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Illustrator for Web Design
Illustration by

Creating and using drop shadows


From:

Illustrator for Web Design

with Justin Seeley

Video: Creating and using drop shadows

Drop shadows have become an essential part of any web designer's toolkit, and these days it's even easier to implement drop shadows through things like CSS, but you also need to know how to simulate them in a program like Adobe Illustrator so that when you go to convert these out to CSS, or your developer takes over, they will know exactly how this is supposed to look in the grand scheme of things. So in this movie I'm going to be exploring various ways that you can apply drop shadows to your objects here inside of Illustrator. So the first thing I'm going to do is select an object on my screen, and I'm just going to select this back portion of the ad that we are working on.
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  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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Illustrator for Web Design
5h 27m Appropriate for all Jul 30, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups with the strong layout and color management tools in Adobe Illustrator. Author and Adobe Certified Expert Justin Seeley covers topics such as building responsive layouts with artboards, producing custom color palettes and swatches for web graphics, and making vector shapes and text that seamlessly scale. The course also explores adding drop shadows and other live effects, setting up interface elements such as forms and tabbed interfaces, optimizing and exporting different types of graphics, and speeding up your workflow with reusable image sprites and Smart Objects.

Topics include:
  • Customizing a web workspace
  • Decoding the mysteries behind screen size and resolution
  • Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
  • Coloring web graphics
  • Renaming and grouping layers
  • Working with shapes and symbols
  • Creating wireframes on a grid
  • Styling text
  • Creating image sprites
  • Simulating web pages with artboards
  • Optimizing and exporting your work
Subjects:
Design Web Web Graphics Web Design Web Foundations
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Creating and using drop shadows

Drop shadows have become an essential part of any web designer's toolkit, and these days it's even easier to implement drop shadows through things like CSS, but you also need to know how to simulate them in a program like Adobe Illustrator so that when you go to convert these out to CSS, or your developer takes over, they will know exactly how this is supposed to look in the grand scheme of things. So in this movie I'm going to be exploring various ways that you can apply drop shadows to your objects here inside of Illustrator. So the first thing I'm going to do is select an object on my screen, and I'm just going to select this back portion of the ad that we are working on.

This is a 300 pixel x 250 pixel ad that's going to go on the sidebar of a web site, and so I want this to look almost like it's three-dimensional, like it's coming off the page. But in order to do that, I need to create some depth between it and the background. And simulating depth is very easy when you use something like a drop shadow. So with this object selected, I'm just going to go up to the Effect menu and choose Stylize and select Drop Shadow. And when the Drop Shadow box opens, I'll go ahead and click Preview so we can see exactly what's going on. And I'm going to do a little bit of maneuvering around with the settings in here.

The first thing I'm going to do is take the Opacity down to about 40%. And once I get the opacity down to about 40%, it should be okay. And now I'm going to increase the Offset of this as well, so we'll go 2 pixels on the X Offset and 2 pixels on the Y Offset. I'm also going to increase the Blur amount a little bit, so let's do that to about 5 or 6 pixels, depending on your personal preference. And then I'm also going to change the color as well. So the color for this, I'm going to lighten it up, just a tad. I don't want it to be quite as dark, hit OK.

And so now I get a preview what this looks like and if I hit OK, it's going to be applied to that object. I can click away from it to get the full preview of what it's going to look against a white background, and it looks pretty good. It looks like it's setting there, kind of extruding off the page a little bit. If I am not happy with that drop shadow, it's very easy to correct that. I can just click on the object again, find that drop shadow in the Appearance panel, and click it, and that opens up with the Drop Shadow properties and I can then make a change. So for instance, if I think the shadow needs to be darker, I can increase the Opacity to something like 50%.

I can also back off the Blur amount a little bit to kind of solidify it up a little bit, so let's back that down to something like 3 pixels. If I turn on the Preview, you'll actually see that snap in place and I can hit OK to commit, and once I click away, you can see now it's got more of defined box shadow. It looks a lot better. And when someone goes to re-create this inside of CSS, it'll actually be pretty easy to do that, because I've already given them the X and Y Offset values. I have also given them the Opacity and Color values for the shadow, and I've also given them the Blur amount.

And when you are talking about drop shadows in CSS, those are the most important things you need to worry about. You need to worry about color, opacity, offset, and blur. Those are the main factors that go into making a CSS box shadow, and that's exactly what we've re-created here inside of Illustrator. So anytime I need to apply a drop shadow, I pay attention to those specific numbers and I might even write them down, so that I can then share those with my developer or keep them as notes if I'm the developer, so that I can easily implement this drop shadow into workable CSS later.

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