Deke’s Techniques: Masking a shadow with Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

It’s all well and good to use Deke’s impeccable masking techniques to meticulously isolate objects—like, say, this week’s car—and set them down on new backgrounds. But the fact is, if you don’t bring the shadow of your object along for the ride, your subject is never going to look like it really belongs there.

That’s why in this week’s free movie Deke shows you how to capture the shadow under an object—like, say, this week’s car—and prepare it for use in any new background. The technique centers around the Calculations command (don’t worry, Photoshop does all the math) and some standard masking clean-up techniques. Check out the difference in these before (plopped down without a shadow) and after (with the shadow intact) images:

Object moved without shadow

object with masked Photoshop shadow

Don’t leave your transported objects floating out in space, ground them in reality by including their shadows.

See you back next week with another Deke’s Techniques!

• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• Courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com
• All Photoshop courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Advanced Blending
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Hair

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