How to place shading to an image

Posted on 2012-08-17
Last Modified: 2012-08-23
We are looking for a free apps or if Office has this option, where we take any image and place a small shadow on it.  

An example is Word where we can place a shadow to a Text Box (see pic below).  Even though we are not looking to place a shadow to a text box but to any image.

sample pic with shadow
Hope you guys can help.
Question by:rayluvs
    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    You could use Paint.Net (Link), which is free.
    And to add the shadow you have several options:

    Option 1

    Option 2

    Author Comment

    Just checked your links, that is what we want: drop shadow.  We'll download and test

    Thanx Lots!!!

    Author Comment

    Just followed the instructions and somehow it is not working.
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Ramante
    I actually use a lot so I can show you rather than a Google.

    You’ll need to download the Paint.NET Effects plugin first, which contains a set of filters for Drop Shadows, have you done that?
    it is zipped. Place that zip in a new folder and extract here then run installer
    Add the dll that is unzipped as well c programfiles.
    Now open
    Drop your new image on to add image
     and using the magic wand tool highlight the image so you remove the background, use the scissors to cut it
    now it's on a chequered background
    then go to Effects and Objects drop shadow
    put the tool side by side your image so you see the adjustments
    I'll let my screenshots speak now,
    Using your test I removed your drop shadow first to illustrate this for you
    The  drop shadow is  only a quick illustration ok and is not perfect
    Here is your TEST with your shadow removed, and my new shadow added to your TEST
    Your test image no shadowNew drop shadowHow I did it
    Add image to paint netmagic wandcut iteffects drop shadowadjusting drop shadowsaving it
    And there's more, you can use Powerpoint to add a drop shadow using
    PowerPoint’s Picture Effects
    I don't know which version of Office you have there
    as my time is now limited I'll post a guide
    How to Add a Shadow to an Image in PowerPoint
    Using Shadow Effects in PowerPoint 2007
    Also windows Live Moviemaker

    Author Comment

    Worked Great Thanx!

    But how can we change the background color and still have that rich "drop shadow" effect"?

    We need to change the background to a light blue and we did it, but the shadow seems solid (see all 3 pics included):

    Image with no shadowImage with shadow as recommended stepsImage shadow and change color light blue
    To change the background color, this is what we did:

    1. First we add the shadow as recommended
    2. Click on the colors (Window >> Colors) to change to the light blue
    3. Clicked on "Pant Bucket"
    4. Finally click in the background.

    How can we do this?
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    Hi Ramante
    good progress :)
    what I would do is make my background colour of choice first that will be the base
    if necessary/ use your Photoshop program to do this.
    Then open Paint .net and add your new blue background the red cross original no shadow
     and then add the drop shadow in that order.
    Is this all using or Photoshop?
    I don't use Photoshop but rather Paintshop Pro with and Inkscape
    You could try and feather it...
    But here's my results.
    I made a new background in Paintshop Pro and coloured it the same as yours using my Flood Fill,  now it's  a blue back ground,  save it as a jpeg.
    Make a new blue backgroundNew Blue Background
    I then opened Paint .net and dropped this new Blue back ground on, I also added your original red cross only ( no shadow)
    Now you'll see both images at the top
    Add all images to Paint dot NetClick on the Red Cross image at the top right so that it is in your workspace now,
    then  using the magic wand I highlight it, then go to EDIT>look down the list to>Invert Selection. Click that and the area will now be around the cross only.
    Then go to Edit again and copy,
    Go to the top and highlight the Blue background so that it now sits in the work space.
    Then go to edit paste as new layer, you should now see the red cross on the blue background with those dots still on it
    Use the magic wand on the red cross and invert and copy to blue bckgposition it centred when your happy go back to EDIT and there at the bottom DESELECT
    The dots are gone,
    now go to your effects /Object?drop shadow
    Stick the shadow menue side by side and play around with the shadow
    then go save as jpeg it will ask you flatten it ok
    Feel free to use my blue background to save time.
    Add a new shadowMy resultsCompared mine is on the left

    Author Comment

    Thanx! Will try!

    Author Comment

    Just when thru the steps and it didn't work.  Each step went ok, except the last one #13 (see below).

    Please review my steps and advice on missing  or incorrect:  

     1. I download your blue background imgage (just to make sure)
     2. Open Paint .Net
     3. Loaded both image, your and my red-ross no shadow
     4. Click on the Red Cross image at the top right, now in workspace
     5. CLick magic wand and click the background of the image (no click on red-cross)
     6. Then Edit >> Invert Selection
     7. Edit >> Copy
     8. Click on the Blue Background at the top right, now in workspace
     9. Edit >> Paste
    10. I didn't do any positioning, just left it as is
    11. Edit >> Deselect
    12. Then Effect >> Object >> Drop Shadow
    13. Did some changes to Drop Shadow (also tried all with no changes)

    please advice.
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    Did you intend to include snap?
    Everything is correct it seems
    Can you remember this one> 9. Edit >> Paste
    then when you went to save you are offered to flatten?
    You have ticked to keep original on the blue background?
    Use Open>opens image.. when drop the blue background on and the red cross?

    Use Open>opens image.

    Author Comment


    Went thru it carefully and noticed the Instead of edit >> paste, use edit >> paste to new layer.

    That worked

    Author Comment

    Noticed that if I created a new image as background and also change the color, it doesn't work.  Yet if I use your image it works.

    Should I save it in another specific format?

    Please advice.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    So here's what I do,
     first clear the history
    go to File>open recent  and clear recent<<too much crap there I found.
    Create your new background as per the 325 x 217 go to file at the top NEW put in those measurements
    flood fill it of your chosen colour
    Make new backgroundChoice one:
    quick version>
    Reload your original red square on again, as image..
    magic wand> left click outside the red cross, then edit invert selection
    then edit copy
    where you use magic wand on the red cross and then invert selection and then edit copy
    >>> click on the background image at the top<<
    to bring it to the front
    edit>and paste into new layer
    then  go to EDIT>deselect <
    and then finally add the drop shadow that seems to work as well
    and is pretty quick to do.
    The key is to highlight the background and paste into new layer
    and deselect before adding shadow

    Choice (2) save it as png
     drag and drop your original red square on again, as image..
    1-reload original red squaremagic wand left click outside the red cross, then edit invert selection
    then edit copy
    here's where you get a couple of choices.

    edit paste into new image<<<
    you should now see the red cross on a chequered background like a transparent
     red cross on checked backgroundNow go
    Save it as >> png<<<
    If you save it to your desktop you can see it is now a transparent
    red transparent on my desktopClose the red cross on your current PDN so that all you have is the new background on the work table in front
    Now drag this transparent red cross back on and select >>Add Layer it will put it on the new background
    Add as Layer
    then adjust to the center
    Now this is the significant step
     go to EDIT>>DESELECT

    Then open your Effects Objects drop shadow adjust it to center if necessary
    Final stage add drop shadowthen go to edit deselect  and finally then go to save as jpeg
    Flatten and ok
    RESULTS cool
    drop shadow on yellow
    I'm saving this as a tutorial for everyone.
    Green in 4 stepsCrazy colours

    Author Comment


    Author Closing Comment

    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Your Welcome
    Your Welcome  ( grins)

    Regards Merete

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