Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Floating a Product and Shadow off it's Background

Hi Everyone...

I'm going to show how to float a product and shadow off it's original background. I'll be working on a Mac and using keyboard shortcuts. Have no fear PC users, your keyboard shortcuts will also be posted. There will be images to go along with the lesson. Remember to click on the pics to make them larger. Let's get started...

1. Start with a flattened image with a path around the product.

 2. Command click (Control click for PC) on the path to make it a selection. Note: it will look like marching ants around your selection.

3. In the Layers Panel, turn selection into a layer. (Command J for Mac/Control J for PC)

4. Click on the bottom layer of Layer Panel to make it active. Make sure it is  highlighted.

5. Go to the Channels Panel. Command click (Control click for PC) the RGB channel and turn it into a selection.

6. Double click the Quick Mask icon at the bottom of the Toolbar. This will open up the Quick Mask option window. Make sure the color indicates the selected areas (by default, it picks the masked areas). Opacity at 100%.

7. Invert the Quick Mask (Command I for Mac/Control I for PC).

8. Adjust levels of Quick Mask paying attention to how it affects the shadow.(Command L for Mac/Control L for PC).

  9. Exit the Quick Mask by pressing the Q key. You should see a selection (marching ants).

10. Turn selection into layer in the Layers Panel (Command J for Mac/Control J for PC).

11. Click Preserve Transparency Button in the Layers Panel (checker board box).

12. Fill the layer with Black. Foreground color (Option-Delete for Mac/Alt-Backspace for PC) or Background color (Command-Delete for Mac/Control-Backspace for PC).

13. Add a white layer underneath that layer (follow the same procedure as #12), so you can see the shadow.

14. Click the layer above and make active. Adjust the shadow using the opacity slider until you feel comfortable with the result.

15. Throw the 2 bottom layers in the trash and merge the 2 top layers (Command E for Mac/Control E for PC).

16. This is the end result - 1 layer with background knocked out (checker board).

It can be saved to any format. Now it can be put on any background while retaining the shadow. If there are any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section of the blog.