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Adobe Photoshop CC - Essentials Training

How to cast a realistic shadow on the ground in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video we're going to revisit this girl here, where we did the terrible Drop Shadow, and we're going to do a slightly less terrible Drop Shadow in the grass. Same with this text here, we're going to type it out, and can you see the Drop Shadow cast in the bottom here? There's a cool little trick for creating shadows like this. Let's learn how to do it now in Photoshop. 
First things first, we're to go back in time. We're going to go to 'File', 'Open'. We're going to go to our '15 Shadows', and we're going to open up 'Cast shadows 01.psd'. Remember this, we did way back when. And we faked the shadow, and it was okay using the Burn Tool. I'm going to show you a different, probably more realistic way. So what we're going to do first up, is we're going to click on the 'Shadow Layer', and delete it; goodbye. With the Model Layer selected, we're going to add a Drop Shadow to him. So we're going to go to 'fx', I'm going to go to 'Drop Shadow', and we're going to add a Drop Shadow. 
What kind? I'm just kind of guessing here. I'm getting the Opacity up a little higher. Distance, not too worried about that, size wise. How blurry? Blurry enough for me. So you can copy my settings or just adjust. You'll see we can mess around with this quite a bit afterwards. So we're not particularly worried about the exact settings here. We're going to click 'OK'. And this is the bit that people don't know you can do. You can actually right click the word 'Drop Shadow', and you can go to this one that says 'Create Layer'. The reason you don't know is because, that's a ridiculous name for it, 'Create Layer'. 
What it does is, says, there's a warning. And what it does is it separates that Drop Shadow. Nothing's changed here except the Drop Shadow's now on its own layer. The cool thing about that is I can move it around. I could kind of do that with the effect, but what I can do now is we can start to pull together some of the effects that we learned earlier. So I'm going to put it just underneath here. Then I'm going to go to 'Edit', 'Transform'. And I'm going to use this one that says 'Distort'. I'm going to grab the top one, and flip it upside down. So there's the top meadow, just kind of flip it over. Grab anywhere but the cross hairs in the middle. I'm just going to drag it up so it looks like she's underneath. 
Now depending on what you want to do with a Drop Shadow, it's a little hard to see on the screen because there's grass in the background. So what I'll do is I'll just disable the background. I can't do it at the moment. So I hit 'return' on my keyboard so that you can see it. Hit 'return', I'm going to turn the background off. I've still got the Shadow Layer selected, I'm going to go back to that tool. 'Transform', so that you can see a little bit better. Go to 'Distort'. What I'm going to do is grab the top one and maybe tuck it in there. So it looks like--
It depends on where your shadow's being cast from. I can kind of drag these out, often there's a kind of a spread. Grab this middle one as well. And it's up to you, kind of how deep you want it to be. It will depend on the image underneath, but that's going to work for me. Turn it on. And because it's automatically using Multiply, it's going to work okay. I'm going to turn the Opacity down a little bit to make it more believable. And we'll double back to this once we've learned a few other extra skills. Maybe fade out some of this top stuff. 
So what we're going to do now is, we're going to do that Type exercise you saw at the front. Let's go to 'File', 'Open'. We're going to open up 'Cast shadows 02', click 'Open'. I'm going to grab my 'Type Tool'. I'm going to click once. I've got a giant text, you type your name. I'll type mine, well I'm using Scott because that's the fake brand that we've been making. 'Font Type'. Using my favorite Museo Sans, and I'm going to make the font size not so ginomous. 50. I'm going to even spell the name right, it's my last name. I'm going to grab my 'Move Tool', and instead of trying to guess font sizes I like to use, 'Command T' on a Mac, 'Control T' on a PC. Hold 'Shift' on the corners to get kind of the right size that I want. Hit 'Return'. 
The font color, it's going to be white. And it's the exact same principles we just did, but we'll add a little bit of extra. So with 'Scott' selected, I'm going to grab my 'fx', grab 'Drop Shadow.'. Not too worried about it, I'm just going to leave it like it was before. Click 'OK'. Because what I want to do, remember, right click 'Drop Shadow'. Hit the cryptic name, 'Create Layer', don't worry about the error. And make sure I'm working on this bottom layer here. Called Drop Shadow. Move it around so it's just underneath, then go to 'Edit'. 'Transform', and 'Distort' again. I'm going to drag it down. I want it to be like sitting right there, and I want it to flare out, because I've picked an image that had a really clear Sun in it, whereas the last image doesn't, so it still looks a little fake. 
This one here I'm trying to mimic the sun rays that are streaming out of it. I'm going to nestle in there nicely, and hit 'Return'. So I could play around with the Opacity to try and make it sit in a bit nicer. And what I might do is, Multiply works, but let's try some of the other ones just to see what it looks like. So remember the shortcut, I have to be on my 'Move Tool'. I have to hold down 'Shift' and tap the '+' key on my keyboard. The + that's up the top there next to the numbers. And we're just going to cycle through until I find something that I like. 
So I'm making something like this, like Overlay is working a little bit nicer than Multiply, quite like it. And just to add a little bit more to it I'm going to add a Layer Mask. We've done this a few times now, we're kind of doubling down and practicing. And because it's white, it's not doing anything, I'll grab my brush. I'm not going to use one of my Smoke Brushes. I'm going to go to 'General', and I'm going to use just the soft round one. Size wise, it's really big. What is it? It's going to be something appropriate. Actually that was a perfect size, my caps lock was on. And if I use black--
So remember, white shows everything through, but if I paint with black on it I can start removing parts. So I clicked once on there, clicked once there, clicked once on there. What I might do is turn the Opacity down a little bit. So I'm going to undo those guys. Undo, undo, undo. And just turn the Opacity down to something quite light. Just build it up slowly, 30%. Clicking and dragging across the bottom, clicking and dragging. See it's just kind of starting to nestle in there a little bit better. Is it believable? It's text on grass. It's probably more believable than that one. 
We can do the same thing though, with this 'Drop Shadow' selected, I'm going to go to my 'Move Tool', and play around with my Layer Modes until I find something more believable. So Overlay worked in the last one. I'm going to crank up the Opacity. And with the Layer selected, 'Layer Mode', 'Brush Tool'. Slightly smaller brush. And I'm just going to work out so it's not so clear. Just a little bit less hard core. Is it better? It's definitely better. Is it photo realistic? It is not, but we've learned some cool new tricks, the Drop Shadow, where we can disconnect the Drop Shadow, and then start messing about with it, with different Layer Modes. We can transform it, and that will lead us into the next video, where we start bending it. All right, thanks for playing along. I'll see you in the next video.