I've seen design elements on webpages that contain a "bent paper" effect. In other words, it looks like the paper is shaped in an arch, based on the visual perception of the shadow.

How do I achieve this?


I found an image:

alt text

  • Do you have a link that shows an example of what you're looking for?
    – squillman
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:07
  • @squilman - Actually, no. I did it once, but I'm not happy with the results.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:08
  • Something like the Welcome New Users box at top right of programmers.stackexchange.com?
    – e100
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:43
  • @e100 - screenshot please?
    – Moshe
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:44
  • Are you talking about a dog-ear? Have a look here: google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://archive.amol.org.au/…
    – squillman
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


Shadow gives the perception of how the paper is bent. alt text

In this screen shot, the two yellow rectangles are identical. To achieve the shadow effect, just duplicate the rectangle layer, fill it with black and blur 2-3px. then edit->transform->warp to bend the shadow shape. you want to move the shadow layers by a few pixels to the direction that's against the imagined light source. also play with the transparency too.


You do a shape that is the bent paper (a triangle, preferably) with a gradient to give the illusion of a bent shape and a shadow below (just duplicate the shape layer, fill it with black and lower opacity, or try using Drop shadow in Layer Effects). The more time you spend on the details the better it will of course look, but this is the basic idea. Make sure you got the direction of the light consistent with any other light in the design.

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