How to add drop shadow in photoshop




Adding realistic drop shadows around objects makes photos look believable and professional. But, do you know how to set the proper settings for your photos? Or do you know the best way to get the appropriate lighting to get the drop shadows you want?


We will guide you step by step to add a drop shadow in Photoshop.


Well, with the help of Photoshop technology, you can do it successfully without using any hardware or lighting equipment.


In Photoshop, with experience and patience, you can achieve the proper settings and lighting to make your product photos look professional. The whole procedure requires skill, time, and understanding of shadows.


Stay with us until the end of this article. Then, learn the step-by-step process for adding realistic drop shadows.



Creating Drop Shadow Effect Under Object in Photoshop



When you photoshop a person or object into another photo, adding drop shadows to the person or entity is essential to make the thing look believable and realistic. But let’s introduce the shadows first.


So what is an actor’s shadow?


As the name suggests, Drop Shadow is a Photoshop tool that can give a professional look when used on photos. It is the process of adding a shadow to an image with no shadow.

The drop shadow technique is preferred for creating a shadow effect on products with imprecise or weak shadow effects. In addition, it is often used, and the background needs to be changed to maintain the quality of the shadows.


Using this modern technology helps to get the best work for the client. This is one way to make your photos more attractive to business users.

In short, a creative solution to give your photos a new look if used in the right place and with the right graphic designer.



How Do You Create a Drop Shadow in Photoshop?



Objects have two types of shadows: parallel shadows and shaped shadows. What is a drop shadow? You may think. Shadows are shadows around an object seen on the ground or other objects around the thing. Drop shadows are shadows that appear on the object itself.



Both shadows are determined by the direction, distance, and several light sources. You can use the shadow shape of your object to provide clues as to what a realistic shadow will look like. Before you start painting or creating shadows in Photoshop, it’s essential to understand how shades work. Shadows become lighter and fainter as you move away from the subject.


In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a realistic shadow in Photoshop using the shadow layer style, modification tools, gradient tool, Blur, layer masks, and alpha channels.




Photoshop Shadow Effect: An Overview of Drop Shadow



Image Shadow is an excellent solution for digital photos. This technique can add visual brilliance to natural scenes. The primary item is the product image.


A new layer is created to add a shadow, and the photo is placed over the bottom layer. Then the photo’s resolution is increased to 72 pixels per inch, and a new photo file is created.


The drop shadow effect is designed to create a shadow on a photo. However, choosing the right tone is difficult. When selected, the focus usually needs to be adjusted to make images look professional and realistic.


If you make shadowing easy for virtual objects, it’s hard to do the same for acceptable elements like hair, etc. But the work is in the details. However, as there are many professional services, one can rely on them for selected services.


The quality of the shadow effect depends on how the shadow is combined with the object. For example, the Natural Drop Shadow (DS) effect ensures that the shadow does not appear detached from the thing. Drop Shadow (DS) technology has changed the look of photographs of living objects. It has already been proven that the proper execution can make a photo magically attractive.





Best Drop Shadow Service in Photoshop


An object can have two types of shadows. One is the “drop shadow,” and the other is the “shape shadow.” Before we dig deeper, let’s get to know this scenario. Now you may be wondering what a drop shadow is and what is a shaped shadow.


1.Cast shadows

Cast shadow is a reflection that looks like the ground or something else, usually around the primary target.


2.Form shadow

The term shadow shape is the object’s reflection against the light source.


However, the following parameters can determine the projection or shape of the shadows.


  • The direction of the light.
  • The distance from the morning to the object.
  • A total number of light sources (in place).

To understand the whole process of shading, you need to know how shading works. For example, drop shadows are softer and lighter because they capture more material.




How to Make a Drop Shadow Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll try to explain the simple process of creating a realistic drop shadow in Photoshop by capturing the following:


  • Shadow Layer Style: Determines how the shadow will blend with the background pixels.
  • Transform Tool – allows you to rotate, transform, flip and distort objects.
  • Gradient Tool: Use this to draw all gradients. You can convert any radial, angular, or diamond gradient to your object’s shadow.
  • Blur Tools: It is essential to draw a blur effect on the shadows. This tool has a brush that can paint blurs or drop shadows.
  • Layer mask: A layer mask is an essential tool for manipulating shadows. If desired, change the transparency of the layer.
  • Alpha Channel: Use to set transparency options for a specific color range.





Step 1: Open the image in Photoshop


You can use any object-based template for this tutorial or choose a product template as we did.




Place the selected image in Photoshop. You can either drag and drop the image onto your Photoshop artboard or click File and then choose Move to select the image and click the Insert button.




Step 2: Cut Out/Remove background from image


I could skip this step, but I hope this tutorial is a complete solution for anyone who wants to learn how to add realistic shadows in Photoshop. First, we must remove the background from the image before using the drop shadow.


You can use any selection tool to select the background and the background eraser to remove content from the ground. However, I would recommend that you use the clipping path technique using the Photoshop pen tool for the selection process to make it more accurate and professional.



Step 3: Change the foreground color


Now let’s change the foreground color to black. You can modify it with the Photoshop keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + X) or adjust it manually. First, click → Set Foreground Color in the toolbar and select black from the color palette.




Step 4: Create a Shadow


Now we will create our realistic shadow with the black part we created in the previous step. To create shadows, you must use the Free Transform tool by selecting the copy layer and activate the Transform tool by pressing CTRL+ T.


The tool allows you to move the black part to wherever you want. But we’re creating a shadow here, so the shadow is usually under the object. So we’re going to break out the black part and place it under our object.


Right-click and hold the top edge of the transform tool to create a shadow effect. Now click on the duplicated layer and drag it below the original layer to create a shadow.




Step 5: Use Motion Blur


Use the Shadow Blur effect to reduce sharpness and blurred edges. Go to Filter > Blur and choose Motion Blur. A pop-up window will appear. You can adjust the angle and distance to suit your needs. After you’ve modified them, click OK to save the changes.




Step 6: Apply Gaussian Blur


After applying the motion blur, we will use a Gaussian blur to the scene. You can choose Photoshop Gaussian Blur from the Filter → Blur menu above. Once it is selected, a window will appear, and from there, we must adjust the radius. Again, I suggest you use 3px to get the shadows to settle perfectly.



Step 7: Use a brush tool to bring perfection


In this last step, we’ll use a brush to refine our shadow. First, go to the left toolbar and look for the brush icon. Next, click on the icon, and a drop-down menu will appear. Select the brush there.

After selecting the tool, set the Opacity to 50-60% before using it. Now change the background color to black and adjust the brush size to suit your needs.



Now drag the brush over the shadow. If you go overboard, change the background color to white and repaint that area with a brush to bring it back.

Repeat this process back and forth, working until you have the shade you want.





Use a Drop Shadow in eCommerce Business



Placing products in different contexts allows shoppers to connect with the effect on an emotional level. However, if you’re using Photoshop to shoot a product in this setup, you’ll need to give it realistic shadows to make the photo believable.


Even if you only show your product on a white background, a realistic drop shadow will make your product stand out from the ground and create a more natural and professional photo.



The shadow technique, in particular, can be used for furniture, adding volume and depth to product photos without technical lighting during the shoot.

Here’s an example from The Mood Store where you can see shadows added to different images:




In a Word


The 3D drop shadow gives a general impression of the space around the products ( where and how a small shadow appears).


We don’t want a flat image of an e-commerce store more than any product nowadays. It doesn’t seem natural. Also, if a product’s or person’s dimensional aspect is lost, the image becomes unrealistic.


So adding a drop shadow in Photoshop can help you generate sales and grab viewers’ attention. Since we have very advanced technology, we feel good about turning a flat product image into a 3D image with a realistic shadow visible.


For e-commerce businesses, every little detail brings us closer to customer satisfaction to the extent that the customer experiences the real shopping experience.

A 3D image with realistic shadows encourages the consumer to buy this product as if buying in a shopping center or vice versa.


So if you are a highly competitive eCommerce entrepreneur, you can protect all product images in your online store with realistic and whimsical drop shadows.

Be careful; Be careful, and thank you.