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Merge with Editing Shadows.


  • Shadows are complex, and usually consist of several shadows merged together. Use several shadows in layers, blended together slowly to mimic this effect. They are almost never black. They often have more detail than the highlights.
  • Shadows can be blurred selectively, so that they are sharper nearer to the feet of the subject. Use a gradient as a selection using Quick Mask then apply a blur. Soften the hard part by then applying a blur to the whole shadow. (Phlearn > Beginners Guide to Compositing > Perfect Composite > Video 2, 37 min)
  • Where possible have someone stand where you are editing someone in, and use the actual shadow.
  • Videos - Phlearn (Plus others to watch)

Using Composite Photography to Create a Fantasy World by Karen Alsop - Lesson 17 & 23

  • Using a Levels Adjustment Layer. Use the bottom slider and take the highlights down to the middle. If this is not dark enough use a Multiply Blending Mode. Paint in the shadow with the mask. Reduce opacity as needed.
  • Use a Multiply Blending Mode to darken areas for general shadows.
  • Two levels of shadows are added to the ground below a person. Sharp shadow is small and just around the contact point. Soft shadow surrounds this and is lighter and more diffuse.
  • If the shadow is on grass, then use a grass brush to add a grass texture.