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Thread started 28 Oct 2008 (Tuesday) 23:05
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Sumulate a shadow

 
bwolford
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Oct 28, 2008 23:05 |  #1

I have a need to create a shadow for a subject. Ideally it would be sharper near the subject and blur as it moves away. Any suggestions for using a gradient with a mask or some other technique to make a shadow gradually become blurry the further it is from a subject and less intense (ie lighter)?

Thanks, Brice


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Oct 28, 2008 23:23 |  #2

bwolford wrote in post #6581565 (external link)
using a gradient with a mask

Yes, that's how I'd do it.

Are you able to post the image for us? It'll be easier to make suggestions if we can see it.


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Oct 28, 2008 23:32 |  #3

here is a quick tutorial (external link) that might help :cool:


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bwolford
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Oct 30, 2008 08:15 as a reply to  @ -Douglas-'s post |  #4

Thanks. That tutorial was very helpful.

Here's a sample. I need to simulate a shadow for the athlete. Yes I know there are artifacts in her fingers and other places. It's a rough extract from a green screen. I'm focusing on the shadow for now and then will worry about backdrop, etc later.

Brice


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Oct 30, 2008 11:28 |  #5

Like this? The highlight on the forehead denotes light coming from above camera left (look at the highlights on the subject's right hip and the arch of the left foot). Are you going for a shadow on the floor? Backdrop? The shadow is fairly easy to do, you just need to match it to the lighting. Here is "assumed" top light, shifted a little to camera left, almost acting along the long axis of the subject's body.

Here I created a selection around the subject. In the top layer is the subject with a mask blocking the background. The shadow layer is below, with the blend mode set to "Multiply" (in case you eventually want to composite the shadow onto a fake background). The last layer is just the original image (to be replaced by a background plate in the final comp).

The shadow was created by using the selection around the model, transforming it (squishing it down and skewing it to camera right) and then feathering the edge. A little gaussian blur on the shadow to taste and then set the opacity of the shadow layer to get the right look. It will look more convincing once you comp onto a realistic background plate. In "real life" the parts of the body (eg, the hands) furthest from the surface catching the shadow (the floor here) will cast the fuzziest, blurred shadows, while the parts closest to the floor will cast the sharpest shadows. If your fake shadows need this kind of detail, you can paint in the edge fuzziness or selectively blur the selection/mask you use to create the shadow. Here it sort of happens naturally. The below comp makes her look tiny, so also be wary of scaling your background plate to match the subject.

Have fun!

Kirk


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René ­ Damkot
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Oct 30, 2008 19:09 |  #6

This is shot in front of a green screen, if I remember another thread correctly?

If so, I'd probably start of using the "real" shadow. Desaturate the green, maybe lighten it, and you have a realistic starting point.

Creating a fake shadow is easy (as can be seen in the linked tutorial). Creating one that looks well is a lot harder ;)


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Oct 31, 2008 01:04 as a reply to  @ René Damkot's post |  #7

Nicely done, Kirk! :D


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bwolford
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Oct 31, 2008 22:26 |  #8

René Damkot wrote in post #6594290 (external link)
This is shot in front of a green screen, if I remember another thread correctly?

If so, I'd probably start of using the "real" shadow. Desaturate the green, maybe lighten it, and you have a realistic starting point.

Creating a fake shadow is easy (as can be seen in the linked tutorial). Creating one that looks well is a lot harder ;)


Correct Rene. The real shadow is certainly not like Kirk's, although his is fine and better than I accomplished. I need to practice it.

Realism is the key and I'm not quite there yet. I'll play with Kirk's technique and see where it takes me.


Thanks for the help.


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Sumulate a shadow
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