► Note 111

Wondering about that option for Flatness when saving a clipping path? In most cases, you can leave that option blank, because it causes the printer to use its default values when printing the file. However, if you encounter printer errors when trying to print a file with a clipping path, refer to the tip "Save Selections as Clipping Paths to Define Transparent Sections of an Image" in Chapter 5 for more information.

In Photoshop, open your object file and immediately save a copy of the file, naming it differently (for example, object_shadow.tif). Make sure the object is selected. In the Layers palette, select Duplicate Layer from the flyout menu in the top-right corner of the Layers palette.

Make sure the duplicate layer is beneath the original object layer in the Layers palette. (You can name it Object Shadow if you like.) Click the background color swatch and select black or a dark color; the darker the color, the denser your shadow will be.

Select the shadow layer and press SHIFT-ALT-BACKSPACE (Windows) or SHIFT-OPTION-DELETE (Mac) to automatically fill the selected area with the current background color. Note, you will not see this layer except in the small preview box of the Layers palette, because it is directly beneath the object layer above it.

Then, select Filter | Blur | Gaussian Blur. The Gaussian Blur dialog box will pop up. Insert the desired value: the greater the value, the softer the shadow; the smaller the value, the more defined the shadow edge will be.

You should now see the shadow behind the object layer. Delete the object layer (because this file is only for the shadow) by dragging its name to the small trash can icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Select Image | Mode | Grayscale and click OK when the dialog box asks you if you would like to discard color. Now, select Image | Mode | Bitmap. Under Output, enter 600 and select Diffusion Dither for the Method. If you zoom in to the file, you will see that the shadow is actually a collection of tiny dots that become denser toward the center of the shadow. Make sure the file is saved as a TIFF file (.tif extension).

Import the shadow file into your page layout program. (Make sure you set the background color to None.) You can colorize the shadow in the page layout program, according to the effect you desire to create. Import the object and place it on top of the shadow.

Learn Photoshop Now

Learn Photoshop Now

This first volume will guide you through the basics of Photoshop. Well start at the beginning and slowly be working our way through to the more advanced stuff but dont worry its all aimed at the total newbie.

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