How to create the shadow effect as per the url/image below? Specifically, the rounded/curved shadow at the bottom:
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:
Below that I add a basic soft shadow (I used a feathered selection to make it):
Now here's the part that gives the curved look. I screen this gradient over the shadow layer:
And I get this result:
Putting it all together gives something that I think matches closely with your reference:
Here is a look at my final layers in Photoshop CS3:
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.
It looks like an extremely stretched circle with a 2 or 3px feather to me... not a gradient or true drop shadow at all.
layer2 (circle marquee with 2px feather and anti-alias on filled w/ black. Layer opacity set to 25%)
Both layers combined.
My example only took 3 minutes to build. You could def elaborate by using a large 10% opacity eraser with a soft edge to help fade the outer edges more (for example) on the layer 2. Or using a warm gray to fill the circle as opposed to black - that's all up to you.
1) Create a gradient that has the areas that are "shallower" (not as much of a drop shadow) with lower opacity values.
2) Apply that to either a rectangular mask or selected area on a floating layer (use a rectangular marquee to select a portion). Make sure there's some "empty" space below it for the drop shadow.
3) Double-click the floating layer that contains your gradient to bring up the Styles menu. Apply a drop shadow to the layer (you'll have to fiddle with it a bit to get it where you want it).
4) You can create another layer above the original layer, bring up your original gradient, and make all of the color points 100% opaque. Re-apply this to the new layer to overlay the original gradient. That way you'll have a 100% opaque gradient (on top) with a variable opacity layer / drop shadow below it.
Play around with the settings a little; eventually you'll get something you like.
If we examine shadows of objects lifted in the middle we can see that their shadow blur progresses the more it's lifted and is more sharp the more the object touches its ground.
So the most realistic shadow of an object that seems to be lifted in the middle should be done this way:
Note: additional tweaking can be done to make it even better by distorting the square (stop #2) so the middle part extends below original layer.
This will create the most realistic shadow effect that can be seen below on this image (click for a 100% preview). Shadow with different strengths is applied three times
What about a simple: Filters → Light and Shadow → Xach-Effect?
Or a fancy Filters → Decor → Add Bevel ?
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check this tutorial and follow the same and u"ll get your effect for sure..