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diamndprincz
04-12-2010, 10:13 AM
I have been looking at my layouts lately compared to some of my favorites and there is one thing I would like to improve: shadows. I don't have a style of layout that I am stuck on... I like all kinds.. which means there are different types of shadows to be used in each situation. The past week I have been scouring for tutorials/hints/tricks ... I am experimenting behind the scenes. So.. If you would like to....please share your way of adding shadows to your layouts/creations.

Normally I adjust the opacity, density and spread of the drop shadow. Sometimes I will play around with the color of the shadow, shadows blend mode and put it on a different layer.

britaneejean
04-12-2010, 10:24 AM
'bec's shadow mistess set' is an action specifically for drop shadows. you need CS2, 3, or 4 because you need the warp tool but it's the best thing i've ever seen. it really adds dimension to your page.

dylabel
04-12-2010, 10:27 AM
Make sure that you change the position of the shadow too - depending where you want it to fall...when I started learning shadows I realized that the shadow doesn't fall the same for all elements. The color thing is another big one, a darker version of your element tends to work well and dark brown rather than black tends to make them look more realistic.
I have a ton of shadow styles, my best friend most times :)

donakat
04-12-2010, 10:37 AM
I like to use a dark color of the paper the shadow falls on--in life, that's where the shadow exists, so it's not always gray, but a dark version of the existing color. A shadow on a sidewalk is gray, but a shadow on grass is dark gray-green. That may be what Belinda is talking about too. And one thing I learned from Andrea's Photoshop classes is that a shadow that falls from something farther away is lighter and a bit more spread out (blurry) than is one from a close-in object. You can set up your own standard styles for these things, then apply them and adjust for an individual layout. Just adjust the color, for example, for one item, then copy that layer style and paste it to everything else that is similar.

daisydilly
04-12-2010, 11:46 AM
I like to use a dark color of the paper the shadow falls on--in life, that's where the shadow exists, so it's not always gray, but a dark version of the existing color. A shadow on a sidewalk is gray, but a shadow on grass is dark gray-green. That may be what Belinda is talking about too. And one thing I learned from Andrea's Photoshop classes is that a shadow that falls from something farther away is lighter and a bit more spread out (blurry) than is one from a close-in object. You can set up your own standard styles for these things, then apply them and adjust for an individual layout. Just adjust the color, for example, for one item, then copy that layer style and paste it to everything else that is similar.

wow I find this very helpful as with my new version of Scrapbook Max I am able to control the color of my shadows. I can also adjust where I want that shadow so I will have to follow thru with this more

carolyn17_4
04-12-2010, 11:50 AM
I use Bec's shadow actions as well. They are SOOO awesome!

stater
04-12-2010, 03:04 PM
I use Bec's shadow actions as well. They are SOOO awesome!

Where do you find her shadows?

Thanks.

britaneejean
04-12-2010, 03:05 PM
Where do you find her shadows?

Thanks.

digiscrapaganza or just google it :)
they're pretty cheap for what you get!

diamndprincz
04-12-2010, 08:23 PM
Thanks for all the tips everyone! I think have a happy medium for now...using your idea Dona, make the color of the shadow a darker version of the paper it is on. I like the effect it gives...along with "transform"ing the shape of the shadow. And somewhere else I read said to try "pin light" blend mode for lighter color papers and that makes a huge difference also.

I think I have too many control issues to use a style for my shadowing...may try one it out one of these days just to see. ..and I could imagine it would take less time to make a layout if I weren't fiddling around with my shadows and photos.

geniaBeana
04-13-2010, 07:26 AM
you don't give up control when using a custom shadow layer style set. They just gives you a good place to start. As with using ANY type of layer style some tweaking of the settings is almost always necessary to achieve the look you are going for.

carolyn17_4
04-13-2010, 09:43 AM
I'm not sure if you knew this or not Tronesia, (if you have photoshop) but you can actually make a shadow and then if you want to manipulate you can make that shadow into a separate layer. You go to Layer, Layer Style, and then click on Create Layer. You probably already knew this... but thought I'd throw that out there in case you or some others didn't know.

mskinsey
04-14-2010, 09:24 AM
Thank you all for the great tips about shadows. I can see that I have a lot to learn about this subject. At first, I was just clicking on the fx button at the bottom of my layers view and pretty much giving everything the same shadow. LOL! When I realized that things have different thicknesses, I started experimenting more with this, but I didn't know that changing the color from the default black is more realistic. That's a great tip! I also haven't worked much at all with warping shadows. Is there a design university online where I can take a class in Adobe Photoshop? I would love that!

donakat
04-14-2010, 10:39 AM
Right here, mskinsey! Andrea Gold teaches great classes on Photoshop and Illustrator. If anyone is interested in Elements, Debra teaches that class, and Joy teaches the Paint Shop Pro classes. I've taken Andrea's classes and they are gret; you really learn a lot! You can see what's offered and the scope of the classes by going to "Go Digital Classes" in the store.

southflascrapper
04-16-2010, 09:21 AM
This was a VERY interesting read, thank you ladies! I can very much relate to Tronesia's original post.

reboscraps
04-18-2010, 07:53 AM
I'm not sure if you knew this or not Tronesia, (if you have photoshop) but you can actually make a shadow and then if you want to manipulate you can make that shadow into a separate layer. You go to Layer, Layer Style, and then click on Create Layer. You probably already knew this... but thought I'd throw that out there in case you or some others didn't know.

This is a great tip, Carolyn, thanks! Does anyone know how to change the color of the shadow, like Dona suggested, in PSE? I use 7, but I think often the instructions for other how-to's from PSE5 and up have worked for me.

HollyS
04-18-2010, 08:23 AM
I like to use a dark color of the paper the shadow falls on--in life, that's where the shadow exists, so it's not always gray, but a dark version of the existing color. A shadow on a sidewalk is gray, but a shadow on grass is dark gray-green. That may be what Belinda is talking about too. And one thing I learned from Andrea's Photoshop classes is that a shadow that falls from something farther away is lighter and a bit more spread out (blurry) than is one from a close-in object. You can set up your own standard styles for these things, then apply them and adjust for an individual layout. Just adjust the color, for example, for one item, then copy that layer style and paste it to everything else that is similar.

This is what I do too! At least attempt to do...LOL!

HollyS
04-18-2010, 08:26 AM
I'm not sure if you knew this or not Tronesia, (if you have photoshop) but you can actually make a shadow and then if you want to manipulate you can make that shadow into a separate layer. You go to Layer, Layer Style, and then click on Create Layer. You probably already knew this... but thought I'd throw that out there in case you or some others didn't know.

And to add on to this...having the shadow on a different layer means you can erase parts of it if need be and make a copy of the shadow to warp the layers a different way if need be.

agarzaldynrd
04-18-2010, 09:00 AM
I use just the regular PS shadows but I've tried doing the color thing after reading these posts. I'd like to know how to make a shadow on a different layer. That might be helpful to me and perhaps someone has already told us how but I missed it!! How about a little tutorial.

britnkaysmemaw2
04-18-2010, 09:45 AM
OK PSE 7 users, I think I just figured out the shadows.

Go to Layers---Layer Style---Style Settings

This brings up a box where you can change the colors, size & opacity on your drop shadows, glow, bevels & strokes.

And...the lighting angle box at the top allows you to change the angle.

This is cool. Can you tell I am playing with it now, lol.

britaneejean
04-18-2010, 09:53 AM
This is a great tip, Carolyn, thanks! Does anyone know how to change the color of the shadow, like Dona suggested, in PSE? I use 7, but I think often the instructions for other how-to's from PSE5 and up have worked for me.

i have 7 and what i do, is make a new layer then hit the thumbnail of the item you want to shadow in the layers palette. then select edit-fill selection (or whatever it is. it's right about stroke). then a box will pop up and ask you what you want to use to fill it. i always choose 'foreground color' and then to change that color, i just hit the foreground color box & then pick whatever color i want. then you hit ok & it'll make a shadowed layer for you. adjust the opacity, blur & you're set to move it how ever you want. does that make sense?

thanks to jenn from DPD who helped me big time with that!

donakat
04-18-2010, 02:59 PM
I use just the regular PS shadows but I've tried doing the color thing after reading these posts. I'd like to know how to make a shadow on a different layer. That might be helpful to me and perhaps someone has already told us how but I missed it!! How about a little tutorial.

Anna, after applying all the style effects you want to an item, you can right click on the effects and choose "Create layers." That will put each of the effects (such as bevel, shadow, stroke) on a separate layer. Some of these may be attached to the original layer as clipping masks, and others as separate layers. You can then do whatever you want (distort, warp, etc.) to those layers. Very handy for making those warped shadows on frame edges!

In PSE (at least in version 6, possibly later ones), you cannot separate the effects into their own layers, so you have to use the method Britanee suggested to have the shadow be on its own layer.

agarzaldynrd
04-18-2010, 06:29 PM
I love the warped edges on frames. Thanks Dona, I'm going to have to play with this one.

AZK
04-18-2010, 07:28 PM
OK PSE 7 users, I think I just figured out the shadows.

Go to Layers---Layer Style---Style Settings

This brings up a box where you can change the colors, size & opacity on your drop shadows, glow, bevels & strokes.

And...the lighting angle box at the top allows you to change the angle.

This is cool. Can you tell I am playing with it now, lol.

I've been doing it the way Britanee described, but I'm going to try it this way the next time I'm in my PSE7. :)