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Picture Frame

Posted on 2006-05-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'm trying to achieve what I thought would be a simple effect but I can't quite make it look right.

Basically I have a graphic, and in that graphic I want some text on a white rectangular background. I want the white background to look like it is "sunk" into the topmost graphic...as if it was behind it. I tried messing with various shadows and couldn't make it work.

The best real life example of what I want it to look like would be a picture framed with a mat...only I want the effect of the picture behind the mat, without the frame. Can anyone offer any guidance?
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Question by:DVation191
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by:Slynky
Slynky earned 1400 total points
ID: 16701260
Hi, DVation191,

I think, if I understand what you want, this is easy.  Let's actually go about it just as if a hole in the graphic gets cut and we see a white piece of paper below it (and a bit of shadow):

(1) Open our graphic image.  Double-click it (to get the rename box up) and then click OK;
(2) Add a new layer and drag it below the graphic layer;
(3) Using the color white and the paint bucket, fill the bottom (empty) layer with white;
(4) Using the rectangular Marquee tool on the graphic layer, draw your rectangle where you want it and then delete the selection;
(5) Add a layer style of "Drop Shadow" and adjust to your liking.

This makes a simple effect of looking through a hole in a graphic to a white piece of paper below it.

Regards,
Slynky
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by:DVation191
ID: 16708823
Thanks Slynky.

I have two problems.
1) The higher of the two layers is set to 10% Opacity because it is a watermark-like layer...which means the drop shadow is also very faint. Any idea how I can add the drop shadow to that layer without it being effected by the opacity?

2) When using the drop shadow, it only shows a shadow on two sides of the rectangle...giving you the perception that the light source is coming at an angle. Is it possible to adjust the drop shadow so it looks like the light is directly above the cut-out while maintaining its sense of depth?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Slynky
ID: 16709010
DVation191,

Let me take a look and see if I can't come up with an easy way to do both.

Till then,
Slynky
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siva350 earned 600 total points
ID: 16710086
IF you dont want your dropshadow to be affected by opacity then just lower the fill opacity of the layer and the layer effects should not be altered.
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by:siva350
ID: 16710102
In the layer style menu you can ajust your drop shadow angle and size.
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by:DVation191
ID: 16710167
"IF you dont want your dropshadow to be affected by opacity then just lower the fill opacity of the layer and the layer effects should not be altered."
Beautiful...I've never used the fill opacity before...nice to know that's there. The Drop shadow is now in full effect while the layer remains semi-transparent

"In the layer style menu you can ajust your drop shadow angle and size."
No combination of settings that I can find will allow me to give the sense of the light source being directly above the cut out. Do you have a suggestion on specific settings?
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by:Slynky
Slynky earned 1400 total points
ID: 16710477
DVation191,

In the drop shadow dialogue box, try this:

(1) Change your distance to ZERO;
(2) Move your Spread to 10-20%;
(3) Change the Size to 15-20 px.

That gives me (on my test document) a slight gray shadow all around appearing to NOT come from any particular angle.

Hope this helps (and you may need to adjust a bit with numbers as I don't know what resolution you are working at).
Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 16711020
That's it! Putting the distance to 0 is what brings out my desired effect. Thank you so much.
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