How to Add Drop Shadow in Photoshop

By Tata Rossi 21 days ago, Photoshop Tips

How to Add Drop Shadow in Photoshop

Adding drop shadow is an important technique for both: photographers and graphic designers. If you often cut your subjects or objects out of their background and Photoshop them into a picture, you need to know how to recreate their shadow. This will make the image realistic, by adding depth to it.

1. Make a Selection

First, you need to make a selection around the shape of the object. In my case, it’s a chair. You can use any method that is the easiest and most effective for you. Photoshop offers many selection tools. For simple selections, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool or the Elliptical Marquee Tool. For more complicated objects, use the Lasso Tool.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop making a selection

2. Copy to a New Layer

Next, we need to copy the object to a new layer. Use the Photoshop keyboard shortcuts - Ctrl + J (Cmd + J).

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop copy to new layer

3. Create a Layer and Fill it with Black

Use the shortcut Ctrl + left mouse click on the layer’s thumbnail (Cmd + left mouse click) to select the object once again. Create another layer and fill it with black, by going to Edit > FIll.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop

4. Position the Shadow

Move the shadow layer below the layer with the cut-out object. Transform its shape by clicking Alt + Ctrl + T (Option + Cmd+ T). This will activate the Transform Tool. Then, holding down the points, press and hold the Ctrl (Cmd) key and drag in the desired direction without breaking the perspective.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop moving the shadow

5. Create Shadows for Different Objects Separately

If there are several objects in the photo, it’s best to create shadows for them separately, using different layers.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop

6. Make the Shadow Less Defined

Now, we’ll lower the shadow’s opacity, by going to the Filter menu and selecting Gaussian Blur. Increase the radius, until it looks realistic enough. I’m going to use a radius of 4,5 pixels.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop gaussian blur

8. Done! Save the File

Your shadow is ready. Now, you know how to successfully Photoshop someone into a picture and recreate their shadow.

If you have a photo spoiled by shadows, don’t worry! There’s also a super simple way of removing shadows in Photoshop.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop before after how to add a drop shadow in photoshop before after

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