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  Deneba Canvas™ 6 Transparent Drop Shadow - Part One

Please see this page for full explanation on transparent drop shadows.

The transparent drop shadow effect can easily be done using Deneba Canvas 6. Start by creating a new illustration document. The strategy is to create three objects -  one for the type, one for the shadow and one for the background. Put each on its own layer and switch between layers for editing. This can also be done on a single layer in one stack, but it is shown here using layers partly because there is an optional step on the next page where using layers would be a little easier.

1. Bring up the Document Layout palette and click the plus sign to reveal the default layer (below left). Activate layer 1 then click the "New Layer" button twice to add two more layers. Next click layer 3 - the top layer- to activate it (below right).

layer11m.gif cnvshad11m.gif

2. Use the Text tool texttool.gif (176 bytes) and type the desired text. Keep it black for now.


3. Then click Image > Area > Render and in the dialog (below left), choose RGB, 72 ppi with a visibility mask, then click "OK". Then click Object > Arrange > Send to Layers and select layer 2 in the dialog (below right). That sends the rendered object to layer 2.

cnvshad02.gif cnvshad13.gif

4. Double click the top object, select all the text and give it a fill ink color of your choice. You now have two objects - the top text object on layer 3 and the bitmap object under it on layer 2 which will become the shadow.


5. In the Document Layout palette, activate layer 2 then click the visibility bullet on layer 3 to hide it.


6. Select the rendered type on layer 2 and Ctrl-Drag the handles to expand the object. It needs room to diffuse when we blur it.


7. Click the object with any painting tool to place it in edit mode, then click Image > Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Choose 3 in the dialog, then click "OK".

In the Mac® version of the dialog there is a preview pane...


In the Windows® version if you check the "Preview" box, you can see the effect on the entire paint object before you click "OK"...


8. The shadow object is finished, but it lies directly behind the type object. It needs to be offset.


9. To offset the shadow, click the right arrow 3 times and the down arrow 3 times. It's shaping up. One more object to go.


10. For the background object, you need the background tile for the web page on which it will be displayed. Click File > Place and load the image onto the page. Drag and drop the image into the Texture manager, then drag and drop the new ink from the preview box into the grid with the other texture inks. more help here


11. Activate layer 1 (the bottom layer). Use the Rectangle tool and drag a new background object around the type and shadow objects.


12. Click the fill ink icon and apply the new texture ink to the object.

At this point you can export it as a GIF or JPEG image. The remaining steps are optional to setup the image for export as a GIF with the excess background pixels trimmed away.


One Advantage to using Canvas for this effect is that the text is a vector object. This composition can be output on print media and the type will render perfectly as PostScript® outlines.

Click Here To Continue...


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