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Thread: Shadows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    johannesburg, south africa


    Hi there,

    Please will you give your opinion on shadows on elements of the page. Should you --shouldnt you.

    Someone said to me I must be aware of making shadows too big...and I thank her for her CC -- (It was refreshing to be actually GIVEN some cc )

    I use cs2 - and I wonder if I have been overdoing it ?

    I would appreciate it if you would tell me honestly on my few lo I have done !


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I used to overdo drop-shadows pretty bad. I wish someone had told me early on. Would have saved a lot of embarassment! When the shadows are too big the page has a fake look to it. Think about the shadow the element would have in real life. A photo is only going to have a slight drop shadow. Text even less. Flowers, etc are going to have a little more. I'm not very technical in how I achieve drop shadows, I just play around until it looks right. I haven't looked at your pages yet- I will go do that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I'm right here!
    I loved your design--didn't even notice the shadows, I was just so enthralled by the color harmony and the objects in it! Holey moley it really looks good!

    To me, drop shadows are pretty much an art, believe it or not, and everyone has a different way that they prefer to do them. It all depends on the look you want. The "graphic" style (resembles a magazine LO or ad) usually wouldn't have ANY, while IF you are trying to replicate a real paper scrap LO, you'd want shadows.

    To me, the default Photoshop shadow setting is way too dark. Also, some people like to warm the shadows up by using a dark brown color instead of a black. (Some traditional painters would use brown glazes for their shadows.) Others like to use a shadow made from a darker shade of the surface color that the element is resting on.
    Some people even create shadows by hand! I've been using the default black forever and it is starting to look a little dead or dull to me so I will be working on this myself.

    The bigger and fuzzier the shadow, the higher something looks like it is floating above a page, like on pop dots, or higher! I'm going to try for the pop dot effect sometime in the future and see if I like it.

    One book said that the best drop shadows are not noticeable--they don't stand out and scream "hey, look at me". They are there, but non-obtrusive. Look at some paper LOs in the scrap mags and see what kind of shadows are cast by the different elements. That's one way to train your eye.
    Last edited by susancurtis; 05-11-2006 at 09:42 AM.

  4. #4
    I like to have some shaows on all my pages- even the graphic ones- harkens back to me doing paper I think- but I like my shadows to be at about 50% or less so they aren't too harsh kwim?
    I agree- they are totally an art and too each her own too. Some people like bigger shadows and some like none at all. Both are frine- it's your book in the end no?

  5. #5
    i agree with you that they ARE art!
    and i got the same CC too. i've also figured out that for some reason, photoshop makes them bigger when i convert to a jpeg for posting purposes....weird...
    -- Caroline


    Nikon D50, Nikkor 50mm f1.8, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6
    Photoshop CS3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I'm right here!
    Caroline, you're right--to me it seems like something odd happens with my shadows in Photoshop, too. I read somewhere that you can uncheck something in the color settings to fix that, but when I went to the color settings, my box was already unchecked! I really wish I had an answer for that one!

    I have never put my shadows on separate layers and wondered if that would help or not. Does anyone know?

  7. #7
    I tend to shy away from drop shadows because I found that they actually made things look more artificial - I usually like my digi layouts to look like paper and the default shadows in PSE don't look right to me. Although, I have been thinking lately that I need to learn how to do smaller drop shadows - a little shadow is good.



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