Applying Depth and Realism to Animations

To create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional image, you need to have a basic understanding of lighting and shading. Knowing the direction of light on an object is not as important as understanding that all shading, including shadow falloff, must be applied on the opposing sides. For example, if you have a sphere that has a light source at the 10 o'clock position projected onto it, then naturally you will want the shaded side of the sphere to appear at the 4 o'clock position. The shadow from this sphere would then fall upon whatever planes or objects are 180° from the light source.

Fortunately, the layer styles in Photoshop automatically handle all of this (when Use Global Light is selected). There may be times when you might want to take control over the automatic settings to force a highlight or shadow onto an area of your image to create an illusion of forced perspective.

Using the text animation in the preceding project, apply a layer style to the text. I applied Lime Green Glass Button, from the Styles palette (if you don't see that style in your list, append the Glass buttons from the Styles palette pull-down menu to get it). By changing the color to green and reducing the opacity to 50% (see Figure 1.19, which shows the Photoshop layer style settings and the result in ImageReady), I then modified the drop shadow layer to act more as a refracted light gel.

Figure 1.19

Modify a default layer style to refract light and enhance transparency and dimension.

Figure 1.19

Modify a default layer style to refract light and enhance transparency and dimension.

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