Shadowing Elements and Clusters

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Shadowing Elements and Clusters

I've been struggling with how to shadow elements in a way that makes them look realistic. I've been limping through and experimenting but still wasn't able to get the look I was hoping for. For those of you who also struggle with shadowing, this amazing tutorial by One Little Bird Digital Designs may help. Because of the tutorial I've been able to create my own actions that I can use over and over...and also gained the knowledge of how to tweak things so that I can shadow in different situations. Seriously, it's such a great and easy to follow tutorial!

Below you'll see my most recent layout (Just Jaimee's November Storyteller Collection). On the left is the unshadowed version - didn't even attempt my usual shadowing technique because I knew it wouldn't work for the amount of clustering in the layout. On the right is what I was able to come up with after the tutorial. I know I have quite a bit more to learn...but this tutorial is a fantastic jumping off point!

Hopefully with the small image below, you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Looks great! Thanks for sharing! Shadowing is one of those things I have on my to do to look into, and this is a great motivator!

I too struggle with this. I don't do clustering very much and the shadowing is one of the reasons I am sort of afraid to do it.

This is a good tutorial. I use to do all my shadowing manually when I was using PSP exclusively - not that it doesn't do shadowing nicely. I found I was able to get more realistic shadows that way. The one thing I'm finding with shadows these days is the variability of the direction people use. When I was really "into it" years ago, it was a "rule" you always had your light source at top left so the shadow would go toward the bottom right. I see that isn't really the rule of thumb anymore. All over the place. It kind of drives me nuts if I have something from a designer that uses a different direction for shadows than what I do because then I have to go in change everything that my scripts and/or styles do to accommodate that one element - usually a cluster. Most often I will pass by a cluster regardless of how beautiful it is if the shadow is going the wrong way.

Wow! That turned into a novel...

A nice tutorial, Thanks.

That is a great tutorial! I have found that using shadowing layer styles (some designers have them for free, others have them to purchase in their stores) - can be a good jumping point for shadowing.