Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tutorial: Drop Shadows Tips

Another SA tutorial...

Here are a few tips to help improve your drop shadows:

- Try your opacity at 50% to start with. This is a good figure for many LOs/papers/elements etc....but feel free to change it to fit your LO.
-You may want a higher percentage for dark papers so it is more noticeable.
-You may want a lower percentage for light papers
- If you're element is 'high' off the page...increase the size (fuzziness) and lighten it (lower opacity) to make it more real. In real life shadows at a distance are not as sharp or dark.
-You can have coloured drop shadows if you like (if you're program allows) or you can use the standard black drop shadow with lowered opacity. This will allow the colour of the underlying paper to show through anyway.
-Sharp shadows are only for the midday sun...not your LO.
-Decide where you want the 'light' to come from for your LO, and make all the shadows head away from the light. Ie. don't change the angles of your drop shadows...keep them all the same within a LO or it won't look right.

- Your shadows SHOULD NOT be the focus of your page. In fact, they should barely be noticeable. People don't want to look at your page and say "ooohh..nice shadows!". The shadows should just be there to make the rest of the page look better..and hopefully one day, somebody will have to ask you if it is real or digi!

-look at real shadows and try to imitate them. I use this technique a lot lately. DH will be watching golf or some other crap and so i stare around the room looking at how the light affects everything! How it changes colours, how it creates shadows etc!

Here are some examples from the Scrap Addicts gallery. I'm going to use Melissa's LO's as I've already been through these tips with her using her own work as examples. Hopefully she won't mind!

Firstly here is a paper LO. You can see the shadows on the chipboard letters are quite dark and big but they are quite fuzzy. The shadows on the papers are barely noticeable, but they are there and they tell your brain that this Lo is paper.


This digi LO is when Melissa was playing around with her shadows trying to perfect them. It is good, but when you look at it, the shadows really pop out at you. We want the papers to pop off the page not the shadows and it is because they are too dark and too big.

And this is a new one of Melissa's. You really have to look to even see the drop shadows and that is great! They make the papers and elements pop, yet in themselves they are not a feature of the LO. Beautiful!

And in case she doesn't hate me enough already...here is a LO with a common drop shadow mistake - making the drop shadow go all the way around. You show me anything in real life where the shadow shows from all around the object. This is because the 'size' was too high.

2 comments:

RachNess said...

Hi Eryn! Congratulations for winning Game #2! Could you please drop me an email at doodlyparty09 at gmail dot com? Thanks!

prettypeaches said...

I still love you! And you made my LO's that much better! *HUGS*