Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to add shadow to an object or a person on ground using Adobe Photoshop Elements?

Here goes the tutorial for adding shadow to any human body or object such that the shadow is on the ground.

It's damn easy using Elements. So here goes the steps:

1. Choose your model. I chose my favorite one.

Add shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

I could manage to extract the selection using refine edge tool  in Elements as described in Refine Edge  tutorial. I created a new layer out of this selection by right clicking and choosing- Layer via Copy.

Add shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

2. Create another new blank layer using Control+Shift +N or through layers menu>New layer. Drag this layer below the selection layer we create in last step. Choose paint bucket tool from left tool panel, changing background color in color picker tool to white and then painting it over this new layer.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

3. Created a copy of this layer by right clicking it in layer panel and choosing "Duplicate layer". Same can also be done by dragging this layer to new layer icon in layer palette or just using the shortcut "Control+J" on Win and "Cmd+J" on MAC.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

4. Select this layer copy in layer palette and click on the thumbnail pressing COntrol key. This will select the model here.

Now select brush tool and keeping this new layer selected as shown, paint it over with black. Since the selection is ON, the brush won't paint outside the selection edges.

Here is what you see post that:

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

You can add a little  blur to this shadow layer from Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur.

5. Now we are just two steps away from the final result. Go to Image>Transform> Free Transform or  just press control+T, keeping top most layer we just painted as the one selected in Layers palette:

Keeping Control key pressed, move the edges of the transformation boundary such that the shadow part now goes towards the ground as shown. You can tweak the shadow in a way you want, imagining the source of light as per your needs. Click the green commit button when you see better placement. Make sure you now make the shadow layer as second by dragging it down otherwise your shadow will paint black over the body. So in order to make it behind the body, drag it below the selection layer.
One most important thing is that you must coincide the feet of person with the feet in shadow here while transforming else they would be disjoint and not look realistic or seem like person flying in the air :)

6. The last step is to reduce the opacity of the shadow. This can be done from layers paleete by selecting this layer and reducing opacity to something around 60-70% or as per your need.

Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements

Here goes my final result:
Adding Shadow using Adobe Photoshop Elements
Shadow added using Adobe Photoshop Elements

I have been receiving suggestions from the readers of this blog about the content and some specific tutorial requests using Elements. Suggestions and feedback are welcome. I will try to respond as soon as I can.


  1. Thanks for sharing this information and beautiful picture.. They are really stunning... You did a great job.
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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great techniques....
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  4. I've seen architectural photographers Boston using this trick. Can you really add shadows when taking pictures of buildings? I mean do you have to do that? or it is only used to add a little detail on the image?

  5. Really useful and interesting tutorial. I will surely try this. I will be really glad if you please share a comprehensive article on image retouching services. Thanks!!!

  6. Great blog post! I don’t understand how long it will require me to obtain through all of them!
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  7. Thanks for sharing. Tutorial for adding shadow to any human body.
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  8. Great work. I really impressed to see your work. Very helpful tutorial. I have tried on my photo and I was success. Thank you so much.
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  10. Great tutorial, I found what i was looking for and this is gonna help me a lot.
    Thanks a lot to the Team and Best of luck for still more to come!!
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  12. This tutorial is a great guideline to create a shadow to person, also we provide drop shadow service at Clipping Partner India .

  13. very nice and effective tutorial. i will try it and thank you very much for sharing

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  21. OMG! How easy to remove the background. I was in complex. Thank you very much for this kind of helpful post.
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