Saturday, October 26, 2019

How to Create a Cast Shadow

How to Create a Cast Shadow
by Trish

Here we have the background plate and the extracted subject that we need to apply a shadow
to. Without the shadow, there is no visual clue as to the scale and position of the object. The shadow also serves to anchor the object to its surface.

Step 1
The first thing that we are going to do, is to create a standard drop shadow.
Choose the Layer style button at the bottom of the Layers panel (looks like a little “f”)
Select Drop Shadow.
Use the settings as shown below (change angle according to light source)

Step 2
We now have a pretty good drop shadow, but we want a cast shadow.
We are going to separate the layer style from the layer, so that we have the shadow by itself on it's layer

In the Layers panel, right click on the little “fx” on the right of the layer name.
You will see a drop down menu. Choose the option called Create Layer 

The layer will now be spilt into 2 layers. The shadow will be moved to its own layer directly underneath the original as shown.

Step 3.

Now to distort the shape.
On the new layer, press Ctrl/Cmd+T, this will bring up the free transform tool. Right click on the selected object, select “Distort” from the pop-up menu

You will see a bounding box with 8 little squares. Click and drag the top right square (called handles) until it looks similar to the picture.

Step 4

Click and drag on the left top handle to match the angle on our model.
Reposition any of the handles if you need to.
Press Enter/Return to apply the transformation.
You now have a basic cast shadow.
You can also reduce the opacity and add color to suit the background