Select Language
Post-Processing Scenes in Photoshop
Shadow Adjustments

SUtoPS_2.4_Shadow Adustments

0:01 Similar to the previous lesson, here we’ll modify the default shadows export.

0:07 One challenge of shadows in SketchUp is that there is no color choice.

0:11 SketchUp allows us to lighten or darken but not add color hues like blue or purple as we find in both the real world and in exaggerated form in watercolor illustrations.

0:24 The second issue is that, similar to colors and textures, there is no gradation…

0:30 For example, the shadows are just as dark or strong near the tree trunks as they are further away at the tops.

0:37 We’ll address both of these concerns in two parts.

0:41 First, lets start with color. Make sure the shadow layer is both on and selected as current layer.

0:50 Next go up to ‘select color range’....Then eye dropper on the shadow itself to sample the dark grey color and drag the fuzziness slider all the way to the right and click ‘ok’.

1:03 Then create a new layer. Go to your color picker and pick a nice blueish-purple color and then ‘Ok.”

1:13 Now switch back to your paint bucket tool and click down to paint our shadows now in color on the new layer that we just created.

1:22 Give it a name like 'Shadows-Color' and turn off the original SketchUp shadows layer.

1:29 To finish this lesson off, let’s change the shadows layer style to 'Multiply' to get a better look at the intended final result.

1:40 Continuing working with our shadows layer, in this lesson we’re going to darken and lighten parts of the shadows to replicate an Ambient Occulsion effect that you might typically find in photo-realistic renderings.

1:53 'Ambient Occlusion' is really just a fancy way of saying light bounce where shadows themselves are either darker or lighter depending on the amount of available ambient light, the objects around them, and the distance they are from the source object casting the shadow.

2:09 To do this in Photoshop, we’ll use the Dodge tool to lighten and the Burn tool to darken areas of our shadows.

2:17 Let’s start by making a copy of the 'shadows-color' layer that we created in the previous lesson.

2:24 Next, lets begin lightening parts of the shadows that are further away from the objects casting them.

2:31 Select the 'Dodge' tool, which lightens and adjust your exposure level to around 30 percent.

2:38 Select the 'Dodge' tool, which lightens and adjust your exposure level to around 30 percent.

2:38 Now select a soft brush and click down on the edge of a shadow and start of working your way around the edges back towards the base of where the shadow is being cast from.

2:51 Now try the opposite. Switch to the Burn tool and click down near the base of an object casting the shadow to darken.

3:03 This method can be applied to your other shadows as well, especially places like corners or on curves where light either fades out, darkens or lightens based on available surrounding ambient light.

3:20 Now that we’ve dodged and burned all of our shadows, let’s do some additional shadow adjustments to wrap up this lesson.

3:28 Let’s start by adding and subtracting some shadow details that are missing from our SketchUp export.

3:34 For example, since our model used trees with PNG textures for their leaves, it created a solid shadow that doesn’t really reflect the dappled light shining through leaves we’d get with full 3D trees.

3:47 No worries though as we can break that hard edge up easily by selecting a brush, like Photoshop’s maple leaf brush...

3:56 and either brushing loose leaves around the edges….or erasing the edge and parts of the interior to loosen up the large solid areas.

4:11 Once the tree shadows are begin to look better better, let’s shift our focus to the rounded play spheres.

4:18 Like mentioned earlier, SketchUp doesn’t show shadow graduation, leaving us with a harsh transition where the shadow just stops suddenly on a curved object.

4:27 Let’s correct this by selecting our 'colorbylayer' layer and magic- wanding just the play spheres….

4:37 Then pick a soft edge brush and increase the brush size.

4:44 Using the same shadow color as before, we can now paint in a soft transition from the base of each sphere.

4:54 Now you can see that this looks much better.

4:59 Before moving on, let’s look at the finished shadows layer.

5:03 Given that we’re working from bottom to top and haven’t added our trees yet or effects yet…we have to use a bit of imagination…