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I have the following image:

enter image description here

The gray version of the pin will obviously be it's shadow. I know how to skew it and all to make it look like a shadow.

What I want to do but don't know how is to blur the shadow version of the pin more a the top and less as you go towards the tip of the pin shadow.

I want to do that because in real life, the shadow will be more softer as it gets farther from the object that casts it (as can be seen in the bellow example).

enter image description here

Thank you!


Just to clarify: I need a map style shadow, not a simple drop shadow. Something like this:

enter image description here

share|improve this question
Blur tool:… I sometimes start with gaussian blur and then continnue with the blur tool. – Joonas Nov 21 '12 at 19:45
Incase I forgot to mention. Try the Blur tool – Joonas Nov 22 '12 at 12:26
I saw your comment (tho I forgot to answer it because I got excited I found a solution). The problem with your solution is that you'll have to be pretty skilled to nail a gradient progression blur on such a small layer. Thanks for your input anyway! – Nicolae Surdu Nov 22 '12 at 14:27
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The best way I know to do what you're after is to apply a small blur may times. This gives you the most natural gradual change.

  • Enter quick mask by pressing Q.
  • Change to the gradient tool by pressing G.
  • Draw along the axis you want the blur to follow, covering the length of the object.

enter image description here

  • Exit quick mask by pressing Q again.
  • Choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use a small radius (0.5px etc).
  • Press command-F quite a few times to reapply the small blur.
  • Stop when you're happy.

enter image description here

If you're not happy, try again. The initial gradient selection makes a big difference to the result.

Once you're done, you can use Edit > Transform > Distort to get it in place with the correct perspective.

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Your solution seems simpler than mine. I'll try it later, tho it appears you already did try it, so I'm confident it will work. – Nicolae Surdu Nov 22 '12 at 14:25

To skew the shadow properly, you need to rotate it, then use "transform->distort"enter image description here

I shortened the item and then adjusted the top edge to align with the horizon.

After you do this, you can duplicate the shadow layer and apply blur to one copy.

Add a layer mask to the blurred layer, select the mask itself by clicking on it in the layer palette (if selected, it will be outlined slightly). Then apply a black to clear or black to white gradient along the axis of skewed shadow of the pin. Experiment until it looks decent.

ctrl+click on the layer mask thumbnail to create a selection from it, then add a new layer mask the first copy of the skewed shadow. Deselect, ensure the mask is selected, and invert the colors (ctrl+i). You should now have a really blurred layer and a non-blurred shadow layer and a cross-fade between the two.

enter image description here

Note that for the particular use you have asked about, the shadow will appear to go through the map and not lay on it. To maintain the planes implied in google maps, You really should be skewing the pin itself as if you are looking straight down on the map.

share|improve this answer
I clearly said in my question: "I know how to skew it and all to make it look like a shadow." In your example you can clearly see the hard shadow still being there, and if you mask it, it will look ungly. – Nicolae Surdu Nov 22 '12 at 7:33
this is actually the same method as the one you approved. My example was to show the method, not to tweak and make a perfect specimen. – horatio Nov 27 '12 at 15:01
Thank you for your answer, but the approved answer is more to the point, clear to understand just from the pictures, and was not approaching points that I clearly mentioned are understood, like skewing the pin shadow. – Nicolae Surdu Dec 4 '12 at 13:41

Heres I would create the blur of the Pin' shadow:

Right-click on the Pin layer

Select layer style

Check Drop Shadow in layer style

Move and adjust the shadow

On Shadow layer, you may blur the shadow via filter and change the opacity if you like

share|improve this answer
I don't need a simple drop shadow on the layer, I need a more elaborated shadow effect. I thought it was clear from my question. Updated the question. – Nicolae Surdu Nov 22 '12 at 7:38

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