Dropshadows Primer - Giordan on Graphics | WebReference

Dropshadows Primer - Giordan on Graphics



,,A Drop-Shadow Primer




An early ritual of our desktop publishing ancestors was the process of creating type, and adding a drop shadow. Archeologists tell us that in the pre-PowerMac and pre-Pentium days of 1987, right after he created his first perspective checkerboard patterns, primitive DTP Man made history by creating text and adding a gradient fill behind it.


Excavations at Palo Alto and Cupertino have confirmed that the practice of creating drop shadows was widespread, and scientists believe that every mouse-clicking Neanderthal was genetically compelled to make type leap off the page using this digitally induced optical illusion.

Today the Neanderthal have all gone, but like the cockroach and the crocodile, the drop shadow remains with us in a virtually unaltered state. It's amazing that all of the technical and application-based evolution has not diminished the popularity of the drop shadow, in fact it's used more than ever. The checkerboards, floating chrome spheres, and gradient fills have all gone, but the drop shadow is still an effective tool.

One reason for this is that the drop-shadow adds a dynamic effect without forcing the designer to rework too many things on the page. You could spruce up just about any design with the simple addition of a drop shadow, without making any other revisions.

In this article we will look at how to create a simple drop shadow, as well as ones that are more realistic. I'll also lay out some ideas for design components that are ripe for drop-shadowing, including photographs and background tiles. I'll be working it in Adobe Photoshop, although the same principles and ideas could be used from Corel 8, Painter 5, Live Picture, or any other image editing application.

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URL: http://www.webreference.com/graphics/
Created: Sep. 17, 1998
Revised: Sep. 17, 1998