Affinity Tutorial - Simple Shadows

Discussion in 'Learning Pad' started by Angela Toucan, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Angela Toucan

    Angela Toucan I keep looking for THAT wardrobe

    Nov 6, 2017
    This month's LEAP with @FarrahJobling is working with shadows. This tutorial shows how to set simple shadows on different objects in Affinity. Creating simple shadows is the same in all 3 versions of Affinity (Publisher, Designer and Photo)

    For this tutorial I'm using items from the July Mixed Media Monthly - You are made of Stardust.

    To shadow an object, select the object and use the Special Effects Dialog. Select the object and then either
    • Right click and choose Layer Effects; or
    • Click on the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers Tab.

    When the Layer Effects Dialog opens, tick the check box for Outer Shadow and select it.


    Adding Shadow to Sticker or Thin Paper

    Everything on a traditional paper scrapbooking page has some shadow to it, even those stuck down firmly. For stickers and flat glued down paper I use a shadow with a radius between 1.5 and 2, and no offset.


    Adding Shadow to paper piece, photo or thin card

    If the papers are deeper, or slightly lifted off the surface, then I use a radius between 2 and 3, and an offset of between 3 and 4


    Adding Shadow to Buttons and elements

    Buttons and dimensional elements have deeper or wider shadows. I Adjust the sliders for the radius and offset to get the effect I like.


    Copying and Pasting Shadow Fx

    Setting the shadow from scratch for every object can be time consuming. However, it's not necessary. Affinity has a paste effects function.

    So for this example I have a shooting star that I want to shadow the same as the blue star. To do this I first select the blue star and copy {ctrl c}.

    Then I select the shooting star, got to the Edit Menu and choose Paste FX


    You can set the shadow (or paste the shadow) to multiple objects at once if you have them all selected before opening the dialog.

    Switching between objects with the Dialog Open
    It is possible to switch between objects on your page with the Fx dialog open. Simply click on the next object you want to apply a shadow too.

    Changing the Colour and Blend mode of a shadow
    So far I've used the default colour and blend mode of black & multiply. This can be a bit too harsh for shadows on white backgrounds. Some people use a dark brown and set the mode to linear burn. Experiment a bit to get your preference.

    Direction of Shadow
    So far I've used the default shadow direction of 315 degrees which send the shadow to right and down - in the same direction as the little diagram. To change the direction of the shadow the easiest way is to click on that diagram where you want to shadow to go.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
    umyesh likes this.
  2. Angela Toucan

    Angela Toucan I keep looking for THAT wardrobe

    Nov 6, 2017
  3. umyesh

    umyesh Swooning for warm bread & butter

    Jul 17, 2012
    Thanks for this Angela. I hope to use Affinity again someday and this will be very helpful.
    Angela Toucan likes this.
  4. gonewiththewind

    gonewiththewind I choose joy.

    Dec 15, 2009
  5. cfile

    cfile My bags are packed for Platform 9 3/4

    Sep 2, 2011
    Fabulous Affiniy tutorial @Angela Toucan thanks for writing it up!
    Angela Toucan likes this.

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