Often designers who are on Behance or Dribbble (or other design social platforms) do not upload there design as is, they pre-process them a bit in Photoshop to make them look better of give them some depth.

In web design, Ipad and monitor screenshots are trending. For print design, people often just adjust the light and take a picture.

When taking pictures of my print design is not possible, how can I virtually create them in Photoshop to achieve something like the followin example?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Question's a bit broad, but basically every possible way of doing this for print work will boil down to the following:

  • play around with the perspective tool in photoshop if you'd like your work to appear as if someone's looking at it laying on a table. You don't want too much of an angle as it'll disrupt the viewer from being able to see the actual work. When doing this, remember that the perspective tool will keep the same maximum height and width, so if you adjust it so that the top is smaller, making it look as if it's tilted backwards, you'll want to use the transform tool afterwards to reduce the height just slightly.

  • Rotating it very subtly can add a little more realism as well. If combining this with the perspective tool, make sure to rotate it before using the perspective tool.

  • Shadows, highlights, etc: A small drop shadow can add a lot of depth. Overdoing it will make the image look even less real, but if sized correctly, it can make a big differenct on something like a business card. Again, if the item is laying flat, and you add a drop shaddow, it needs to be very small. For drop shadows representing larger shadows, such as the page that's elevated slightly, it's a good idea to duplicate a layer of the the work, reduce the fill, add an appropriately sized and shaded drop shaddow, rasterize the layer, then take a soft eraser to shape it approprately. Remember, be subtle.

  • More shadows, highlights tips, as you can see above, the designer added a lighter gradient or gradient mask to the right side, and a darker one to the left, trying to illustrate that the pages bump up a little at the creese, and the light is coming from the left. IMHO, the designer made a nice brochure, but could've rendered its depth a little better.

  • Duplicate a layer and move it over a pixel, up, down, left, right, which ever direction, and repeat. Example, duplicate the layer and move it 1px to the left, 1px to the right. Repeat. Now you have two layers below your work that just make two of the edges 2px larger. Merge these layers (not the top one that shows your actual work) and dim it down just a tiny bit to show the thin edge of the business card, brochure, etc, just slightly elevated.

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