Creating Shadow Layers
So next thing I wanna tackle is that shadow. So I'm gonna go Control or Command + J. Duplicating my girl. What I wanna do here, is I want to delete this one layer mask. So we see there's a little bit of shadow here. Right there, a little bit of shadow here and along the edge of her dress. Now there's a billion and one ways to get shadows. Like everything else we've done, there's hundreds and hundreds of ways to do this, this is just one way that works quite nicely in my opinion. I'm gonna go Normal, I'm gonna throw the blending mode of this layer onto Multiply. Now what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna do a black layer, a black layer mask over the entire thing, so I'm gonna hold Alt to click on the layer mask. Now she disappears. I'm putting this layer underneath her. So I'm gonna call this, so I don't get mixed up, I'm gonna call this Shadow. We're gonna go down here to our brush. Oops, brush. And I wanna paint with white right now, it's set to black. Oh my god. Hey, this is one of those th...
ings that happens. I was like why is this not working? Because I was totally drawing on the actual layer itself. (laughs) If that doesn't happen to you, it will happen. Let's click on the layer mask. And this is too harsh of a brush. That's too much, right. I'm gonna make my brush nice and soft. And multiply might not be the best blending mode for this, it might be too strong. So I'm just gonna pull this around. Till I can see that. So this might be the incorrect blending mode. Because I can see that little bit of shadow right here but this is too much saturation, it's too dark. So of course, we could always just make it lighter like this but it tends to look really fake. So I'm gonna try throwing this onto Soft Light. Let's try Overlay. Overlay, of course, is pulling in a little bit too much saturation and color. Hard Light's not too bad, but I can probably do with this because now Hard Light I'm getting that shadow which is kind of, that's accurate to what I'm looking for. So I have a little too much saturation. And my brush size is a little too soft. So let's pull this around here. I'm also gonna reduce my Flow because it's at 100% right now. Pull that back further. And I'm just following the existing shadows that are already there. And they're very subtle. So this is the wrong color. It's not the right color at all. So I'm gonna play with this again on Multiply and worst to worst what I'm gonna do, is I'm just gonna wind up desaturating it a little bit. But this is not too shabby. It's just too much. So with a little bit of dodge and burning we can probably get this looking pretty realistic. So this is one way that I like to do shadows, there's tons and tons and tons of ways, and the more you study how light really works, the better this gets. So if I turn this all off, I'm gonna just go here to my photo of my model. Now because we have these tiers saved, right, we can compare kind of what's going on. So she's flipped. So I'm looking here, and I'm like okay, this here, this little piece here, that's the shadow. So I'm gonna try and match that as close as I can. I'm gonna use a slightly harder brush because that shadow is a little bit harder. So we're looking at that. Now I'm looking at this shadow right here. So this comes straight out and at an angle, so I actually had the angle incorrect here. So this is kind of coming more like this. It's a little bit softer. I'm gonna make it a little bit bigger than I need and then I'm gonna cut it down. So flat out here and kinda like that. Lower Flow. I'm just taking a larger brush just so I can blend this a little bit smoother. So if you see here, I'm too high. So this starts to come out right at the bottom of that lip. So that means right about here. So I am too high on my shadow. But this is why I like having the actual image handy, because then I can sorta match these guys up. So look at that. And it's looking a lot closer. Now the other thing I'm gonna keep in mind is that this ground has some texture. So the rocks, of course, are gonna have a slightly different shadow. So we can probably play with that with dodge and burning once we get into this a little bit further along. Does that shadow part make sense? Cause now we're going from her floating to she's grounded a little bit. And this still might be just a little bit dark because I'm looking at the some of the shadows here, maybe we could pull it down a little bit. I think that's looking much nicer.
As far as best practices are concerned, when you're working on the opacity of a shadow to create the softness of it, is that something that you do while, do you photograph shadows while you're on location? So you kinda know where you're gonna be at?
Yeah. Yeah, I will still photograph because we have the shadow of the other girl that was hiking with us, but we also know that with the lighting that we created, we did create this effect that as if we had shot her on location but we brought in a strobe light to fill it. So we know that there's gonna be more of a shadow coming onto this side of her dress. This part here, there's gonna be a little bit more because it's brighter here, we have the specular highlight on her cheek, we know that this synthetic light is coming this way. So I would probably pay attention to the shadow that comes from the dress that I shot in the studio more. Because if you match the lighting accurately, that's what's gonna be true. Whereas if you're not matching your lighting accurately, and you don't want to then, well maybe you pay attention to something else. (laughs) But I think your lighting should be very cohesive and coherent. So that's kind of how I like to do it.