We have added shadow to each piece using its own layer style setting in the shape of Drop Shadow. But, it’s not enough. To fix it, we need to paint the shadows manually. Activate the Brush Tool and select brush type with soft edges.
We also want to paint the shadow in its own layer. The shadow layer should be at the bottom of all the layers and one step above the Background layer. Using the Brush Tool, carefully draw a big shadow at first.
And then delete unneeded shadow using the Eraser Tool. Hit 1 from the keyboard to decrease the Eraser’s Opacity to 10% to help you erase the shadows gradually. Use greater Opacity for faster result.
Paint smaller and darker shadow right underneath some of the piece’s edge. Use the Brush Tool with smaller brush tip and higher Opacity setting.
Let’s take a look at the result when an actual photo is added. Double click the Linked Smart Object that we put at the top of all layers.
The guide file will be opened in Photoshop in a separate window. Anything we do to this file will be reflected back to the mockup file. Let’s take an image from unsplash.com and paste it on top, covering the multi-colored rectangles. When this mockup is finished and functional, we no longer need those rectangles and can get rid of it. But for now, we’ll just leave it be.
Save the guide file that we have updated and then close it. Photoshop will automatically update the Linked Smart Object layer. This might take a while depending on your machine and the file size. Be patient. Once everything is clear, you will no longer see pieces of multi-colored rectangles but a torn photo.
To change the paper color, double click thumbnail of the basic shapes layer. A Color Picker dialog box will pop up. Select new color and click OK button to confirm new color.
Let’s spice up the appearance of the torn photo by adding highlight and shadow on top of it. Add new layer above the photo and set it to Clipping Mask by hitting shortcut Ctrl + Alt + G. Name the layer highlight/shadow.
Activate the Brush Tool and then set its Opacity to 10% or lower. Paint with black to add shadow to the piece or use white to add highlight.
Make sure to keep it subtle. Remember, the Opacity of the Brush Tool –can be found at the Options Bar— should never exceed 10%.
Let’s review the details. There are some flaws. The screenshot below show one of them. The two pieces is right next to each other and it appears as if it is continuous. The image also don’t cover the whole piece, which is why the paper color is shown through.