How To Add Shadow In Photoshop

Shadow of a product gives the authenticity of the product. Is the shadow really important? Frankly speaking, you can not hold the online customer for a long time if your product photo does not have shadow. You can now imagine how important the shadow is for a product. What if your product photos do not have proper shadows? In this tutorial article, I am going to show you How to add shadow in photoshop. So, read this article till the end and follow the steps with care, you will get easy instructions from this article, you will be able to do it easily. Let’s see How to add shadow in photoshop:

Make a drop shadow in photoshop

Before beginning the editing, make sure that your images have transparent backgrounds.

Method 1: Shadow for Shoe

  • First of all, open your photo in photoshop. To do that, go to the “File” menu and select the “Open” option. Then, go to your image location and select your image and then click on the “Open” button. Your image will be opened in photoshop afterward.
  • Now, create a new layer. To do that, go to the layer panel and click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer will be created. Now, in the layer panel, click & hold the new transparent layer and drag it below the “layer 1”. Now fill the new transparent layer with white color. To do that, go to the left side’s tools panel, click on the background color, a color palette window will appear, drag the color picker towards the top left side and then click on the “OK” button. Now, go to the layer panel, click on the new transparent layer you have created and press “CTRL+Backspace” from the keyboard, the transparent layer will be filled with white color.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, right click on the “Layer 1” layer and select the “Blending option. Then, go to the “Drop shadow” option from the left side. Now, in the right side, set the “Blend mode” as “Normal”, set the “Opacity to “100%”, set the “Angle” to “90 degree”, set the “Distance” between 15 to 20, set the “Spread” to “0%”, set the “Size” between 25 to 30, and then click on the “OK” button. In your case, the above mentioned adjustment numbers may differ, so choose numbers according to the need.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, you will see two layer effects are added in the “Layer 1” layer. So, right click on the “Drop shadow” sub-layer of the “Layer 1” and select the “Create layer” option. A new “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer will be created.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, and select the “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer, then go to the left side’s tools panel, and select the “Lasso tool”. Now, draw a selection around the shoes except the bottom part of the shoes. Now, press the “Delete” button.
  • Now, press “CTRL+D” to deselect the selection.
  • You will see that, bottom shadow has rough edges on the left and right side, you need to simply erase those edges to smoothen. To do that, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer, then go to the left sode’s tools panel and select the “Eraser tool” and then erase the edges.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer, then click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer “Layer 3” will be created between the “Layer 1” layer and “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer.
  • Now, go to the left side’s tool panel and select the “Elliptical marquee tool”. You will find it under the “Rectangular marquee tool”. After selecting the “Elliptical marquee tool”, draw an oval shape selection horizontally for the bottom part of the shoe. Now, go to the “Select” menu, then go to the “Modify” option and then select the “Feather” option. Set the feather radius as “20” and click “OK”.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 3”, then go to the left side’s tools panel, set the “Foreground color” as black. And then press “ALT+Backspace” from the keyboard, selection will become black. Now, press “CTRL+D” to deselect the selection. Then, go to the left side’s tools panel and select the “Move tool” and move the shadow as per your preference.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 3” layer, then go to the “Filter” menu, then go to the “Blur” option and select the “Gaussian blur” option. Set the “Radius” between 30 to 40. Then click on the “OK” button.
  • That’s it.

Method 2: Shadow for Human

  • First of all, open your photo in photoshop. To do that, go to the “File” menu and select the “Open” option. Then, go to your image location and select your image and then click on the “Open” button. Your image will be opened in photoshop afterward.
  • Then, duplicate the layer. You can do it in three ways. Go to the layer panel, right click on the background layer, select the “Duplicate layer” and click on the “OK” button. Or, alternatively, select the background layer, then go to the “Layer” menu, select the “Duplicate layer” option and then click on the “OK” button. Or, alternatively, click & hold the background layer and drag it towards the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom. Your background layer will be duplicated.
  • Now, you have to bend the copied layer’s image so that you can convert it to shadow. To do that, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1 copy” layer, then press “CTRL+T” to activate the free transform. You will see that the free transform border is activated. Now, to bend it to the left, press & hold the “CTRL” key from the keyboard and click & hold the top middle free transform handler and drag it to left. The image will bend to the left. After that, press the “Enter” button. Now, go to the layer panel, click & hold the “Layer 1 copy” layer and drag it below the “Layer 1” layer.
  • Now, make a selection on the “Layer 1 copy” layer. To do that, press & hold the “CTRL” button and click on the thumbnail of the “Layer 1 copy” layer. Selection line will appear.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1 copy”, then go to the left side’s tools panel, set the “Foreground color” as black. And then press “ALT+Backspace” from the keyboard, selection will become black. Now, press “CTRL+D” to deselect the selection. 
  • Now, if you want to reposition the shadow, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1 copy”, then press “CTRL+T” to activate the free transform. You will see that the free transform border is activated. Then, right click on the photo and select the “Warp” option. Now, reposition the shadow as per your preference. Now, go to the “Filter” menu, then go to the “Blur” option and select the “Gaussian blur” option. Set the “Radius” between 55 to 65. Then click on the “OK” button. The radius number may differ for you, so choose radius according to your preference. Now, go to the layer panel, set the “Opacity” level between 20% to 30%.
  • Now, create a new layer. To do that, go to the layer panel and click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer “Layer 2” will be created. Now, in the layer panel, click & hold the new transparent layer “Layer 2” and drag it below the “layer 1 copy”. Now fill the new transparent layer with white color. To do that, go to the left side’s tools panel, click on the background color, a color palette window will appear, drag the color picker towards the top left side and then click on the “OK” button. Now, go to the layer panel, click on the new transparent layer you have created and press “CTRL+Backspace” from the keyboard, the transparent layer will be filled with white color.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, right click on the “Layer 1” layer and select the “Blending option. Then, go to the “Drop shadow” option from the left side. Now, in the right side, set the “Blend mode” as “Normal”, set the “Opacity to “100%”, set the “Angle” to “56 degree”, set the “Distance” between 5 to 10, set the “Spread” to “0%”, set the “Size” between 25 to 30, and then click on the “OK” button. In your case, the above mentioned adjustment numbers may differ, so choose numbers according to the need.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, you will see two layer effects are added in the “Layer 1” layer. So, right click on the “Drop shadow” sub-layer of the “Layer 1” and select the “Create layer” option. A new “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer will be created.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, and select the “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer, then go to the left side’s tools panel, and select the “Lasso tool”. Now, draw a selection around the shoes including the bottom part of the shoes. Now, inverse the selection. To inverse the selection, go to the “Select” menu and choose the “Inverse” option. Now, press the “Delete” button.
  • You will see that, bottom shadow has rough edges on the left and right side, you need to simply erase those edges to smoothen. To do that, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 1’s Drop shadow” layer, then go to the left sode’s tools panel and select the “Eraser tool” and then erase the edges.
  • Now, go to the left side’s tool panel and select the “Elliptical marquee tool”. You will find it under the “Rectangular marquee tool”. After selecting the “Elliptical marquee tool”, draw an oval shape selection horizontally for the bottom part of the shoe. Now, go to the “Select” menu, then go to the “Modify” option and then select the “Feather” option. Set the feather radius as “5” and click “OK”. The radius number may differ for you, so choose radius according to your preference.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 3”, then go to the left side’s tools panel, set the “Foreground color” as black. And then press “ALT+Backspace” from the keyboard, selection will become black. Now, press “CTRL+D” to deselect the selection. Then, go to the left side’s tools panel and select the “Move tool” and move the shadow under the shoe as per your preference.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 3” layer, then go to the “Filter” menu, then go to the “Blur” option and select the “Gaussian blur” option. Set the “Radius” between 40 to 50. Then click on the “OK” button. The radius number may differ for you, so choose radius according to your preference.
  • Now, copy the “Layer 3” shadow for other shoe as well. To do that, go to the left side’s tools panel, select the “Move tool”, then press & hold the “CTRL+ALT” buttons and click & drag the shadow, the shadow will be copied. Now, move it under the other shoe just by dragging the shadow.
  • That’s it.

 

Method 3: Shadow for Car

  • First of all, open your photo in photoshop. To do that, go to the “File” menu and select the “Open” option. Then, go to your image location and select your image and then click on the “Open” button. Your image will be opened in photoshop afterward.
  • Now, create a new layer. To do that, go to the layer panel and click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer “Layer 2” will be created.
  • Now, go to the left side’s tools panel and select the “Pen tool”. Now, draw a path from the middle of the car towards the bottom, you must include all parts of the bottom near the wheels. Now, transform the path into the selection, press “CTRL+Enter” from the keyboard. Then, go to the “Select” menu, then go to the “Modify” option and then select the “Feather” option. Set the feather radius as “20” and click “OK”.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, select the “Layer 2”, then go to the left side’s tools panel, set the “Foreground color” as black. And then press “ALT+Backspace” from the keyboard, selection will become black. Now, press “CTRL+D” to deselect the selection.
  • Now, go to the layer panel, click & hold the “Layer 2” layer and drag it below the “Layer 1” layer.
  • Again, create a new layer. To do that, go to the layer panel and click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer “Layer 3” will be created. Now, click & hold the “Layer 3” layer and drag it below the “Layer 2” layer.
  • Now fill the new transparent layer “Layer 3” with white color. To do that, go to the left side’s tools panel, click on the background color, a color palette window will appear, drag the color picker towards the top left side and then click on the “OK” button. Now, go to the layer panel, click on the new transparent layer “Layer 3” you have created and press “CTRL+Backspace” from the keyboard, the transparent layer will be filled with white color. 
  • Now, we will give the shadow under the wheels. To do that, first of all, create a new layer. To do that, go to the layer panel and click on the “Create a new layer” button from the bottom of the layer panel. A new transparent layer “Layer 4” will be created. Make sure that the “Layer 4” is located between the “Layer 2” and “Layer 3”. Now, go to the left side’s tools panel, select the “Brush tool”. Now, go to the top bar, click on the brush preset, select the “Soft round” brush, set the brush size as per your preference but try to choose a big size and set the “Hardness” to “0%” and press the “Enter” button. Now, click on the photo, you may not be able to see the color due to other layers. Now, press “CTRL+T” to enable the free transform and then drag that to the bottom so that you can see. Now, press & hold the “CTRL” button from the keyboard and click & hold the right border’s middle handler and drag it to the right side. It will become an oval shape. Now, drag that shadow under the wheel. Now tilt the right side of the shape to the down a little bit if needed. To do that, hover your mouse outside of the right side’s free transform border, you will see the tilt sign on the mouse tip, just click and drag it down.
  • If your car image has other wheels visible, you can copy the shadow shape of the wheel you have just created. To do that, go to the layer panel, right click on the “Layer 4” layer and select the “Duplicate layer” option. A “Layer 4 copy” layer will be created. Now, press “CTRL+T” to enable the free transform and then drag it to another wheel. Do this on all wheels.
  • That’s it.

Video Tutorial about “How To Add Shadow In Photoshop” who really don’t want to read whole article just follow below video.

That’s how you can add shadows on the subject in photoshop. In this article I have tried to show you the way of adding shadows in Photoshop. Here I have tried to show the way of adding the drop shadow effect, smoothing the edges, creating new shadow layers and many more. Here I also include lots of important keyboard shortcuts to make it easy for you. Not only that, I have shown you three different methods for three different subjects. I hope you have understood How to add shadow in photoshop.

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