Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Inner Shadows

Today I'm going to show you a simple trick using the native shadows in Photoshop Elements.

1. Open a paper.  I'm using a paper from Jeanine's Dimanche paper kit.

2. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, the fifth tool down.  You may need to right click and choose it if the Elliptical Marquee Tool is showing in the tool bar.

3.  Drag out a rectangle approximately where you want it on your layout, but the size and shape are not critical because you'll be able to edit it later.  You will get a rectangle of marching ants after you click and drag.

4.  Use the color picker to choose a color.  I wanted to select a color from my paper back ground, so after clicking on the color chips to get the Color Picker, I pointed at the color I wanted on the paper.  The arrow becomes an eyedropper for selecting a color and you can see the new color indicated in the color picker. Click OK.

5. Create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette.  It's the first one in the row:

6.  On that new layer, fill the rectangular selection with your chosen color using the Paint Bucket tool.

7.  Type Control/Command-D to deselect the rectangle.

8.  With the rectangle layer still selected in the layers palette, choose Inner Shadows from the Layer Styles drop down box in the Effects palette.  The Layer Styles are the the second icon at the top of the Effects palette, circled here in red.  In the screen shot I've already clicked on the drop down box arrow and I'm about to select Inner Shadows.

9.  Making sure you still have the rectangle layer selected, double click on the Low Inner Shadow (or click on it once and then click the Apply button).

10.  As you can see, the shadow appears on your rectangle and makes it appear to be below the background paper.  The good thing about creating a shadowed box this way instead of cutting out a piece of the background paper is that you can move and resize this shadowed rectangle.  See in the screen shot, I have done so.

11.  You can also copy the shadowed rectangle layer to make another box.  I use the keyboard shortcut Control/Command-J.  See, now I have two rectangular boxes. The second one was a copy of the first, resized and arranged neatly with help of the Align option of the Move Tool (see my last tutorial).

12. Add photos and embellishments to finish the layout!  Here's mine.

Have fun with this technique!  Is there anything you've been wondering how to do?  Let us know in the comments section and I will write about it in an upcoming tutorial.