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how is this drop shadow type effect possible


hi experts

i am capable of creating a shape and, by using the blending options of that layer, putting a drop shadow 'underneath' that shape. however, i don't understand how it is possible to create this particular type of effect. the effect has a drop shadow that tapers off towards each end of the shape, making it look as though the shape is further away from the background in the middle of the shape, than at the end. for examples, look at the main area on these sites, and notice how the layer looks closer to the eye in the middle of the layer, than it does at the end. as though the ends are stuck to the browser, but the middle of the page has been lifted up slightly...

http://www.yuldezign.com/
http://www.solutionstream.com/
http://www.mediamente.biz/
http://www.desarrollosdigitales.net/ (a complete rip of the site above by the looks of it!)
http://www.biego.com/ (just tapered towards the bottom)
http://comunidad.uem.es/ (tapered just to the bottom again)

any help would be greatly appreciated, and certainly worth 500 points.

thank you!
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geordie007
Asked:
geordie007
1 Solution
 
TheRookie32Commented:
I believe it is a normal shadow with a mask applied over it.

Meaning create you drop shadow on your object with the styles in the layers pallette
Then click the mask button so there is a mask on your layer.
Select your gradient tool and using the white to black gradient, draw a gradient on your mask.

It should be tapered on the end now...  If you want it tapering on both ends, modify the gradient so it has black in the middle and white on the ends.

let me know if this works...
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SlynkyCommented:
Hi, geordie007,

Well, I've tinkered around and I can make the tapered and "bowed" shadows just as I see in the example.  In fact, hard to tell the difference.  NOW, I'm not saying this is the way it was done but this is the way to "replicate" the final result.

(general instructions, NOT step-by-step):

Using the Marquee, make a square or rectangle selection;
Fill it with white;
Add a drop shadow to it (adjusting it to make it flare out a bit more than normal...jiggle the spread, etc.);
With the selection still going, Edit --> Transform --> Warp;
In warp, pull the corners back where you want the drop shadow to be pulled back or taper out;
Press enter and you have a bent "box" with a bent drop shadow that follows the one side you altered;
NOW, just add a new layer above this one and mark off a selection with the marquee that catches the slightest bit of the dropshadow at the corners and making sure you have left enough in the middle so that it gets fatter in the middle and then tapers off getting slimmer on the other side.  In other words, cover up all you have drawn except the THAT portion of the drop shadow you want to bow out.

Give it a try and see what you get...I get something looking exactly like what you showed.  If I've been too vague, "give me a ring".

Regards,
Slynky
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