Archive for March, 2012

Tutorial: How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3

I love clear and semi-clear elements on scrapbook pages, but I’ll be honest, when I was new to digital scrapbooking, I didn’t use them. Why? because I didn’t like how dark they looked when shadow was added, and I definitely didn’t like how they looked with no shadow at all. And since I didn’t have a solution, acrylic, glass, and other elements were off limits for me.

For those of you who, like me, love clear and semi clear elements but need help using them, this tutorial is for you.  I’m using my Red Frosted Glass Alpha, which is only semi-transparent, but the steps are the same for clear elements.

Once you’ve arranged your clear elements or alpha on your page the way you like them, you’ll need to decide if you want to merge them all to one layer or not.  The benefits of merging them is you can adjust the shadow for the whole set at once.  The cost, though, is that if you decide you want to move one piece of the set along with it’s shadow, you won’t be able to.  If you want to maintain your ability to move individual piece with their shadow, you’ll need to do the following on each piece on it’s own.  For my purpose, I merged my word together and am adjusting the shadow for each at once.

 

After you merge (or don’t merge) your items, apply your shadow. Then, move your mouse over to the layers palette, and hover over where it says ‘drop shadow’.Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3
It wont highlight or anything – but if you right click it, you get some options, select ‘create layers.’Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3
Your shadow will now be on it’s own layer.Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3
Press the control button and click on the layer of the actual item (not the drop shadow layer.)  This will select the item, and you will see marching ants around it.Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3
Now, click on the drop shadow layer to make it active, and press the delete button.  This will remove drop shadow from the area you selected and leave the drop shadow that is around it.Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3
Here is an image that shows how the items look with no shadow, fully shadowed, and with the new, revised shadow.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll try to help as best I can!Tutorial:  How to shadow clear or translucent elements in Photoshop CS3

 

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