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One of the modern styles we see today is adding shadows to our media to make it look like it's floating above the screen. Here are all the techniques you can use to make your videos pop off the slide. I am working on slide 6 in my presentation, and I'll click on my video. On the Ribbon, go up to the Picture Tools > Format tab. There's a button for Picture Effects; click on it. Hold your cursor over Shadow and a gallery of presets appears. The Outer shadows are cast on your slide by the object as if it had a light source above.
There are shadows in every direction: above, below, to the left, and to the right. The twelve Inner shadows only work with images, not movies, so stay away from these for now. Below that, if you scroll down, are Perspective shadows. The first two give the feeling of the video standing up on the floor, and the last two help the video float in the air. I want to go back up to the top and choose the first Outer bevel, Offset Diagonal Bottom Right. I can see a very slight shadow on the right-hand side and the bottom.
Now, let's make that shadow more apparent. Go back up to the Picture Effects button and highlight Shadow again and at the bottom of the flyout, click on Shadow Options. A Format Picture dialog box appears. I am going to click in the title bar and drag it off to the left. The same presets are found in the very top button. The next button down is Color. While black makes the most sense, because real-life shadows are gray, sometimes you may want to choose a shadow that matches your theme colors.
You can do that here. I'll make mine aqua instead. Do select a dark color here, because the settings will make your shadow lighter. Next we have a set of sliders that you can drag to the left or right to fine-tune the settings. You can also type in the values that you want or use the spinner arrows to increase or decrease in increments. The first slider is for Transparency. If you pull it to the left, the shadow becomes opaque; if you move it all the way to the right, the shadow all but disappears.
I am going to set my Transparency to 10%. The second slider is for the size of the shadow, but on some of the presets, you may get unexpected results. I found that sometimes after adjusting the size I needed to undo or reset the preset unfortunately. I am going to set my Size to 103. Blur softens the edges. Take it to the left for sharp edges or to the right to diffuse its appearance. I am going to set it to 10 points.
Angle will change the direction of the light source. I am going to make it 60 degrees. Last is Distance. This moves the shadow away from the attached edge of the object. I am going to change this to 12 points. The combination of Angle and Distance are the two biggest settings for really making your video pop off the slide. When I like my settings, I'll click the Close button. Creating a shadow around your video literally makes it stand out during your presentation.
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