Photoshop curved Shadow


How to create the shadow effect as per the url/image below? Specifically, the rounded/curved shadow at the bottom:

3/25/2011 9:53:00 AM

I suspect that the curve on that shadow might be an optical illusion of sorts. As @lawndartcatcher explains in his answer, the curved look can be achieved by making the intensity (or opacity) of the shadow fall off towards either end.

Here is a step-by-step look at that process.

Here is my top layer: Top Layer

Below that I add a basic soft shadow (I used a feathered selection to make it): Basic Shadow

Now here's the part that gives the curved look. I screen this gradient over the shadow layer: Reflected Gradient

And I get this result: Curved Shadow

Putting it all together gives something that I think matches closely with your reference: Final Result

Here is a look at my final layers in Photoshop CS3:


[Download the PSD file]

NOTE: I used a gradient with its blending mode set to screen to create the intensity falloff of the shadow. While this makes for a good visual demonstration, it really only works when you are dealing with a white background. To apply the same tenique to cases with different background colors, you would want to apply the gradient as a layer mask to the shadow layer.

4/20/2011 12:25:00 AM