Creating the Perfect Shadows in Photoshop

On this basic video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn how to create perfect shadows for objects that have been cut out and replaced in a new image in Photoshop.

So you want to create a composite image bring together parts from different images. The problem is that you are now missing the shadows which makes the image appear more realistic. To add shadows to your image Nace has a really neat trick.

You can use the Gradient Tool to create shadows. According to Nace, shadows are darker at their core and fade out as they get farther from the center. You can achieve the same effect using the gradient tool. Start by selecting the gradient tool and picking the ‘Foreground to Transparent’ gradient in the ‘Gradient Editor’. open a new layer, click-and-drag outwards to create a radial gradient and now squeeze the gradient with CTRL/CMD + T until it is  flatten and size it accordingly to the object. Really simple yet very effective (second tip – use a color from the image for your shadow – Nace believes that most shadows are not grey but actually have some blue in them).

This isn’t the first time Nace deals with shadows – you can also watch his video on “How to Fix Dark Shadows in Photoshop“.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).


Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.