How to Create Fake Shadows Using Photoshop

Don't get me wrong; I am not going to show you how to make up for bad lighting in post-production. However, Glen Dewis has created a very interesting video that shows us how to achieve a gobo-like effect using Photoshop, something that be very handy if you are looking for an easy way to add drama to your picture without spending too much time in front of your computer.

Seamless gray or white backgrounds can sometimes feel just too empty. But at the same time, adding an element to create depth in an image isn't very easy, as it might distract from the original goal of the picture. Gels seem to be very trendy lately and can be fun to use. Jake Hicks wrote an article on how to use gels, and it is definitely worth reading if you haven't already.

Gobos are also quite often used in the studio to add an element to the whole image or just to the background. You can add them to set the mood and thus create something more interesting than just a model in front of a seamless paper background. However, sometimes, you only realize that your image looks flat when you start retouching it. At first, you might be tempted to think that it's too late, but before you think that, check out Glyn Dewis' video above.

He shows you how to add an element in a matter of seconds. He uses the custom shape tool to create the form he wishes, then blurs it to make it more believable, and finally masks it out of his subject, before playing around with the opacity of the layer to get the desired result. It's as simple as that! Don't forget to watch the video to get the details on each and every step. Also, if you spend a lot of time retouching or just to learn more tricks like this one, you should subscribe to Dewis' YouTube channel.

[via Glyn Dewis]

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Quentin Décaillet is a photographer and retoucher based in Switzerland specializing in portrait and wedding photography.

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1 Comment

At around 3:20 where he says there is no way to increase the width of the individual bars and makeshifts that, there are multiple faster and more efficient ways.

1- Adding and adjusting a "Stroke" in a "layer style" will be more precise, not require duplicating layers, and also allow for adjustments later.

2- If the shape is selected the stoke option is indeed available at the top dialog box for the custom shape tool, however the stoke amount is somewhat limited.