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Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Creating and using drop shadows


From:

Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

with Justin Seeley

Video: Creating and using drop shadows

The drop shadow is one of the most popular and widely used effects in all of design. It helps make objects seem more organic, and it simulates depth in our designs, giving them a more realistic feel. That's a huge trend in web design today: having things that feel like they're almost coming at you off of the screen. In this movie I'll explore how to add drop shadows to your images in Photoshop. The first thing I'm going to do is go up and create a new document. Go to File > New and I'll create something that's, let's say 500 pixels by 500 pixels, and hit OK. And so I'm going to come down and grab one of my Shape tools, this time the Rectangle tool. And I'll switch the Color to just be white for now. And I'll just click and draw out a rectangle, like so.
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
4h 56m Appropriate for all Jul 17, 2012 Updated Oct 04, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Justin Seeley as he reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups in Adobe Photoshop. The course covers creating a custom web workspace for maximum efficiency; drawing, coloring, and optimizing web graphics; creating vector shapes and text that scale seamlessly; mastering transparency; building navigation bars and buttons; and speeding up these tasks with the Photoshop automation tools.

Topics include:
  • Customizing a web workspace
  • Decoding the mysteries behind screen size and resolution
  • Coloring web graphics
  • Using layers and layer comps effectively
  • Working with transparency
  • Creating wireframes on a grid
  • Styling text
  • Creating image sprites
  • Optimizing images as JPEG, GIF, or PNG files
  • Integrating with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Web Design Web Foundations
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Justin Seeley

Creating and using drop shadows

The drop shadow is one of the most popular and widely used effects in all of design. It helps make objects seem more organic, and it simulates depth in our designs, giving them a more realistic feel. That's a huge trend in web design today: having things that feel like they're almost coming at you off of the screen. In this movie I'll explore how to add drop shadows to your images in Photoshop. The first thing I'm going to do is go up and create a new document. Go to File > New and I'll create something that's, let's say 500 pixels by 500 pixels, and hit OK. And so I'm going to come down and grab one of my Shape tools, this time the Rectangle tool. And I'll switch the Color to just be white for now. And I'll just click and draw out a rectangle, like so.

With that rectangle out on the canvas, I now want to switch to my Move tool, and then I'm going to use Command+A or Ctrl+A to select the entire canvas and then I'll use the Options bar to center that shape. Now chances are you can't see that shape, because it's white on white. So what I want to do is create a drop shadow behind it to create a little bit of separation. In order to do that, I'm going to come to the right-hand side and double-click and I'm going to choose Drop Shadow. Immediately when I do that, you're going to start to see that this almost looks like a small piece of paper floating above the background.

Now, one of the interesting things about the layer styles inside of Photoshop is the fact that you can come over here and start to manipulate them on your own if you want to. I'm going to turn off this checkbox that says Use Global Light, and that's because I don't want to affect any other effects that are inside of my document. And then I'm just going to come over and I'm going to drag this over until it's kind of behind, like that. And you can manipulate this any way you want. You can drag it as far down or as far up as you want it to go. In this case, I'll just kind of center it right behind it.

I'm going to increase the Size a little bit, just give it a little bit more depth, and there we go. It seems almost like a piece of paper sitting on top of a background there. And then when I'm finished with that, I can hit OK. Anytime I want to get back in and change this effect--like let's say the client looks at it and they are like "no, that doesn't look realistic; I think the shadow needs to be more offset towards the bottom," that's okay. I've used a layer style, so now I can go back to Drop Shadow, double-click. It takes me right back, and I can simply come back in and adjust like this. Hit OK. So now it looks like it's little bit more 3D perhaps.

Now, anything that I've set on top of this, this could almost be like a frame. So if I grabbed another Rectangle tool and just kind of drew inside like this and then changed the color to let's say a blue, there we go. Now, that almost looks like some sort of frame around the outside of that, and then this blue object is coming at me off of the screen. So just with one single layer style, I've simulated some depth in my design and made it feel a little bit more interesting and added a little bit of pop to a graphic that would otherwise be really boring.

So explore the possibilities of simple little effects like drop shadows. You'll be amazed at what it can add to your designs. And then what's even better is when you hand this over to a developer, most of the effects like drop shadows can be applied through CSS these days, which means you're not going to have to hand them this complex object. You can just hand them a plain object, they'll apply the shadow with their CSS, and your image will load even faster than you thought it would before. It's really neat, and it's a great way to add just that little something extra that your design might have been lacking otherwise.

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