Today we are going to talk about shadows. Shadows are really important on digital scrapbook pages. Shadows give a layout dimension and depth. They are really essential if you want your pages to look realistic.
On this first page, I didn't use any shadowing. The page looks flat and there is no definition between the border strips at the bottom of the page.
By adding shadows, you can see the layers and elements begin to pop. There is dimension to the page and the layers of borders are clearly defined.
So how do you do it? Well shadowing is truly an art and I will admit it's an art that I far from excel at. Enter Shadow Layer Styles. Shadow Layer Styles are basically settings that have been saved for you. A set of them might include different styles for paper, buttons, stitching, and other parts of a page.
You can pick up a basic set of styles for free. This is a great way to get started shadowing and see if styles are for you!
1. Flergs has a free set of shadow styles and a quick tutorial on how they work. A great beginning set.
2. Megan Turnidge not only imparts a good deal of information about shadowing. Her free set of styles is top notch.
3. Krystal Hartley offers another free set. This set is what I started with. Krystal has a light hand with shadows and I used these almost exclusively until I bought a couple sets.
For minimal cost, you can pick up a set or two that have more options. Peppermint Granberg and Jenn Barrette offer amazing shadow style sets. These sets include many different styles for different elements on your pages. The two sets work together really well as both sets have the light hitting at the same 45 degree angle. I use these styles on almost all of my pages.
Installing layer styles is a fairly easy process. Check out the resources below for how to's.
Using the layer styles is even easier, simply click on the layer you want to shadow in the Layers Palette, then click on the style in the styles palette. Simple!
More advanced digital scrapbookers create their own custom shadows for each element on a page. If you'd like to learn how to create your own custom shadows I would suggest the following resources.
- The Daily Digi's post on shadows
- Peppermint Granberg's post on shadows
- Designer Digitals forum on shadows in PSE
- Scrappers Workshop Shadow tutorial
- Peppermint Granberg's class at Big Picture
- Divian's Tutorial for PSCS
- Something Blue Cast Shadow Tutorial (PSCS)
I hope you'll give Shadow Styles a spin! Come back tomorrow for a little discussion about Photoshop actions! Until then...