Spring is in the air. In the Pacific Northwest where I live, that means the rain slows down for just a bit and allows us all to come out of hibernation to enjoy a bit of sunny weather. Just north of us, in the Skagit Valley, a tulip festival is held every year. Tulips are my favorite flower, so last spring we took a family road trip to see them in full bloom.
In the months since, I have learned to use a series of apps on my iPad to create scrapbook layouts. With all those fabulous pictures still sitting in my camera roll from last spring, I decided to create a few layouts right on my iPad using my favorite app, Adobe Photoshop Touch.
When I scrapbook, I look for techniques that make my layouts look more realistic and less “digitized.” One technique that works well for this is adding drop shadows to embellishments and pictures. Drop shadows in the Photoshop Touch app work similarly to those in Photoshop Elements 12. Many of the icons, options, and settings are the same.
First, drop shadows are one of many basic effects options under the fx in the upper right of the work station screen. Select the layer on the right that needs a drop shadow. Then, tap on the drop shadow box and another window opens which includes the drop shadow settings like distance, angle, opacity, blur, and color.
Once the effects window is open, a small black box appears with the color, angle, and blur settings. Just opening the drop shadow effects window will add a drop shadow, but playing with each setting can dramatically change the look and effect of the drop shadow. The angle changes where the light for the shadow appears to be coming from. Sometimes a black shadow can look a bit stark on certain papers so the color button can be tapped to adjust the color of the shadow to better match the background.
Below is the basic drop shadow applied when the effects window opens, but if you take a fingertip and slide up on the box, another box appears with the distance or opacity sliders. For this charm, I felt the original shadow was just too dark so I used the opacity slider to make it a bit softer.
Here is what the charm looked like with 100% opacity, but lowering the opacity to 78% makes the shadow much softer and more realistic. If I want to give the shadow more depth, I can also slide the distance slider to the right to make it appear farther from picture beneath it.
Playing with each of the drop shadow settings can completely change the depth and look of an embellishment or photo on your layouts, and if you don’t like a change, simply click the x instead of the blue check. The blue check saves your work and returns you to the workstation screen. Once the entire layout is complete, click the arrow in the upper right.
Drop shadows are a great way to add depth and realism to your digital scrapbooking layouts. Photoshop Touch is an amazing app to use these same techniques on your mobile device whether it’s Apple or Android-based. So if you’re looking for ways to use your tablet for more than just games and movies, give Adobe Photoshop Touch a try.
Layout by Angie Durr
Tutorial written by Angie Durr