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Deformation Tool: Perspective Shadows
Created by: kiss

 
When creating a composite image in Paint Shop Pro it may be necessary to make a perspective shadow for an added image. This tutorial shows a way to do that using layers and the Deformation tool.
 
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For this tutorial you can download the images I used or use your own. The beach scene came from a free graphics site called Graphsearch, the woman is one I made myself using a 3D program (Poser 4 by MetaCreations).
 
Open the woman image, "/tutorial/html/tuteff/woman.jpg".
 
Select the gray background with the Magic Wand tool set to:
Match mode = RGB Value
Tolerance = 15
Feather = 0
 
Press the Shift key to add the gray selection between her left arm and body. Keep pressing the Shift key to add all the gray selections if necessary. Then go to Selections || Invert and invert the selection. You should now have only the woman selected.
 
      Go to Edit || Copy, then to Edit || Paste || As New Image. You'll now have a separate image of your woman on a transparent background. We will be working with this woman image, so you can close the original one.
 
Now go to Image || Resize and resize the woman image to 75% of the original:
Percentage of Original = 75
Resize Type = Smart Size
Resize All Layers = checked
Maintain aspect ratio = checked
 
Let's leave her like that for now and open the beach image, "beach.jpg".
 
Since we're adding the woman to the beach scene, we'll first add a new layer for her in the beach image. If it's not opened already open the Layer Palette by clicking on the blue and red square button in your tool bar. There will be one layer there marked, "Background".
 
Create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer button in the layer palette. That will open the Layer Properties box.

If you like you can change the name of the layer from "Layer1" to "woman". Changing a layer's name can be handy when using multiple layers as it makes it easier to find the one you want to work on. It won't be necessary to change any other settings in the box. Press on OK to close the Layer Properties box.

 


Now it's time to put the woman on the beach.

Click on the woman image and then go to Edit || Copy to copy the image. Then, click on the beach image and make sure your woman layer is selected in the layer palette. Go to Edit || Paste || As New Selection and put her on the beach a bit to the right so we have room for the shadow.

Deselect the woman by going to Selections || Select None.

 
In the layer palette, right-click on the woman layer. This will open a pop-up menu which gives a selection of choices. Click on "Duplicate".

This will add another layer to your layer palette called "Copy of woman". You won't see the copy in the image but what we have done is create a second woman directly on top of the first.

 
Select your "Copy of Woman" layer in the layer palette if necessary and click on the Deformation tool (the square made up of dots).
 
When you've clicked on the Deformation tool, you'll see the tool's boundaries appear around the woman.
 
Place your cursor on the little square situated in the middle of the boundary's top and drag it down until it's about 3/4 inches high.
 
Then press the Shift key and drag the same little square to the left about an inch. This will be the shadow, so play about with the Deformation tool to get it to the perspective you want. We'll work later on turning this image into a proper shadow.

To set the deformation, click on "Apply" in the Control / Tool Options palette. If you don't like what you've done, click on "Cancel" and start again using the Deformation tool.

 
Now we're going to make the shadow more realistic. Go to Colors || Adjust || Brightness/Contrast. This will open the Brightness/Contrast dialogue box. Slide the Brightness control to the left as far as possible (-255). You don't need to worry about the Contrast control.

Click on OK. This will make the shadow black.

Go to Image || Blur || Blur and blur the shadow.

 
The shadow is way too dark so now we'll lessen the opacity of it. In the layer palette, slide the Opacity level of the shadow layer from 100% to around 60%.
 
Last step: We now need to get the shadow behind the woman. The best way to do this is to put the shadow's layer (Copy of woman) under the woman layer in the layer palette. Place your cursor on the shadow's layer and drag it down so that it is placed between the woman and background layer.

And there you have it!