I had a question how to make realistic shadows, and I ended up writing quite a bit about it.. so I thought I would share it here. It's not all inclusive... I'm sure there are many ways to make shadows, but these are just some methods that I use. XOXO, Susie


.. I play around with shadows and experiment... but there are a few tips I can share: Firstly, a great tut by Miss Beehaving http://www.scrapbookgraphics.com/2010/04/missbehaving-shadows-part-i/ (she also has many other great tuts in that same section). <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
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Secondly, one thing I do on almost every element I want to shadow is: (this is the cupcake photo I sent)<o:p></o:p>
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1. Duplicate the element you want to shadow<o:p></o:p>
2. Place that copy UNDER/BEHIND the original element<o:p></o:p>
3. Image>Adjustments>hue/saturation, use the lightness slider, all the way to the left to make the image dark (black)<o:p></o:p>
4. Edit>Transform>skew, distort, warp, (these you can experiment with to make the shape and desired shadow you want)<o:p></o:p>
5. Gaussian Blur to soften the shadow, and opacity to make the shadow not so dark.

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Another tip is when you used drop shadows, you can make the shadows other colors than black or grey. That sometimes gives the layout a nice shadow 3D feel but not too overpowering with dark shadows.. It's good for light colored or pastel or baby colors. For instance, when you are making a layout with the colors lilac, white, pink, and soft green... you can use a darkish purple shade for the shadow... it's fun to play and experiment with different shades.

<o:p>Lastly, some shadows are trickier than others... the shadow for under the table and the chair I had to paint, and make from scratch: (this is the pic of the table and chair I sent)<o:p></o:p>
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I made a new layer, placed it in front/top of the table... then got my paintbrush, used a basic setting, and painted a shape I thought would fit under the table for a good shadow. Then I used Gaussian blur, and opacity. I then went back over the shadow with a soft eraser, erased the parts I didn't think needed a shadow.. like the front part of the table legs. I did have to erase some of the shadow shape to make it look more realistic. Also, you can play with skew and distort and warp with these hand painted layers. <o:p></o:p>
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I did the same thing for the chair's underneath shadow... but for the chair's back shadow, I used the method used on the cupcake where I duplicated the layer and made the black shape into the shadow... played with skew and distort; gaussian blur, and opacity.

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It all sounds complicated... but starts coming more naturally as you do it.. <o:p></o:p>
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Feel free to add any more tips for shadowing in your comments.</o:p>