Drop shadows provide an illusion of depth on a page so that parts of
the image or text appear to be floating above the page and you pretty
much find them everywhere.
Shop Pro has a couple of built-in features to achieve these results but
they have their
In this tutorial you'll discover a few different methods to produce
the illusion of depth to your order, including making your own from
Before we look at the way to make your own custom drop shadows, let’s
check out Paint Shop Pro's built-in methods first.
I’ve created some text in Paint Shop Pro.
It’s on a vector layer that’ll need to be changed to a raster layer
before we can do anything with it. Layers > Convert to Raster Layer
can, of course, just go straight to the next step, and Paint Shop Pro
will remind you and do it for you anyway. Now select Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow to
bring up the following Drop Shadows dialogue.
Simply clicking OK will produce this on the line of text ...
So you can set the properties of the shadow, such as ....
Vertical and Horizontal Offset
The Attributes - Opacity, Blur and Color, and
Whether to put the Drop Shadow on a new layer.
If you find this one far too brash and over powering then there are a
number of different adjustments that can be made to tone it down
There is another method of achieving drop shadows.
In the example I’ve chosen, I generated some text and duplicated the
layer. The lower of the two text layers was selected in the
layers palette and converted to a raster layer.
Layers > Convert to raster
Then with the layer still selected, layer properties box was chosen Layers > Properties.
You have the same drop shadow choices as in the one
described at the
start of the tutorial, ie limited options, but you do have some
creative possibilities opened up by combinations of the contents of the
other tick boxes.
I chose outer glow; changed its colour to blue; and reduced its opacity
before moving the layer into place ...
The little light source icon is very, very touchy so be careful with it
and be prepared to go back and do it a few times until you are fully
But that’s a regular
shadow, what if you want the right bottom corner much lower? What
if you’ve got lots of
different stuff on your page and you want it all shadowed exactly to
the same extent?
I needed to create a front cover for a special person’s
photobook. Each of the images was pasted as a new layer above the
The background layer (for the new master image) was created by File
> New then setting the size I needed together with its colour.
Each image was opened in turn and selected using Edit > Copy And
then with the new master image selected Edit > Paste as New Layer.
There were 7 images, and so 7 new layers in my master.
For reference, here's the layer's palette after adding the images ...
Select each one of these new layers in turn and duplicate it to make
the shadow layers.
Layers > Duplicate
Then move it to the bottom of the layers stack Layers > Arrange > Send to Bottom
Each shadow needs to be created. Select one of the layers you’ve made
and then Adjust > Brightness and
Contrast > Threshold.
You’ll probably need a value close to 255 for an image, but a lot less
for any text.
Once they are converted and at the bottom of the stack they need to be
combined into one layer. So select the top one of the new layers
and drop it into
the one below using ... Layers >
Merge > Merge Down ... until all the shadows sit in one
With the images ‘switched off’ you can see the shadows which were
With the ‘Pick Tool’ and the shadow layer selected you can distort the
image like any other layer. There are 8 handles on the layer,
moving the handle has the following effects.
You can use the SHIFT and CTRL on the keyboard, but a less difficult
method is the use of the control button on the Tool Options-Pick Tool
opposite corner on the same side move in synchrony, pulling the corner
in also pulls the opposite corner in; the opposite edge is
The corner is moved so
that both edges attached to it move in and out.
The edge is
distorted in the direction in which you pull it; the opposite
edge is unchanged
The edge is distorted in
the direction in which you pull it; the opposite edge is unchanged
Handle is deactivated.
The edge is
pulled out parallel to its original position.
In the centre of the image there is an additional handle
which allows undistorted movement of the layer to wherever you
wish (circled in red on this screen shot of one of my projects - Rich).
In my image, it was this movement I chose.
Holding the pointer near to the corner displays a rotate symbol, and
thus the shadow could be rotated too around the centre pivot point.
The shadow will need softening Adjust
> Blur > Gaussian Blur.
The amount of blur should be small if the distortion is small, but
large if the distortion of the shadow is large.
Then all that remains is to make the shadow paler by setting the
opacity of the blend to a smaller value; in my example I chose 12%.
The last image is
show the effect you can’t create with the Effects > 3D
Effects > Drop Shadow from
Using the bottom
handle with the CTRL key the pick box was dragged in slightly so that
the red letters appear to sit above the shadow. Of course, the
shadow layer has had a Gaussian blur added and the opacity lowered.
So there you have
it; three methods; three techniques; a large number of
possible variations of ways of enhancing shadows.