Just for Beginners, post your questions, ask for help, get opinions...
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Hi Folks
Can anybody please help me i am using elements 5.
I have found the photo i want to put into a frame,
and i really want to use a drop shadow effect on it
and i dont know how to do it any help would be great thankyou

Hi Jon,

You can make a drop shadow, or you can do it the easy way and use one of the canned versions found in Effects/Filters/Layer Styles of PSE5 (the icon on the right side, in the middle, looks like a gear-wheel). Look at this example...


When you think about it, you can understand that the object throwing the shadow must be on a layer, and it must be smaller that the full size of the image. The shadow must have some place to fall, right? :)

Let's suppose your photo is 4x6 and you put a 1-inch frame around it; now the size is 6x8. I would create a new, white file sized 8x10 and drag your picture onto that file. If you don't know how to drag yet, with your picture open... Select > All, then Edit > Copy
Then click over to your blank, white file and Edit > Paste. Your picture is sitting on its own layer with an inch of white space around it. With the picture layer active, select drop shadows, pick one and click "Apply".

If you don't like the way it looks, Undo that action, pick another version and click "Apply". After you settle on one pretty close to what you want, double click the little starburst looking thing on the right side of the layer name. That opens the window you see on the left, play with the settings to learn what you can do.

All is much easier to do than to explain it :P

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

Hi rusty
I would prefer to make my own if its not hard,or do you think i would be better of using the suplied ones installed in elements 5? How would i go about making one right now i dont have a clue.

thanks jon
Jon, you could duplicate your image layer, fill it with black or what ever color you want for your drop shadow. Add a blur, reduce the opacity to where you want it and then use the move tool to move it into place and resize if you want.

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It is not difficult. If all you want is simply a drop shadow, it's a lot faster and easier to simply use one of the preset, canned versions. But you can do a lot more with one you make yourself.

In this instance I put my image onto a blank file. I inserted a blank layer between the two layers - the blank, white layer on the bottom and the image layer on the top. Put your cursor on the thumbnail of the top layer and Ctrl-click. That puts marching ants around the entire image; it has selected the image.

Now, with the blank layer active: Edit > Fill Selection. Before you do this, make your foreground color black, or whatever color you want your shadow to be. You are not going to see anything because your black box is exactly the same size as the image on top which is covering it up.

Now use the move tool to slide that box out from under the image 'till you see what you want -- I moved it down and to the right. Apply a gaussian blur and reduce the opacity of that layer 'till it "looks right".


Now, you ask yourself, "Why bother, it's so easy just to use the drop shadow effect?" You are right, if all you want is a simple drop shadow. But, because it is on a layer, and is not an effect, you can do all sorts of things to it. A drop shadow will exactly follow the shape of what it is applied to. A "layer shadow" however, can be transformed and pulled into just about any shape you want. This technique is commonly used in "Border Breakouts". Go to the Challenge section of the forum and look at this week's Crop Challenge #3. Find the entry I submitted and you will see an example of a transformed shadow.

Give it a try and have fun. Ask Qs if you get hung up on anything.

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

Rusty @ Kim
Thankyou both very much for all off your assistance now iv got abit of an idea i will give it ago and let you both know the outcome thanks again

Jon :lol:
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