I have the following image:

enter image description here

It is a shadow effect created in Photoshop. I need to have that black shadow with transparent background in order to be used with different background colors.

The problem is that the black shadow is "merged" with the blue background.

How can I do that?


  • Since it wouldn't take long time to do, I would definitely remake that from scratch.
    – Joonas
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:21

2 Answers 2


Here's how I'd do that. This assumes the shadow colour is black. If you want the transparency to match perfectly, you may need to make some adjustments near the end of this process (easy to do though).

  1. Open the Channels panel.
  2. Duplicate the green channel.

Dupe channel

  1. Apply Levels to it, so that the highlight point hits the right end of the graph data on the histogram.

  2. Command-click the channel thumbnail to make a selection from the channel.

  3. Press shift-command-I to invert the selection (or choose Select > Inverse from the menu).

  4. Go to the Layers panel and create a new bitmap layer.

  5. Press D to set the default foreground and background colours (black and white).

  6. Press alt-delete to fill with black. This turns the selection you had, which was made from the image itself, back into layer data... except this time it's all black with transparency.

enter image description here

  1. Turn off the background layer.

  2. Save for Web.

  3. You're done!

If you needed it to match exactly, then I'd create a layer that was filled with the blue and use it to compare to the original image by placing the original image on top and turning it off and on while sampling some colours. That way you could make adjustments and get it absolutely perfect.


Build the shadow on a transparent layer and save it then simply change the color of the background in a separate psd.

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