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Drop Shadow without a Filter
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Drop Shadow without a Filter
Created by: Carolyn Ross

The automatic drop shadow is a great help when doing quick graphics, but it creates a shadow which makes your graphic appear as if it was a sticker or cutout. It really doesn't give you the appearance of a three dimensional object and once done, it is no longer adjustable. This is an easy way to create a customizable shadow which uses no filters. The following shows just a couple of ways to deform a shadow.
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To do this tutorial you can download the image that I used here, or you can use an object of your own choice. The zip file contains "can.psp", "Stained Wood.bmp" and "can_reversed.psp". The Stained Wood.bmp should already be in the Pattern folder of your PSP, if not place it there. The can_reversed psp is for those who also want to make a reflection of the can on the table in the end directions are not included in this tutorial.
Begin by creating a new image 400 x 350, background color is white.
Open the can image, activate the can layer by clicking on it in the layer palette and press Ctrl-C (Edit || Copy) to copy. Activate your new image by clicking on it and then press Ctrl-L (Edit || Paste || As New Layer) to paste it as a new layer. Name this layer "can". Move the can so you have some room to make your shadows.

Now, if you use the drop shadow feature, with a Horizontal and Vertical Offset of about 6, Color black and Blur of 14.8, you will get the result at left. It's a typical drop shadow.

Press Ctrl-Z (Edit || Undo) or the Undo button to return your image to it's original state.

Activate the can layer by clicking on it in the layer palette, right-click on it and choose "Duplicate". There's a new layer named "Copy of can" that's now your active layer.

Next go to Color || Brightness/Contrast and change the Brightness to -255 to turn your image black. This will become your shadow.

Then click on Effects || Blur || Gaussian Blur and change the setting to 4. Click on OK.

Click on the Deformation tool in your tool palette. A frame with handles will appear around the black can.
Press the Shift key as you pull the top of the can shadow to the right, dragging it with the mouse at the top center handle. Click "Apply" in the Tool Options palette.
Now drag the shadow layer below the can layer: Click on the "Copy of can" layer in the layer palette and hold your left mouse key down as you drag this layer below the "can" layer.
Click on the Deformation tool once again and click in the center of the deformation box to move the shadow a bit to the left and up to make the base of the shadow hidden by the can.
Then click on the top middle handle of the deformation box and drag downwards to flatten the shadow and pull to the right to shape shadow.

Next grab the middle right node and push to left again and then click the bottom middle node to pull up just a little to hide the lower edge, if it shows below front of can.

Click "Apply" on the Tool Options palette.

Next, reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 30% by dragging the Opacity slider of the "Copy of can" layer in the layer palette to the left.
If the can is placed on a counter you may have a shadow which bends up the wall. Because our shadow is on a separate layer, we can do that as well.
Click on the background layer in the layer palette and then on the new layer icon.
With the Selection tool set to Rectangle (Feather = 0, Antialias = unchecked), select the lower half of your window.
Click on the Floodfill tool:
Blend mode = Normal
Match mode = RGB Value
Tolerance = 20
Opacity = 100
Sample merged = unchecked
Set your foreground style to Pattern (click on the little arrow in the Foreground-Style box and choose the second icon from the right.) Then click into your Foreground-Style box and choose the "Stained Wood" pattern from the pattern drop-down box (Scale = 100%, Angle = 0). Set your foreground texture to None.

Click into your selection to fill with the stained-wood pattern.

Deselect with Ctrl-D (Selections || Select None).

Click the "Copy of can" layer (your shadow layer) in the layer palette to activate it and using the Selection tool, settings as before, drag a rectangle over the part of the shadow which extends into the white layer.
Click once on the part of the shadow which you selected and just the top of the shadow will be selected, as shown. It will also darken but this is only temporary.
Click on the Deformation tool and you will get deformation handles over just the part of the shadow which you selected. Click on the top center handle and drag the shadow upwards. Press the Shift key and drag one of the top handles to the left. Click on the "Apply" button in the Tool Options palette.

Often when you deform just a part of the selection you end up with a slight space between the two parts, so while the selection is still active, click on the Mover tool. Slightly move the selection down so that it meets the table edge again.

Deselect and you now have a shadow cast upon the wall.