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How to do a realistic shadow

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2009, 05:29 AM
fryday fryday is offline
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How to do a realistic shadow

Hi guys,

I'm just about finshed with a little photomanipulation i've been working on and i just cant seem to do a good shadow for it. can anyone give me advice on how to ad a realistic and effective shadow to this image.

cheers.

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/6340/photomanipf.jpg
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2009, 06:40 AM
longside1 longside1 is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

I've done this before, although I suspect others may have a better approach:

1) Make a selection of the subject and save as a new fill layer (use black as a colour), this will become your shadow. Depending on how hard your light source would be, will depend on how much you feather the selection i.e. soften the edges.
2) Drag the shadow layer below that of the subject, and use the free transform tool to shape and position the shadow to reflect where you light source would be;
3) Once finished, reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to taste. If the shadow has too hard an edge then you could add a gaussian blur to soften to taste.

Like I said, I'm sure others on the forum will have a much better way, but the above works for me!
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:05 AM
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mepaulus mepaulus is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

not quite sure what sort of shadow you want here but 2 examples , just for a short shadow around the boot select part of it and copy /paste then use drop shadow trim it to size you want or for the full figure i did a quick selection with the magic wand copy/paste , transformed slightly filled with black and lowered the opacity to 37%.Hope this helps.
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File Type: jpg shadow.jpg (33.0 KB, 120 views)
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:24 AM
Inkjet Inkjet is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

Hi Fryday,

My method is very similar to Longside1.

Not sure what program you're using. This is a pretty generic method. I Selected the figure and copied it onto new Layers twice. ReSelected the lower of the 2 and expanded the Selection by 5 Pixels then feathered it by 5 to get a soft edge.
While the selection was still active I filled it with black and reduced the Opacity on the Layer. I used the Transform command to distort it so that it fell "behind" and away from the figure.
Finally I added a Mask and faded out the far end of the shadow.

This is a pretty small photo so keep in mind that the Feathering etc will have to be increased for larger photos. Also if you're using Photoshop it has some usefull Shadow making features in the Layer Styles.

Hope this is of some help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Photomanipf-SG.jpg (34.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg photomanipf[1] w Shadow.jpg (53.0 KB, 87 views)
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2009, 11:39 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

Done the same as everyone else did ... Tis up to YOU how much tweaking should be done!

Follow the light!
What side of the model is in shadow?
That is the side where your shadow should be!
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File Type: jpg shadow copy.jpg (81.4 KB, 77 views)
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:42 AM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

Here is how I would do it.

Butch
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File Type: jpg 83437.jpg (80.5 KB, 75 views)

Last edited by Daviskw; 04-07-2009 at 11:55 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2009, 12:51 PM
SGeabhart SGeabhart is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

Part of the problem is that there is no ground plane defined, so any shadow will make it look like the figure is just floating in space, here is how I approached it which is similar what someone else here posted.

Shawn

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
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File Type: jpg photomanipf_sg.jpg (88.7 KB, 54 views)
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:45 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

0lBaldy is correct, of course -- Follow the light. And my result is pretty much the same as Daviskw's -- just a bit softer as that's how I saw the falloff on the hat. One has to determine upon what the shadow is cast? For composition sake, I assumed a rolling backdrop. YMMV.
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File Type: jpg shadow.jpg (30.9 KB, 62 views)
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2009, 10:25 PM
fryday fryday is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

hey guys thanks for all the replies. I've done 2 versions. Please tell me which one you think looks more realistic.

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/3220/photomaniprp.jpg
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:36 AM
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cun030876 cun030876 is offline
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Re: How to do a realistic shadow

following the light direction, i'd prefer the first version.
nice job fryday!
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