Chapter 13. Creating Light and Shadows


  • Creating drop shadows with

  • Layer Styles

  • Creating cast shadows

  • Compositing shadows

  • Creating a beam of light

The interplay of light and shadow is what gives images that extra dose of reality. To appear credible, composited images — images from mul-tiple sources — frequently require that shadows be created separately. Photographs frequently need adjustment to balance light and shadow and to reveal as much detail as possible. The techniques covered in this chapter reveal how to create and manage shadow and light. There are a variety of techniques that can enhance an image by altering its dark and light extremes to impart depth and nuance. This chapter also covers methods to create real-istic shadows in a variety of lighting conditions using channels and masks.

Creating Drop Shadows with Layer Styles

Applying a Drop Shadow Layer Style is the easiest way to create a shadow from a composite image. In earlier versions of Photoshop, creating a simple drop shadow required extensive channel juggling. But the software engineers at Adobe saw fit to package this and other elaborate channel voodoo into a neat package called Layer Styles. This method works well if the shadow does not fall on multiple surfaces. It can be applied to any layer content including type layers to produce extra depth. The shadow, which is the shape of the layer content, is cast on the layer or layers below the target layer in the stack. The content of the layer must be surrounded ...

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