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I just want to ask for some resources and as to how I could implement such in Photoshop:

enter image description here

I saw this image online in a website: https://www.zirtual.com/ and it's just simple as it looks but I was wondering on how I could implement a similar one in Photoshop?

Normal Drop Shadow doesn't work though.

[Newb here]

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    We've had conversations on titles and what to do about some of them. I'm curious before editing why do you call this a "dynamic" shadow? I've never heard it called that but if it helps others find it then we'll leave it there. – Ryan Apr 21 '14 at 12:43
  • Hi there Raven - Just wondering, is your question also about the "ribbon" effect of the letters, and not only the drop shadow? Seems to me the background shadow would be easy enough, but the ribbon a little more tricky. If this is the case, it will be a good idea to edit the question and specify this. – benteh Apr 21 '14 at 12:49
  • @RandomO'Reilly I just posted a pretty comprehensive answer including the ribbon effect. I'm just curious why Raven calls that "dynamic shadow" – Ryan Apr 21 '14 at 13:02
  • @Ryan oh, goodie. Yes, "dynamic" seems a little odd. "Ribbon 3D" or something like that might make more sense. – benteh Apr 21 '14 at 13:10
  • My bad, sorry. I called it "dynamic shadows" because the shadows on the text does not really reflect from one source of light. – Raven Apr 25 '14 at 5:30
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Alright there's a bunch of ways to do this but here's how I might approach it in Photoshop (very rough / quick job)

Start with whatever font you want to use and give it some background color to help while working on it:

enter image description here

Now you're going to use an outer glow for the background. The key for that is to change the blend to either Darken or Multiply otherwise you won't see the black color (cause it defaults to screen)

enter image description here

What really sets that image apart though are the small interior shadows to enhance the curvature. There's a bunch of ways you could achieve this and honestly what I did probably isn't the best. I just grabbed the marquee tool. For better results you'd probably want to duplicate the text, rasterize it, then use the pen tool to create curves, select, inverse, delete so you're left with an exact duplicate. Anyhow for demonstration purposes Marquee works:

enter image description here

Again there's a few ways to do this but I used an oversized soft brush. Radial Gradient would probably work just as well. Straight gradient wouldn't give the same result.

enter image description here

Then I used an oversized eraser to soften the bottom

enter image description here

Lighten the opacity a bit

enter image description here

And finally on a white background (the only interior shadow I did was the demo piece inside the 'W')

enter image description here

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Drop Shadows are generally used to describe something directional with a light source. This effect you are looking at falls more under what would be called "outer glow".

enter image description here

Exaggerated examples of it I tend to not like (as with most in-your-face hey-it's-a-lens-flare kind of stuff). But when used subtly at a short spread it can be combined with (or take the place of) an outline stroke... to good effect in some cases.

As for the 3-D sensitivity of the shadow onto the text, if you're specifically asking about that, I might think that's a separate effect. It may be done by hand, or more likely the text was done in some gimmicky typography plugin/program that had a few stock 3-D FX. I would imagine that the outer glow is completely separate, just tinted to be the same color of gray from that source.

There simply isn't enough information in an average TrueType font or similar to generalize such an algorithm.

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  • Yay! This is what I was looking for! Thanks a bunch :D – Raven Apr 25 '14 at 5:30
  • @Raven I think you meant to comment on Ryan's post, as that's what you accepted. :-) (I actually saw your post on a small cell phone screen at first, so came to answer it without noticing the subtle 3-D...so I just thought it was a glow, not a drop shadow. But his answer led me to look on the bigger screen and realize what you were asking!) – HostileFork says dont trust SE Apr 25 '14 at 9:20
  • err, haha yes. That's for Ryan's Post. Sorry :) – Raven Apr 25 '14 at 11:10

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