How to Create Realistic Shadows in Photoshop


Shadows are a great way to put a little bit of lift to your design, making it a bit more "3D." It's very easy to do.

Part 1

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For the purposes of this tutorial choose a normal Web preset, 640x480 pixels.

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Pick a mild grey for the foreground and a lighter shade of grey (almost white) for the background. Turn on the Gradient tool. Check the Gradient tool's settings. Set it to "Foreground to Background" and Linear Gradient.

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Let go once you reach the top of the document.

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Activate the marquee tool and select the lower half of the page.

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After doing this, deselect. Now let's add some shine.

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" It's always good to work in layers so you can always go back to make edits.

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Set your foreground color to white, and the Gradient tool must be in "Foreground to Transparent" and Radial mode.

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Release when you reach the middle.

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" This is for another shine, this time at the bottom.

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The image will appear as another layer.

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When you're finished, click OK.

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Do this by dragging it down in the Layers pane.

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To do this, right click on the Drop Shadow effect in the Layers pane and select Create Layer in the context menu that appears. Press OK on the warning message that appears. There should now be a layer aptly called Drop Shadow added to your project.

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Drag it so the shadow sits at the bottom of the image. Apply the transformation by pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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