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Perspective Shadow – Photoshop Tutorial


With this tutorial I am going to show you how to add shadows with perspective to shapes, text and isolated objects. There are a lot of ways to achieve this, but this is in my opinion the easiest and fastest way (probably one step shorter than the second fastest :) )

For this tutorial I am going to use a shape that I created from a 3d render. You can see the shape below.

original photoshop custom shape

Let’s start by applying a Drop Shadow style to the shape layer. Go to Layer-> Layer Style -> Drop Shadow (or just double click on the layer at the layers palette) and use these settings.

drop shadow settings

Now right click on the little (f) besides the layer at the layer palette. I have circled it in the screenshot below.

layer styles symbol at the layers palette





From the pop-up menu select “Create Layer”

select the create layer option

A new layer will be created from the Shadow effect. Your layer palette should now look like this.

layer palette

Select this new “Shadow” layer and go to Edit-> Transform -> Skew and skew it somewhat like this.

skew layer to the left or to the right

Apply the transformation and to to Edit-> Transform -> Distort this time. Now you should bring the top horizontal line of the rectangle down.

distort the shadow layer

You may need to align a bit the shadow layer with your original layer and you are done. I applied a gradient to the background and here is my final result.

photoshop's tutorial, final result

7 Responses to Perspective Shadow – Photoshop Tutorial

  1. Ant February 14, 2006 at 12:20 pm #

    Hm, that’s pretty cool. I never knew about that create layer command. The only improvement I can think of is having the shadow blur a bit the further away from the object it gets… not sure off hand how I’d do that though, going smoothly from not blurred to blurred without creating a line. Any ideas?

  2. Dimitris February 14, 2006 at 12:55 pm #

    It probably can be done with the Lens Blur filter.
    Another thechnique is:
    Duplicate the shadow layer and apply a gaussian blur to it. Then create a mask and draw a gradient (black to white) starting from the point that you want to have the least blurriness. Then go back to the original shadow layer, add a mask as well and draw a (black to white gradient) in the oposite direction.
    I hope this makes sense.

  3. Scott March 4, 2006 at 12:27 am #

    Amazing tut, thanks

  4. Rasmus March 4, 2006 at 4:08 am #

    How to make the shape? ^^ Nice tut btw.. ;)

  5. Dimitris March 4, 2006 at 4:13 am #

    The shapw was created usind DAZ Studio, I created the render on a transparent background and then traced it to create the shape.

  6. Rasmus March 4, 2006 at 4:26 am #

    Cheers bud! ;).. Looks cool :)

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