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Realistic Shadows level 1


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August 23rd, 2011, 10:19 AM
Mom2*Lauryn*Jacob*'s Avatar aka Heather!
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY
Posts: 15,703
Realistic Shadows are key to fantasy pages, but they can be put to good use in just about any type of page to give a little bit extra punch. So lets get started.

For teaching purposes I am only showing one element on a white canvas. You can see how flat and uninspired the element is.



Now add a drop shadow to the element.

Here you can see that the element does have a bit of depth, but it in no way fells like you could reach out and touch it.




So we want to do a realistic drop shadow to help this element feel real and to come alive on the page.


1st. Add a drop shadow to the element. I am going to show you how I add them, as I do extra steps.

For our purposes don't worry about the size or distance much at all, we will create the blurry portion later.



Now I pick a color. I think I a lot of people don't think much about the colors of your shadows, this is actually a very suble touch that makes a big difference in your over all page look.

I color match the darkest part of my element. If I am putting this element on a paper with a floor then I take the darkest crevis on the floor.



Now select the drop shadow effect in the Layers display and Right click. You should see the option to Create Layer select that and you will see your shadow become a new layer.



Select that new layer and Ctrl-T (free transform) and drag the top portion to about half way or until you are satisfied.



Now we give it that shadowy effect. Select Gaussian Blur.



Adjust the blur size until you are happy with the look on your element.



That is it, now here is what it may look like on a paper....



***Remenber, adjust the shadow size to create the look you want. You can also adjust the opacity of the layer as well.

I hope this helped and you can put it to use in a layout!
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Last edited by Mom2*Lauryn*Jacob*; August 23rd, 2011 at 12:19 PM.
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