Photoshop :: HOW-TO: Gradient Effects

May 26, 2004

Anyway, I have been trying to make some cool shadows and feel that I need some help here. If you place an object on a surface and put some light on it you get a shadow that is very sharp and dark near the objects base and gradually gets more and more "blurred" further away from the object. (Hope you get the picture)

Now, all of the tutorials that I found on this uses two layers. The first layer is sharp and the second is blurred. Using gradient masks they simply blend the two layers into each other. This is pretty good but not perfect. Below is an example:

For now concentrate on the shadow to the right. Can you spot the strange effect when the double shadows are blending? This is the effect I don't like.

The Shadow to the left is more accurate and was made in this way:

1. First I made a selection that surrounded the shadow except for the part closest to the object.

2. I applied some Gaussian blur. (I think it was 0,3 or something)

3. I moved the selection 10 px upwards and repeated step 2.

4. Step 3 was repeted until i had reached the top of the shadow.

This can also be used to mimick a shart focal depth:

Again the right image looks strange.

Finally I made a quick image demonstrating both of the effects:

(I know that the green tube has incorrect lighting, I was not thinking at the moment )

This is my dirty way of doing it, but I suspect that it can be done better. If anyone understands what I am mumbling about and have some ideas please step forward


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