We had a request for information on shadowing on our Facebook page (if there is anything you want to know or learn about digital scrapbooking, please let us know and we will do our best to answer it for you.)
Realistic shadows make any digital page look great. Here is what my layout would look like without any shadows.
Big difference, right? To understand the way natural shadows work it is a good idea to look closely at your paper pages. There are many ways to achieve shadows on digital layouts. I am just sharing what I do using Photoshop Elements. I usually do all my shadows after my complete layout is done, but I know others who shadow each element as they go.
PSE has inbuilt shadows in the Layer Styles. Here I selected Drop Shadows 45, and the Flat Flower Shadow.
Play around with the different types to see what suits your element and layout best, that’s the great thing about undo in digi!
Using the layer styles doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility though. CS has more options for changing the shadows in layer styles. I prefer my shadows as separate layers for more flexibility. I purchased an action that does this quite some time ago, but it can easily be done manually.
First duplicate the element by right clicking it in the layers palette, then adjust the hue/saturation [Enhance -> Adjust Color -> Adjust Hue/Saturation or Ctrl+U] and slide the Lightness down to about -80. Drag the dark copy under the object in the Layers palette and move it to the angle you want your shadow. As this flower is layered it already has some shadowing in the top layers, so you need to follow the same shadowing. Select Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and slide the radius until you are happy with the ‘blurriness’. The more your element pops from the page, the blurier it’s shadow will be. Adjust the opacity of the shadow. I usually do about 60% because I mostly use light colored backgrounds. Re-adjust the position if you need.
If you are shadowing something like these leaves, where they might be lifted off the page more at the ends and need a bigger shadow there, you can hold down Ctrl and move the corners of the shadow to distort it slightly [ or select Image -> Transform -> Distort]. Some things do not need shadows, the stamps and alpha on my page are not shadowed. You usually would shadow 3D Alphas but the Circa 2013 Alpha is more like a rub-on so it’s not shadowed.
Don’t forget to go and have a look at the digital store at Pink Paislee and take advantage of 25% off this Cyber Monday with the code ‘CYBERMONDAY’.