Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday School: Intro to Drop Shadows

Hi, it's Kate here to give you a quick lesson in drop shadows. Today I'll cover the basics and next week I'll talk about some neat things you can do to make your drop shadows look even more realistic. What is a drop shadow, you ask, and why would you want to use one? Pretend you're holding a traditional scrapbook with papers layered and photos and other embellishments. The pages aren't really flat, are they? Well, when you layer digital papers and elements on a page, it's totally flat. Drop shadows give the illusion of depth on the page.

Take a look at this layout I'm working on from my son Robert's 5th grade promotion celebration. I'm using one of Jennifer's Scraps to Go (Vol. 5) templates and her kit 'Raining on Sunday' and I've clipped the papers and my photos to some of the layers of the template which already had drop shadows. I've also added a few ribbons and paper circles where the ribbons and flowers were on the template. You can see that some of the layers have drop shadows and some don't. The layers with the drop shadows look more realistic than the ones without.

To add a drop shadow to a layer, highlight that layer then click the little 'fx' button on the bottom of the screen and choose 'drop shadow' from the menu.

When the menu comes up, you have to choose the settings and then click OK. In this case I used the same settings as the ribbon layer in Jennifer's template since she already figured out what would look best. One tip here is that you generally want all your shadows going the same direction on the page. I could explain all the options, but it would be easier and more fun for you to play with them and see what happens!

I'm only going to give you one more tip today, because I want to save more goodies for next week! I didn't actually go in and set all the options myself. Since the only layer style is the drop shadow, I went to the layer with the shadow I wanted and right-clicked on it, selecting 'copy layer style'. Then I went to my ribbon and right-clicked on it, selecting 'paste layer style'. Voila! A perfect drop shadow! Here's how my layout looks with the drop shadows added to all the layers. Well, almost all the layers. It would have looked funny if I put a drop shadow on the paint spatter.

Thanks for stopping by - and don't forget to come back next Saturday when I'll talk about ways to make the shadowing even more realistic!


Anonymous,  June 26, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [26 Jun 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

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As a creative team member for several digital scrapbook designers, I have received their products for free in return for creating and posting projects (digital layouts, hybrids projects, etc). Many of the layouts you see here were done in conjunction with requirements for these creative teams. Please be advised that the products used were indeed received for free.

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