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The Design Center, DT&G / Photoshop Department / Common Shadow Mistakes / Shadows on Color / Incorrect Shadow Shapes  

Continued from the previous page ...

Drop Shadow Mistakes

with Glenn Honiball

Incorrect Shadow Shapes

Poor shadow shapes are another common mistake. Make sure your shadow shapes properly relate to the shape of your object. If you are not sure what the shadow shape for an object may look like, if feasible, try and locate the object you are trying to create a shadow for in "real life," and have a good look at it. Or find a practical sized replica of the object that you can study.

Place the object under a lamp and move it around to see how the shadow falls, or just take a walk outside and have a look at various shadow objects.

The next few figures show the same object, a car, with different types of shadows.

Shadow wrong
Incorrect: this shadow looks like someone painted a gray bar under the car

Shadow wrong
Incorrect: In this example, the shadows under the car look like they were printed with a squashed marshmallow; there is no gradation at all.

Shadow wrong
Incorrect: Here, the shadow looks like someone just placed pads under the car.

Shadow Right
Correct: Now, our car with a realistic shadow -- looks like shadows do in real life

Avoid common shadow mistakes

There are a variety of common shadow mistakes, and in this article I've covered just a few. Remember to always make sure a shadow stays put on the ground, make sure the shadow reveals the correct color of the background it falls upon, and above all -- do your best to create a realistic shadow that reflects the shape of the object casting it.

Glenn Honiball

Continue your investigation of shadows as Glenn discusses Realistic Shadows, and how to ground them properly


Glenn will show you many, many more techniques...

cover Written by 20-year photo retouching veteran Glenn Honiball, Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio is the only book to deliver advice for the photographer and artist working with Photoshop CS 2 in a real world commercial environment.
      Honiball offers incomparable technical and artistic guidance for professionals, graphic artists, photographers, and just about anyone involved in creating and manipulating digital images.
      All the tools, techniques, and skills you need to achieve consistent, professional results with Photoshop CS2 can be found in Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio. Anyone with intermediate-to-advanced Photoshop skills--whether you want to explore photo retouching personally or as an imaging professional or student--can use Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio to produce sharp, expert, extraordinary photos that don't look retouched.

Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio
by Glenn Honiball
List Price: $44.95 - Amazon Price: $29.67 You Save: $15.28 (33%)
Paperback: 270 pages Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.

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