the new layer, make sure to hold down the ALT key while you're doing this.  That little bug looking thing should pop up then.
HELP!  I can't clip the upper shadow to the mask... I use CS2 :(
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OrianaVianey
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Oriana, I'm using CS3.  When you hover over the clipping mask and the new layer, make sure to hold down the ALT key while you're doing this.  That little bug looking thing should pop up then.


Noooooo!!! It doesn't  
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
OK ... if it doesn't clip to your mask that way ... then I would select the image you want to put the shadow in.  Hit Ctrl + Enter (the ants should be marching around your image)  create a new layer above it ... while the ants are still marching go ahead a apply your gradient then adjust the blending mode.
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Two Dresses Studio
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Wow - great tutorial - it looks so well explained.  Wish I was a photoshop girl.
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violethare
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Another great looking tutorial, shadows are definately one of my downfalls, but will have to try this next time.
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Hollie
2300 Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
Ok, I am just throwing this out there. I am lazy. MissB's way is rocking. But...I have been known to create a layer and clip it to my object. Then using a 0% hardness round brush, paint shadowing on the object with 7% opacity - either black or brown depending on the object.  But you kind of have to understand shadow and highlights to do this.
Hollie
Designer - Holliewood Studio   
Owner - MischiefCircus.com
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CryztalRain
1 Posts
Australia
Joined: Apr 2010
i need to learn photoshop dont i.. so i dont have those sucky shadows i have..
i try do it with brushes in psp.. im lazy.. i have photoshop but its always in the 2 hard basket
LOL
brilliant Miss.. i am going to try it..
Designer at Mischief Circus CryztalRain

Lover of all things art.. :)
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OrianaVianey
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Actually I was very fond of my Peter Pan shadows until I saw MissB tutorials... LOL
And I confess... I don't understand light and shadows at all... and I'm lazy... so I guess my layouts will be so-so forever... LOL
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
How about trying this ...

1)  Duplicate the image (extraction)  
2)  Change the Saturation to b/w  (Ctrl + U .... then Saturation @ -100)  
3)  Change the Blending mode to either Soft Light or Overlay
4)  Erase the stuff you don't want.  Use a soft brush and start @ Opacity 50%.


Actually I was very fond of my Peter Pan shadows until I saw MissB tutorials... LOL
And I confess... I don't understand light and shadows at all... and I'm lazy... so I guess my layouts will be so-so forever... LOL
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Fifi
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Kind of scary to me, especially since I am so good at ignoring my installed but not too well used CS3, but I have copied and pasted and will try at some point!  (usually use PSE6)  You are so sweet to put all this together for us.  Thanks so much!
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snaggletooth75
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
I have simple shadows im making a style for if anyone wants it LOL

its mainly for clusters

MissB im going to try your shadows LOL see if i can extarct something first then i want to try your tips
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snaggletooth75
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
LOL whats a peter pan shadow?

Actually I was very fond of my Peter Pan shadows until I saw MissB tutorials... LOL
And I confess... I don't understand light and shadows at all... and I'm lazy... so I guess my layouts will be so-so forever... LOL
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kathitownz
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Hey, Miss "Awesome M".... your tut here is ...uhhhh....well, it's awesome and I'm trying it RIGHT NOW!!!...BUT....I just wanted you to know.... now you've given me this horrible guilt complex about using drop shadows!!!  I thought I was cool when I did a double layer and warped one, blurred it, etc...which I did when I wasn't in a rush...ya' know....twice a year!...LOL!.....Now, I'm stuck with this guilt complex!...and it's all your fault!!!  Do you feel guilty???  Just a twinch!!!  Come on!!!  I like sharing my misery!  I'm soooo dense, I'm havin' a problem...except for the hand, knowing even WHERE to put the dang shadow!!!  

Love this tut though...honestly!!!  You're a gem...albeit, one that makes me have to work a little harder!  Now is that nice???  hee hee!

Thanks TONS!  I'm really gonna' try and if it shows up in your gallery and I just missed the mark completely....... you WILL be kind, wontcha' and realize I'm tryin'???  :)

I'm impressed!  Hey, did you enter something in that DST challenge...for shadows?  or did someone enter one for you?  I'll give you a vote...if you give me a link.  I work and it takes soooo dang long to go through all those, much less, pull them up and see who they're created by.....

Hugs, girl!
Kathi
(kathitownz
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kathitownz
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Oh, while I'm buggin' you...... where would I find the "mane attraction" and "combing attractions?"

kathi
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I grew in Puerto Rico w/ a lotta Catholics.  I thrive on guilt.  *snort*

Here's the Mane Attraction:  http://www.scrapbookgraphics.com/?p=4954
Here's the Combing Attractions:  http://www.scrapbookgraphics.com/?p=5242

If you need me, just hollah.  :D
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Posts
Joined:
Hey Kathi - thanks for telling me about Deviant Scrap!!!  OMG, just registered!!  

OMG, Miss Behaving - you ROCK!!!!  Big hug to YOU, darlin'!!!  My face is going to split from smiling!!!  Wonderful tut.  Am definitely changing over :)  OMG, this similar, if not how, Tara gets that super dimension to her masterpieces!!!  
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Tara
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
Hey Kathi - thanks for telling me about Deviant Scrap!!!  OMG, just registered!!  

OMG, Miss Behaving - you ROCK!!!!  Big hug to YOU, darlin'!!!  My face is going to split from smiling!!!  Wonderful tut.  Am definitely changing over :)  OMG, this similar, if not how, Tara gets that super dimension to her masterpieces!!!  


ROFL! Nope not the way I get or do mine but same principals though.
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eryn
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I tried your mane attraction tut a long time ago miss b but assumed it was my program (PS7) that stopped it working. So recently when I got CS4 I tried it again and could not for the life of me get it to work! I always meant to find the blog and ask for help but never did! I think I might try again and see where I get stuck!
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Tara
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
I tried your mane attraction tut a long time ago miss b but assumed it was my program (PS7) that stopped it working. So recently when I got CS4 I tried it again and could not for the life of me get it to work! I always meant to find the blog and ask for help but never did! I think I might try again and see where I get stuck!


I have the same troubles in CS3 Eryn. I just thought it was me being a bit dense but now there is 2 of us stuck. YAYYYYYYYYY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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eryn
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
oh good...we'll be the dense Aussies!! At least we're together....if thousands of miles apart!
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Tara
Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Must be in our breed Eryn!!! HAHAHAHAHA! And LOL, ya just across the water there, sort of, ok thousands of miles over there. HAHAHAHAHAHA!
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fairydust62
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
another great tutorial...thanks so much for sharing. i, too, am guilty of adding the drop shadow & bevel but have been attempting to create softer, more realistic looking shadows. i am also fairly new to photoshop & being self-taught it's been trial & error. i can't tell you how helpful you've been. thanks again...:
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kathitownz
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Where the heck is the EXTRACTION FOR DUMMIES???  I want the hair gook!!!
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anneofalamo
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I started small with the hair tut...cause Miss Be has the bodacious talent and I am a copier....
just did a few strands of hair (and used some deviant art hair brushes-free)
just a few of her hairs coming out of the frame...
no miss be, do not look at my ugly drop shadows, that is so before school (BS) bha haha


it does work, I have to read the tut..play, go back and read again, cause all the answers are there darn it!
I usually am like
oh yeah, miss be...easy for you to write, you are flippin' brilliant and have 2 brains and extra genes of talent, I am over here with AbbyNormal brain and struggling..
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kathitownz
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Wow!  Toooo cool!  Love the way you have her hair coming out of the frame!!!  I JUST downloaded it.... and.... errrr......eatin' humble pie here!

Found where you left me the linkies, Miss B!!!!  Super tuts!!!!!  Notice I said "tuts"...not the other...I mean...how could I know? ...and then would I even say?????  LOL!!!
Kath

I started small with the hair tut...cause Miss Be has the bodacious talent and I am a copier....
just did a few strands of hair (and used some deviant art hair brushes-free)
just a few of her hairs coming out of the frame...
no miss be, do not look at my ugly drop shadows, that is so before school (BS) bha haha


it does work, I have to read the tut..play, go back and read again, cause all the answers are there darn it!
I usually am like
oh yeah, miss be...easy for you to write, you are flippin' brilliant and have 2 brains and extra genes of talent, I am over here with AbbyNormal brain and struggling..
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Posts
Joined:
OMG Anneofalamo!  I see the hair you PS'd coming out of the frame!!!  What a great idea, and I think you did an awesome job!!  I love it!  

I have got to try that, but since these days I have only two functioning neurons, and one of them is needed for her Shadow Class.....I'll get to that later.  But I loved seeing yours!!  Great work!!

Hugs to you, Kathi :)  Can't wait to see yours :
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anna1972
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
great tut! thanks so much I can use this for sure
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Billa
Posts
Joined: Jun 2010
Oh my ... can anybody believe that I came across all these overwhelming tutorials here only recently? Me I hardly can! And for the first I fell into deep depression noticing what I totally neglegted up to now ... I felt and still feel as if I had scrapped innocently and ignorant like a baby LOL!

I needed  a while to suggest my shock and then â€Â" fortunately being kind of a weeble, don’t know whether this is the corresponding expression in English for what I mean, someone who always gets back on his feet. At least I now know what I don’t know yet   and I am totally excited to try new techniques and to improve my fragmentary skills ... I can’t go on as before, can I,  neglecting all this, BUT am afraid have to ... since to get all this into the scrapping part of my brain surely will take some time rofl ... so I hope those who peep into my pages will be patient with me.

Think I’ll begin with a better shadow work and make use of new extraction possibilities and ... trying to not get ahead of myself ... being as impatient as I am.

Anyway ... I’m glad to be here, thus finally having access to e.g. Miss B.’s tuts fabulouly expaining step by step and some time to not be intimidated to show my layouts here  

Have a wonderful creative weekend everybody here, Billa

Hope my English doesn't sound to funny
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eryn
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
yay hi Billa!!
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anneofalamo
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
oh you will love http://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=17702&cat=0&page=1Miss Be's shadows class! I tell you it is a steal for what you learn, and she guides you along (okay, she prods with a stun gun), but it is helpful and you will learn so much in the time, your head may explode.
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reelynn
Posts
Joined: Jan 2011
SO AWESOME!!!!  Thanks so much, I have been dying to learn how people do their shadow work.  I tend to not do 3d stuff because I am concerned about the shadows (and I tend to make scrapbooky type layouts) but now I can branch out and try new things.
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Cole
Posts
Joined: Feb 2011
Brilliant tutorial!  I am getting better with my shadowing, but still struggle with realistic shadowing. Can't wait to try this!!
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A-M
Posts
Joined: Oct 2011
This is one great!!!!! tutorial which I hope to put into practise sometime soon.
Thanks
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ulla
Posts
Joined: Aug 2011
I had no idea!!!!!!!
Thank you
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Nonni_f
1 Posts
Joined: Aug 2013
THANK YOU!!!!   your directions even make sense to a Corel user!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!
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tangledbluerose
Posts
Joined: Mar 2015
This is so cool, thanks so much for writing the Tut so long ago. Real shadows, yay! Still hunting the others mentioned.... :
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