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Distorting Drop Shadows
by Jinny Brown  e-mail

copyright 1994 - 2001, Jinny Brown
.

written for Painter 6  (Painter 5 translations included)

Moving a Drop Shadow around is easy and can make a rather mundane image interesting. Here are the steps: 

1. Open a new Canvas

2. Using any of the Selection tools, make a Selection

  • Lasso tool
  • Pen tool (draw a Shape and, in the Controls:Shape Design palette, click the Close button, then click the Make Selection button.
    • Quick Curve tool (Draw as with the Pen tool to create a Selection.)
  • Rectangular Selection tool
    • Oval Selection tool
3. Fill or paint the Selection
  • Effects menu, Fill, Using:
    • Current Color - Art Materials palette, Colors section 

    • (Painter 5, Color section) 
    • Pattern - Art Materials palette, Patterns section 

    • (Painter 5, Patternsection) 
    • Gradient - Art Materials palette, Gradients section 

    • (Painter 5, Grad section) 
    • Weave - (Art Materials palette, Weaves section 

    • (Painter 5, Weave section)
4. Click the Layer Adjuster tool (Painter 5 Floater Adjuster tool), then click inside the Selection to lift it to a Layer (Painter 5 Floater). 

5. With the Layer (Painter 5 Floater) highlighted, in the Effects menu, choose Objects, then choose Create Drop Shadow. For this tutorial, accept the default settings, but later, do some experimenting to get the Shadow just the way you like it for a particular image. 

6. In the Objects palette, Layers section, click the small right-pointing triangle to the left of  Layer 1 and Shadow (Painter 5, Floater 1 and Shadow) to open the Group

7. Click Shadow

8. In the  Effects menu, choose Orientation, then choose Distort.

9. Click the bar at the top of the Distort Selection dialog box and drag it out of the way so you can see the Shadow and bounding box around it. 

10. To make the Shadow fall behind the object, click the handles at the top corners of the bounding box and drag them into position, one at a time, remembering to think of the light source location so your Shadow will fall directly opposite, on the other side of the object. 

11. If you want your Shadow to be narrower as it moves into the distance, for a Shadow that falls behind the object,  repeat Steps 8 and 9, then click the handles at the far corners of the bounding box and move them into position, one at a time. 

12. To make the Shadow fall in front of the the object, click the center handle at the top of the bounding box and drag downward and (if appropriate) to one side, depending on where your light source is located. 

13. If you want your Shadow to be wider as it moves closer to the viewer, for a Shadow that falls in front of the object,  repeat Steps 8 and 9, then click the handles at the nearest corners of the bounding box and move them into position, one at a time. 

Now that you know the basics, experiment with various Drop Shadow settings, Shadow positions, and in the Controls:Adjuster palette, move the Opacity slider to lighten or darken the Shadow. Remember when you're placing your Shadow, to consider the slope or flatness of the ground on which it falls and the perspective used in the rest of your image, and keep that consistent


Since it's only a sample, in this image, there are three light sources, one for each object, which would probably not be seen in real life. If there were, in fact, three light sources, each object would have three shadows falling in different positions opposite each light source and on the other side of each object. 

Happy Shadowing! :o)


NO THRU TRAFFIC
THIS ROAD IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
PLEASE EXIT USING ANOTHER LINK.
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO SAFE DRIVING.
Jinny Brown, December 11, 2000
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©1994 - 2001, Jinny Brown
e-mail

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PixelAlley.com Safe Journey Gallery Fun with Brush Strokes Effects
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