Photoshop Tip: How To Create Natural-Looking Shadows In Photos


Image via Shutterstock

You know how some photos look “off” with their fake or even absent shadows?

Photographer Aaron Nace of Phlearn shows you how to avoid these when creating your own shadows on Photoshop. In his 12-minute tutorial, Nace reveals how to can paint realistic shadows—more specifically for round objects—with layers and the brush tool.

The trick to adding natural-looking shadows is to create multiple layers for every step of shading. As nature dictates, the darker shadows will appear nearer to the object, while the lighter ones will be farther from it.

On a fresh new layer, use the color picker to select a shade at the edge of your object—this will be the basis for your shadows; if you use grayscale, the shadows won’t look as realistic. Then, use the brush tool to color around the object with this shade.

For more depth, create a new layer and increase your brush size, then lower the flow to about 10 percent and paint around the same area to create a gradient. You can repeat this step and change the opacities as you go until you’re happy with the effect.

Don’t let a Photoshop fail lurk in the shadows—watch how to add photorealistic shadows to your photos in the video below.

[via PHLEARN, cover image via Shutterstock]




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