Painting Realistic Shadows

Skill Level: Intermediate / Views: 755

When using multiple 3D applications to create an image that is comped in an image editor, it can sometimes be difficult to make it look as if the figures are actually part of the background. Ive found a rather simple way to create what I feel is a convincing shadow. This really helps to localize & place the figure in the scene.Although I use Photoshop, this technique can be accomplished in any image editor that supports layers.

reflash on 12:22PM Fri, 04 February 2005


A step-by-step tutorial to create realistic shadows for composited images.

Tutorial Comments

Loretto  7:41PM Wed, 20 June 2007

Thank you so much!!! I have been teaching myself PSP for 12 months now and your tut has been most helpful! Thanks!!! Loretta

WiseHanna  1:02PM Tue, 12 September 2006

Hey, I've been using PSP for years and never came across a good shadow tut, as this one is. Thank you! Hanna

Skip1871  11:25AM Tue, 22 August 2006

Straightforward and efficient - thanks for a great tutorial and it certainly shortcuts a couple of methods I was using :) much appreciated!

SassyRabbit  9:41AM Thu, 27 April 2006

Thanks -- this is a well written, easy to follow tutorial. And, extremely useful. I only have PS& and PSP8 and am a total novice. But tutorials such as you have shared here sure make playing with digital graphics even more fun. Thanks again!

benitezdk  6:18AM Thu, 02 March 2006

Great :)) Easy ...... and it works! Thanx :))

MidnightFaery  10:05AM Sat, 21 January 2006

This is a great tutorial-thanks so much for posting it!

bebby37  5:51PM Mon, 25 July 2005

Thanks - great tutorial - just what I need for a project I am working on.

reflash  8:55AM Thu, 07 July 2005

I want to say thank you to all who posted such complimentary and encouraging comments! I have been trying to send individual messages, but when I click on your user names, it just tries to send the message to "???". It's really good to know that you all got some benefit from this. I thank you all very much!

dicey  10:05PM Wed, 06 July 2005

Thanks SO VERY MUCH for this tut...I was getting very frustrated with my renders but this tut is THE answer I've been looking for! Simple, and very effective. Many may have saved my pc...and my sanity! :))

sireneidae  8:19AM Sun, 08 May 2005

Very helpfull and informative! Know I have not longer be angry about unnaturally looking pic, when I use a bg created in another programm. Thanx!

tynana  11:57AM Fri, 15 April 2005

Fabulous tut! Just the way I like them. Informative and to the point! Best regards Tammy :)))

novelist999  4:31PM Sun, 10 April 2005

This tutorial is very helpful. I'm currently trying to learn more about post work techniques and this is just the kind of tutorial I was looking for. Thank you so much for posting it here.

Elcet  2:44PM Tue, 08 March 2005

Really fantastic of simplicity and efficiency! I'm afraid of entering 3D because I have only a slow G4 Mac, so I think that for some time I shall gather several 3D elements in a Photoshop scenery and here you pave the way for easy professional results!

gtrdon  10:00PM Fri, 04 March 2005

Very informative and useful thank you.

evielouise  8:38AM Sun, 27 February 2005

Thank you so much for showing abeginner how to make a shawdow the only place I got stuck was when it came to destoration in psp8 I couldn't find transform then trying to go to nodes to get the four handles of the shawdow its wasn't highlighted for me to use but you gave me the idea and how to process it I enjoyed your tuts very much and the direction was awesome! thanks again

vilian  3:20AM Tue, 22 February 2005

It helped me a lot, now my PSP is even more useful :-)

panchoh  12:05PM Fri, 18 February 2005

Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing your expertise. Regards, Pancho

evandonk  7:58AM Mon, 14 February 2005

I agree. I work in PSP and Terragen, and if you use your techniques together with those in DreamVisionsgraphics's tutorial down the page, you can get some really amazing results. Regards, E. van Donk

benseys  5:56AM Fri, 11 February 2005

Great tutorial. I use a similar technique for enhancing my 2D illustrations. Indeed it works! May I add that playing with the different blending modes (in the layer folder) really add value to the effect you are after. (BTW it works also if you want to add shadow/ light on the character!) Regards,

Mobbster  1:54PM Mon, 07 February 2005

This is extremely helpful, I use Terragen, Poser, Bryce and PSP, and I can never make a comp image look natural. Especially skewing a shadow when the sun is low and off to the side. Thanks. Mobbster