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(Prof's PSPv7 Effects and Techniques)> Drop Shadow Effect

Drop Shadow Effect Created by:Prof

The Drop Shadow Effect is very simple and easy to use. It creates a shadow around an shape (selection) that gives the shape the appearance it is raised with a shadow behind it.

Similar to the Cutout Effect, Light Source is basic and one is able to set 8 positions using the Offset Values. One varies the sharpness/softness of the shadow with the opacity and blur attributes.

Tonight we will look at how the Drop Shadow works, then create a backdrop shadow for a selection and finish up with a neat image using the 3D Effects we have explored to date.


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button







Basic Image

Basic Setup:

New Canvas:
300 x 300 pixels, White, 16 M Colors
Promote 'Background' to a 'Layer'
Create a New Top Layer.

Comment: Many 3D effects require a layer. Thus, we promote the background to a layer.

Use: Selection Tool
Type = Rectangle
Feather = 0
Antialias = Unchecked

Draw a Rectangle that is taller than wide in the center of the canvas.

Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow
Move the window away from the canvas to see both the Canvas and the Drop Shadow window.

Comments on Options:
(1) Drop Shadow uses Offsets and Attributes (similar to the Cutout Effect).

(2)Offsets place the Shadow dependent upon the value of the offset.

(3)Attributes soften/darken the shadow dependent upon the Opacity and Blur values.

(4)The Color Attribute normally will be 'Black' though one may use any color wanted. Often, the shadow color is dependent upon the image and its color. A darker shadow color is usual though there will be times a light color is preferred.


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Explorations:

A. Exploring the Options:

#1: No Blur, Full Opacity, No Shadow
Color = Black
Opacity = 100
Blur = 0
Offsets = 0

Comment: The basic settings will not create a shadow around the selection. We will use this beginning to now explore the options.


Offsets varied
Offsets = 12

Offsets Varied
Offsets = 8

#2: Exploring Offsets
Vary the Offset values starting with low values
End up with both Offsets = 8

Comment:
(1) As you see, the larger the Offset values, the larger the shadow, which in this case is a very sharply defined shadow.

(2) With no blur, the shadow effect is only on two sides and is dependent on whether the value is a plus or minus value.


With Blur
Blur = 40

With Blur
Blur = 20

#3: Exploring Blur
Vary the blur value
End with Blur = 20

Comment:
(1) The higher the blur value the more softening of the shadow effect.

(2) The higher the blur value, the more shadowing occurs on the other two sides of the selection.


Using Opacity
Blur = 40

Using Opacity
Blur = 20

#4: Exploring Opacity
Lower the opacity value from 100.
Also, with lower opacity values, increase the Blur value.

Comment:
(1) The lower opacity values soften the shadowing effect.

(2) With low opacity, increasing the Blur gives a little more definition to the shadow effect.


With Blur
Opacity = 40

With Blur
Blur = 30

#4: Exploring Opacity
Lower the opacity value from 100.
Also, with lower opacity values, increase the Blur value.

Comment:
(1) The lower opacity values soften the shadowing effect.

(2) With low opacity, increasing the Blur gives a little more definition to the shadow effect.


Full Blur/Opacity
Full Blur/Opacity

With Blur
Opacity = 60/Blur = 100

#5: No Offset and full Blur and Opacity
Set: Offsets = 0
Set: Opacity and Blur = 100

Comment:
(1) The Shadow Effect surrounds the Selection.

(2) Lowering either or both Opacity and/or Blur create a softer background shadow.

(3) This set of values often can be used to highlight a selection in a very subtle way. Keep in mind also that using different colors for the background will give selections a nice definition particularly if the color compliments the selection.


Combined Shadows

#6: Combining Shadow Effects
First, set the Shadow Effect using the above values.
Then, create a New Layer.
Finally, set a new drop shadow with low values for Offsets and Blur. (Offsets = 4, Blur = 12)

Comment:
(1) Combining the full Blur/Opacity Shadow with a drop shadow creates a very nice effect.
(2) Experimenting with different approaches this way will often end up with some unique images.


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

B. Using Drop Shadow and Cutout Effects

The Drop Shadow can also be used with the Cutout Effect to create a Cutout of a selection.

To create a cutout effect with 'Cutout' one uses two separate layers: one for the dark shadow and one for the light shadow.

However, combining the Drop Shadow effect with the Cutout Effect one is able to use a single layer for the cutout.


Cutout Effect with Drop Shadow
New Canvas:
300 x 300, Transparent, 16 M colors.
Flood Fill Canvas with a Pastel Blur (212, 240, 255)

Cutout Effect with Drop Shadow
Draw a rectangle selection in middle of canvas, taller than wide.
Create a New Top Layer
Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Cutout
Offsets = 4
Opacity = 100
Blur = 8
Color = Black
Click on OK
Do Not Deselect.

Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow
Offsets = 2
Opacity = 100
Blur = 4
Color = White
Click on OK
Deselect [Control+D]


white frame

C. Using All 3D Effects From Previous Lessons

New Canvas:
300 x 300 pixels, Transparent, 16 M Colors
Promote the Background to a Layer
Flood Fill it with a Pastel Blue (212, 240, 255)

Use Selection Tool
Draw a Rectangle in Center of Canvas
Save the selection to an Alpha Channel [Selections || Save to Alpha]
Use: Selections || modify || Expand by value of 10

New Top Layer
Create a New Layer
Flood Fill the selection with White
Use: Selections || Modify || Contract with value of 10
Use: the Delete key to get rid of the center of white rectangle


Tube Frame

Create a Tube Frame -- Cutout
Use: Magic Wand on the White Frame
Use: Delete Key to get rid of the White color
Use: Effects || 3D Effect || Cutout
Offsets = 0
Opacity = 100
Blur = 8
Shadow Color = black
Click on Ok


Frame Mat

Frame Mat -- Chisel
Use: Magic Wand
Click inside the Tube Frame
Use: Selections || Modify || Contract value of 10

Create a new layer
Set: Background Color = White
Use: Selections || Modify || Contract value of 10
Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Chisel
Size = 10
Background Color = Checked
Deselect [Control+D]

Use: Colors || Negative Image
Set: Select the 'Luminance' Mode in the Layer Palette
Set: Opacity Switch = 50

We have just created the inside mat illustrated during the chisel lesson.


Background Noise

Background Texture -- Noise
Click on or Highlight the Tube Frame layer
Use: Magic Wand and click Outside the Tube image
Highlight the Bottom Layer
Use: Effects || Noise
Add Noise at value of 20
Use either Random or Uniform


Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow
Use: Selections || Invert
Create a New top layer
Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow
Offsets = 0
Color = Dark Blue (0,0,128)
Opacity = 100
Blur = 100
Click on OK

Create a New top layer
Use: Drop Shadow again
Offsets = about 4
Blur = about 8
Color = black
Deselect [Control+D]


Buttonize

Buttonize
Highlight the Bottom layer
Create a New Layer above the Background Layer
Make sure your Background Color = White
Use: Effects || 3D Effects || Buttonize
Height and Width = 20
Transparent Edge = Checked
Opacity = 100
Set Mode = Luminance

You now have a nice buttonized image with a frame inside using just these 3D effects

You might add a picture to the inside of the frame or text or just another image. With these basic 3D effects, there are many opportunities of creating some neat and unique images, frames and buttons.

Next week we will explore Perspective Shadows

Enjoy -- Prof --