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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2

Part 2 covers how to make a photograph look like a painting, create a seamless fractal tiled image, to use Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop, and how to retouch a drop shadow you've added to an image. (From Inside Photoshop CS, Sams, ISBN: 0672326442.)

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 35
September 15, 2004
  1. · Photoshop Tricks, Part 2
  2. · More Fun with Pseudo-Painting
  3. · The Minimize Command and the Spatter Effect
  4. · Trick 6: Creating Organic-Looking Objects Using Photoshop Filters
  5. · Trick 7: Creating a Bronze Guy
  6. · Trick 8: Creating Images Using Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop CS
  7. · Remove the Background
  8. · Adding Elements to the Composition
  9. · Trick 9: Coping with a Horrific Photo
  10. · Trick 10: Fixing a Chopped-Off Drop Shadow

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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2 - Trick 10: Fixing a Chopped-Off Drop Shadow
(Page 10 of 10 )

I have been putting drop shadows on everything in the Inside Photoshop books for years. The famous Gaussian blur drop shadow is extremely overused, starting with PC Magazine and ending up on both the Mac OS and Windows XP Plus! Pack interfaces. So why do I apparently succumb to peer pressure? The answer is simple: The drop shadow adds dimension, so you are not stuck reading a "flat" book for hours on end. If I get you to refocus every now and then, I've provided a valuable service and will be sending you my ophthalmologist's bill.

Seriously, there are hazards associated with drop-shadowing everything. One big hazard occurs when you apply a drop shadow, make a few editing moves, and then move a drop-shadowed image—only to discover that you've truncated the shadow. It travels abruptly from 10% gray to paper white.

Drop shadows appear to be the staple of modern printed communications. So you might as well know how to fix them when something goes amiss. Murphy's Law is alive and well in the twenty-first century!

In Figure 24.64, for example, trouble is a-brewing. The mounty picture has just had a fresh drop shadow applied. But as you can see, the shadow doesn't fade away completely before the bottom of the image.


Figure 24.64 I might get a ticket from the mounty for imprudent use of Alien Skin's Eye Candy filters!

I want you to run through this simple trick with me, so open the Mounty.tif image from the Examples\Chap24 folder on the companion CD, and follow these steps:

Fixing a Broken Drop Shadow
  1. Double-click the Background layer title on the Layers palette, and click on OK to accept the defaults. Now you can move the mounty as you please.

  2. As you can see, Bouton has already fouled up the picture with a drop shadow that runs off the page. Press V to switch to the Move tool, move the image up and to the left, as shown in Figure 24.65, and then choose Flatten Image from the Layers palette's flyout menu.


Figure 24.65 The bottom edge of the shadow is cropped off. What idiot did this?

  1. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, drag a selection marquee around the bottom of the cropped shadow. Look carefully at Figure 24.66. The top of the selection should be a few pixels away from the image, and the bottom of the marquee should extend only by 3 or 4 pixels into the white area. Press Ctrl(Command)+Alt(Opt)+D and feather the selection by about 5 pixels. Click on OK.


Figure 24.66 Select the "broken" part of the drop shadow, and then feather the selection.

  1. Apply a slight amount of Gaussian blurring (Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur), as shown in Figure 24.67. Around 4 pixels should do the trick for an image and a shadow of the sizes presented to you here. See? Instant shadow restoration?


Figure 24.67 The Gaussian Blur filter restores the chopped-off drop shadow!

  1. You're done! Deselect the selection marquee, and save the image if you like. As you can see in Figure 24.68, the mounty is pretty happy about the repairs, too. Press Ctrl(Command)+Shift+S if you want to save this image to your hard drive.


Figure 24.68 Drop shadows can be cropped badly, but they can also be restored in about four steps.

Grand Chapter Summary

Has this chapter seemed a little weird to you? Did you like it anyway? Well, welcome to the league of Photoshop pros. We do funky stuff all day, and ultimately, it's all in a day's work. You are forced to be ingenious at every turn, and I hope that you don't mind thinking like me at least for a little while until you get your Photoshop wings. Everything worthwhile in Photoshop is a challenge, and the impossible simply takes a little longer to do.

This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.

Buy this book now.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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