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Lesson 8. Mastering the Pen Tool > Transforming paths to add a drop shadow

Transforming paths to add a drop shadow

In the final part of the lesson, you’ll add a shadow to the vase by creating and transforming a path.

In the Layers palette, Alt/Option-click the New Layer button at the bottom of the palette to create a new layer, and name it Shadow. Drag the new layer beneath the Vase layer in the palette, so that the shadow will appear behind the vase.

Make a selection of the vase by Ctrl/Command-clicking the Vase layer in the Layers palette.

Click the Paths palette tab, and select Make Work Path from the Paths palette menu. In the dialog box that appears, enter a tolerance of 1.0. Click OK. This creates a path based on the selection you just made.

In the Paths palette, double-click the Work Path, and name it Shadow Path.

Alt/Option-click the pathname in the Paths palette to select the entire path.

Shadow Path selected

You can now transform the path in the same way that you can transform a layer or part of a layer.

Choose Edit > Transform Path > Distort. In the bounding box that appears around the selection, drag the top center point down and to the left as shown in the illustration. Press Enter or Return to apply the transformation.

Shadow Path distorted

Now you’ll fill the selection with a shadow.

In the Paths palette, Ctrl/Command-click the Shadow Path thumbnail to create a selection of that path.

Press D on the keyboard to restore the default colors.

Select the gradient tool in the toolbox. In the options bar, click the arrow next to the Gradient sample to display the Gradient palette. Choose the Foreground to Background gradient.

In the image, drag the linear gradient tool to fill the selection with a black-to-white gradient. For greater impact and a more realistic effect, in Photoshop you can fill the shadow’s gradient with a color sampled from the vase, and then adjust the color’s opacity.

Deselect. Save your file.

Distorted shadow path filled with linear gradient

In the Layers palette, click in the eye column to redisplay all of the artwork.

Close your file, and quit Photoshop. With your mastery of the pen tool, you’re ready to tackle editing of other intricate artwork in Photoshop and Illustrator.



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