How to Create or Make Perfect Shadows in Photoshop?

Understanding Shadows and How Light Works

Realistic Shadow Creation is a complex process. You have to understand how light works. If the Source of Light is hard (e.g. day time on a sunny day) then shadows are also hard edged. Similarly if the Source of Light is Soft (like on a Foggy, Cloudy day) then Shadows will also be soft. 

Wherever the Subject touches the ground the shadow is dark and it fades away going further. In this Free Photoshop Tutorial – Aaron Nace from Phlearn will teach you how to use different Gradients on many different layers with varying opacity to achieve the effect of Soft Shadow in Photoshop. 

Learn How to Make or Create Perfect Shadows in Photoshop?

Related Tutorial – The Secret to Creating Shadows in Photoshop

Use the Gradient Tool to Make Realistic Shadows in Photoshop

Shadows are darker at their core and Fade out as they get farther from the center. You can achieve the same effect using the Gradient Tool.

Start by selecting the gradient Tool and picking the ‘Foreground to Transparent’ gradient in the ‘Gradient Editor’. Next, choose a Radial Gradient and on a New Layer, click-and-drag outwards to create a Radial Gradient.

Next, Transform the gradient by pressing ‘CTRL/CMD + T’. Flatten the radial gradient out and Size it accordingly to the object. If needed, change the Opacity of the gradient or use the Eraser Tool to remove excess Shadow.

Opacity and Hardness

The areas closer to the object will cast harder, darker Shadows and the areas farther will have lighter, softer shadows. To replicate the effect, create different layers with different gradients on them. Move the layers into place to achieve a realistic shadow.

Related Tutorial 2 : How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop

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