IYM #1: Everything Has Shadows

Hello my dear readers,
I´ve decided to create short set of articles called "Improve Your Manipulation" about some basic topics related to creation of photomanipulations.
When I started doing manips three years back I had several problems with creating realistic looking picture. So in these articles I want to mention some of these problems to help you to improve your work.

I would appreciate if you say your opinion about the article in the comments or on dA and let me know if you´d have some ideas for a new topic.

Everything Has Shadows

Let´s started with the first topic.
When I started with photomanipulations I have a really big problem - all my models I put into the picture seem that they levitate above the ground and not stand on it. The reason was simple - I didn´t put shadows under the model´s foot.

Real Life Examples

If you look around you will notice that every thing which lies on something has slight, very decent shadow under itself. Let me show you few real examples.

Photomanipulation Examples

This "rule" doesn´t concern only people´s foots. Every object which lies on something should have shadow under itself too.
I´d like to show you one of my manip without this "undershadow" to exactly see how this slight stripe of black can affect your picture.

There is the manipulation without the shadow.

Now I circle the areas where shadows should be.

And there is the result. Much realistic isn´t it?

How To Apply Shadows?

Probably the easiest way how to add shadows under the object is to create a new layer under the layer with the object, grab the Brush Tool (B), pick some dark color and paint the thin line arround.


Hope that this article was useful for you! I would really apreciate your opinion or suggestion for the next article.
Theme covered in the next article will probably be about choosing and applying the light source.