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Build a Better Drop Shadow

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Avoid Loss of Illusion By Avoiding Uniform Drop Shadows
Identical drop shadows on overlapping objects distorts the illusion of depth.

Identical drop shadows on overlapping objects distorts the illusion of depth.

Jacci Howard Bear; llicensed to About.com
The illusion of drop shadows becomes easier to visualize when you have several objects with drop shadows grouped together. By overlapping objects there is the suggestion that each object is at a different distance from the background. However, using the same drop shadow for all objects distorts the illusion of depth.

Although one object is obviously in front of another (thus farther away from the background) the shadows fail to take that extra depth into account. This conflict accentuates the fakeness of the drop shadow.

 

In This Tutorial:

  1. Add Interest With Drop Shadows 
  2. Base Fake Shadows on Reality
  3. Avoid Uniform Shadows (this page)
  4. Use Size and Color to Vary Illusion of Depth
  5. Use Size, Color, and Direction
  6. Complex Shadows for Complex Arrangements

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