Tag Archives: top 5 list

Top 5 Shadowing Do's

Shadowing is very important on your digital scrapbook layout to achieve a more realistic look.  Shadows add depth and dimension to an otherwise flat design.  If you’re making a traditional paper layout, shadows are ‘built in’.  Since the elements are truly dimensional they automatically cast shadows.  That makes sense, right?  When creating digital layouts you should try to add realistic looking shadows.

Here is my list of the top 5 DO’s when adding shadows to your digital designs.

1. DO consider how ‘thick’ an element is & how much shadow it would cast if it were ‘real’.  Paper & card stock don’t cast the same shadow as ribbon, buttons or flowers.  The photo below demonstrates how shadows are cast naturally for items of various thicknesses.

Various Depth Items

2. DO think about your ‘light source’ and cast the shadow away from it.  If light is coming from above & to the left the shadow will fall below & to the right.  The photo above is a perfect example of this.

3. DO match the shadow direction for all elements on the layout.  Tip: If you’re using a pre-made, pre-shadowed cluster try to match the shadowing on any other elements you add. In the photos below I used a pre-made pre-shadowed cluster.  Most people tend to shadow to the right & below but the cluster was pre-shadowed to the left & below.  The shadow for the frame looks much better on the right example.  The frame shadow is slightly darker because it is closer to the page than the cluster.

Wrong vs Right

4. DO remember the thicker the element, the lower the opacity should be.  A lower opacity makes shadows more transparent.  Notice in the above example you can see the splatter below the cluster, through the shadow, because the lower opacity makes it transparent.

5. DO raise the blur setting for ‘thicker’ elements.  This will create a lighter, less defined shadow.  Thinner elements shadow will be darker and more defined.

I hope these top 5 shadowing do’s are helpful.  Stay tuned for some shadowing dont’s I’ll be posting in a couple of days.  What do you think?  Do you agree?  Your comments are welcome.