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[Design Factory Plaza]


[Tip of the Month]

Creating a Drop Shadow Effect


[Finished Image]
Finished Image

If anything, this is probably the one way of doing it that hasn't been done before.

This particular tip utilizes a "user defined filter", let's start there. Also note that the upper right value of the filter is a negative one (-1).

The next thing to note is that you should pick a serif type of font, such as Times New Roman. This gives the best type of effect, but use any font type that you wish.


[Starting Image]
Starting Image

To give color to the text, we need to use an image that has some color to it. For all pratical purposes any image will do as long as it suits your tastes. Make sure that this image is set to 16 million colors!

[Mask 1 Image]
Mask 1 Image

To start, create an image with black text on a white background that is the same size as the "start" image, as shown above. This image was created by first opening a new image with a white background. The next step was to apply the Grey Scale feature (Colors | Grey Scale) and then black text was added to the image (by applying the Grey Scale feature, you have the advantage of utilizing the anti-aliasing feature for text). Now apply the Negative image feature to Mask 1 (Colors | Negative Image). Note: I will be referring to this image later on as Mask 1, so keep that in mind.

Next, create another mask by selecting the Mask 1 image and then apply the Duplicate feature (Window | Duplicate). Apply the Negative image feature (Colors | Negative Image) to the newly created image, which we will call Mask 2. The results should look like the below (black text on a white background).

[Mask 2 Image]
Mask 2 Image

Ok, now select the Mask 2 image and apply the Drop Shadow user defined filter twice. Next apply the "blur more" filter several times (Image | Normal Filters | Blur More). The result should be as shown below.

Note: I applied the Blur More filter 5 times.

[Blurred Mask 2 Image]
Blurred Image

Next select the start image and add the Mask 1 image (Image | Add Mask...), make sure to select the Mask 1 image from the source drop down box. Now apply the Brightness/Contrast... feature (Colors | Adjust | Brightness/Contrast). Change the brightness value to 100 and apply. The result should be as shown below.

Intermediate 1 Image]
Intermediate 1 Image

Now delete the mask (Image | Delete Mask) and then add the Mask 2 image (Image | Add Mask...), make sure to select the Mask 2 image from the source drop down box. Now apply the Brightness/Contrast... feature (Colors | Adjust | Brightness/Contrast). Change the brightness value to minus 55 and apply. The result should be as shown below. If you wish, you can stop at this point because the image is basically done. However, I took it a couple of steps further by adding some refinements.

Intermediate 2 Image]
Intermediate 2 Image

So, the final steps are to delete the Mask 2 image (Image | Delete Mask) and then add the Mask 1 image (Image | Add Mask...), make sure to select the Mask 1 image from the source drop down box. Next, invert the mask (Image | Invert Mask) and apply the "sharpen more" filter twice (Image | Normal Filters | Sharpen More). Now, apply the Highlight/Midtone/Shadow feature (Colors | Adjust | Highlight/Midtone/Shadow...). Change the Highlight value to 87 and apply, this will brighten up the text a bit. The last thing to do, besides saving the image, is to delete the mask.

You can experiment with the Highligt/Midtone/Shadow feature to get the desired effects that you want, see the Drop Shadow image at the beginning of the tip as the example used. Well, that pretty much ends the tip.

This is the "Add Mask" Dialog Box. A couple things to note:
  • Make sure you select the "This Window" from the "Source Windows" Selection box.
  • Make sure "Source Luminance" is selected.
  • Make sure "Invert mask data" is checked (for this example).

[Add Mask Dialog Box - Image]

This is the "New User Defined Filter" Dialog Box. The User-Defined Filter feature is accessed by select "Image | User Defined Filters...". Click on the "New..." button to create the filter. Add the indicated values. A couple things to note:
  • Make sure your image is set to "Grey Scale" or set to "16 million colors".
  • Make sure you give this filter a name.

[Drop Shadow - User Defined Filter - Image]





[All Graphics Created with Paint Shop Pro v3.11]


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Page maintained by John K. Hart, jkhart@pstbbs.com
Copyright 1998 - 1999 John K. Hart
Created: July 12, 1998
Updated: December 8, 1999

Send your comments or questions to jkhart@pstbbs.com.

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