July 20, 2009

Tutorial: How to Make 3D Shadows

I've have a few 3D products in my store and I've had a few of you ask me how I make the shadows for them so that you can make your elements for the page look the same way. So I thought it was time for another tutorial. :-) So here goes. There are several ways to do this but I'm going to do it so that you can also use the same technique in Photoshop Elements. I'll be using CS3 but this also works in Elements (I tested it). Take the element that you want to make a dropshadow for and use your Magic Wand Tool to outline just the element. Once you've outlined it, right click on the mouse and go to select inverse to just get the element (not the outside of the element).
Then you will go to the layers and create a new layer (all while your still have your element outlined with the magic wand tool). Then take the paint bucket and paint that new layer with black paint.
Then you will move that painted layer behind your element. Then while on that layer go to Edit>Transform>Distort.
Then just distort that layer to make it look like a 3D shadow. You can move it around and adjust it how you want.
Then once you have that shadow how you want you can do a few more things to make it look like a real shadow. I adjust the opacity to 25%. You can adjust it to what you would like. I adjust it to 25% on my 3D products.
Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.
I zoomed in on the flower so you could see better. After you go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur then adjust the radius to about 8 pixels, you can adjust to what you would like but this is what I used on my 3D products. That's pretty much it.
This is what my flower looks like with the shadow on piece of paper. I didn't finish the flower so it's plain but you can at least see what it looks like with a shadow on a piece of paper. It looks so much cooler on a piece of paper than on white, so I just had to show you. :-)
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