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When to use drop shadows


There are three basic applications for drop shadows: text, objects, and Web page backgrounds.


Text- Text shadows best against a flat background, although a shadow can also be used to make text more readable against a photo or complex texture. Its usually a good idea to offset the shadow close to the text itself, which makes the text more legible and makes the shadow less distracting.


Objects- There are two approaches for shadowing objects. One is to silhouette the object against a flat background or texture. This is similar to the text treatment mentioned above. The other approach is to integrate the object seamlessly into another image. This compositing approach is addressed as an advanced technique later in this column.


When silhouetting an object against a flat background, soften the edges with a selection feather. It also makes sense to paste the object onto a light or dark background before reselecting and feathering the edges. This makes the feather light or dark, and helps integrate it into the background as it is placed on the page.


Background tiles-
A good use of drop shadows is in horizontal or vertical background tiles. This can add a real sense of depth to your page, with just a few steps. Simply create a horizontal/vertical file, create a column section, and add the shadow as shown to create a shadowed row or column.

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