by Sharif aka
Reef | 08 June 2005
Lately, people have emailed me asking to show how to
make a small nifty effect I used on lots of images. I like
to call this effect a "Camera Shadow," because it's as if a
person/camera is creeping upon a portion of the scenery in
dark mysterious way. You've seen this done numerous times
and here is the effect:
[ a shadow
cast upon an old book]
Readying Up :
- First steps first. Open Photoshop (CS/7). We'll be
editing a premade image.
- I found the old book from a great site:
www.sxc.hu. The stock
images are completely free for personal work and you're
missing out if you don't have an account. For now, the
direct link to the image:
(click here) - beware 56k, the images are large
- Once it's saved, open the file in Photoshop. Then,
go to image > image size or simply transform the image
into an fairly editable size. I've edited the dimensions
of mine to be 400 by 350, for purposes of the tutorial.
- Select all (ctrl+a) using the marquee tool and cut
this selection (ctrl+x). Close this document, because we
won't work directly on it.
- Open a new file (ctrl+n). Photoshop should
automatically detect the selection size and set the
canvas to be as big as it is. So paste (ctrl+v) after
the document is created. Make sure this new pasted image
is on a new layer.
The Real Editing:
- I always edit my images, no matter how good the
lighting is, so go ahead and do that if you please. If
not, just skip this and continue to the next step.
- Create a new layer (ctrl+shift+n), this will be the
layer of the shadow. Now, using the marquee tool, create
a rectangle selection that is just about 75% of the
image. Invert the selection (ctrl+shift+i) and fill this
in black (alt+backspace) if your foreground color is set
[ a black fill
over the image ]
- If you don't understand, just use the image above as
reference. Now, go to filter > gaussian blur. Type in an
amount of about 35.0. This should make it blurry and
round enough. Play around with the settings, until it
fits your needs.
- Once you do this, you can set different blend modes,
tweak opacity, and do many other changes if you'd like.
Note : Inner
There are 2
advantages to my method. One, you
achieve a nice round and blended out
shadow. Two, you can add layers
under the shadow! That's the most
important function. If you use
innershadow, the shadow will be very
square and too predictable, with the
fact you wont be able to add anything
under the shadow. Now you can add text
and other images underneath.
As always, I've included the
source file (.psd) for you. Have a look and observe how it's
You can always post your
work, comments or any questions on the heroic
KirupaForum. See you in a few!