Let's say I want to add this photography + frame on this background. It will look "very copy/pasted".

  • How to add (with Photoshop) the shadow that would normally be produced by the frame on the 4 sides of the frame? The shadow should blend naturally with the background layer.

  • Should I also add some brightness on one edge of the frame (like would do a light coming on one side) or not?

More generally, how to make it more natural?



enter image description here

Photoshop project (PSD downloadable here, feel free to modify it and post it along an answer):

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


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You can add Drop Shadow in the frame so it feels like frame is placed on wall

shodow can be :-

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  • Following the shadow of the brick brick the light is on the top/center-left, the projected shadow goes to bottom/center-right.
  • The shadow distance must be more extended because the frame is thicker than the brick, but lighter than the brick shadow.
  • You can add a thin light line at the frame top/left sides, the same line like the inner frame bottom/right.
  • A thin shadow line to the frame bottom/right, but i don't think will be necessary because the frame is white and the light is not that powerful.

enter image description here

  • It looks very good @Danielillo! Could you add the steps that you used (which menu / options / names in Photoshop, possibly with screenshots if it's possible for you), it would be super great! Thank you in advance!
    – Basj
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 10:13
  • Is the image example you posted here @Danielillo the result of some photoshopping on my example files, or just another brick image coming from internet? ;) If it's applied on my initial files, please post your detailed method, it would be interesting!
    – Basj
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 20:08
  • It's an internet image, but digitally made by sure. The brick wall is a pattern and the frame is to perfect. I put this image as a sample to show how could this look. To make this is quite simple but a photoshop explanation with tools, gaussian blurs, layer effects, mask, etc. could be a four pages tutorial.
    – user120647
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 20:15
  • This was the goal of the question, if you know how to do it, please share it :)) Thanks in advance.
    – Basj
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 21:11

There's nothing wrong with either of the answers here already, and as I suspect you are relatively new to Photoshop, either of them will serve you better than mine. They are good enough, and a lot faster. However, out of interest, here is the more advanced way I would handle this problem if the job warranted the extra effort.

The wall isn't flat, so for ultimate realism, consider a displacement mapped drop shadow:

enter image description here

Here are the steps:

  1. With the picture as a layer above your brick wall, simply apply a drop shadow. Use the right lighting angle of course, adjust spread etc by eye.
  2. Create a layer from that effect layer (right click the effect and select "Create Layer") - Photoshop renders the drop-shadow as it's own layer.
  3. Select the layer with the brick-work and hit CTRL+a to select all and CTRL+c to copy.
  4. Open the channels palette and hit he "create new channel" icon
  5. Select that channel and hit CTRL+v to paste the brick-work.
  6. I like to apply a small amount of Gaussian blur at this stage, to help with the blending, so in the Filter menu, hit "blur" and "Gaussian blur" - Add just a little
  7. Next we'll boost the contrast of this brick-work, so hit CTRL+l and drag the left and right sliders under the histogram towards the center.
  8. Right click the channel and hit "Duplicate channel"
  9. Select "New" under document, and name it "brick_displace" and hit "OK".
  10. Save this new document
  11. Select your dropshadow layer that you created earlier, and hit "Filter" > "Distort" > Displace
  12. In the dialogue that appears select "stretch to fit" and "wrap around" and hit OK
  13. In the resultant dialogue, choose the brickwork file you saved earlier.
  14. Reduce the opacity of the drop shadow layer to suite.

Job done (phew)

Below see a picture of just the shadow, at crazy hardness and opacity, just to get a better idea how this is affecting the dark areas:

enter image description here

  • PS: could you post the PSD file? would be great!
    – Basj
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 20:13

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