Paint Shop Pro Tutorial: Shadow Color Selection

There are several ways to manipulate the color of your shadow color selection, depending on exactly the type of effect you want and how you've created your shadow in the first place. Below are two common methods, one regarding computer generated shadows and the other, slightly more complicated method of creating your own shadows.

Step 1 - Computer Generated Shadow Colors

If you are working shadows generated by the program itself, such as a drop shadow for your object, changing the color is a very simple process. Simply open up the properties dialogue box for the drop shadow you are working with and you will have options for changing things like color, intensity, opacity, etc. of that drop shadow.

Step 2 - Selecting Your Own Shadows

The steps to changing your shadow colors are a little more involved if you are working with shadows you've created yourself, but they still aren't terribly difficult to do. In fact, if you are good enough to create shadow-shaped objects, you already know what you need to do to change the color.

Start by selecting your shadow. If the shadow you have made exists on its own separate layer, this is as easy as choosing the Selection tool, clicking Control + A (or Command + A on Mac computers), then click anywhere on the screen. When you do, the entire object on that layer will be selected.

If your shadow is on the same layer as something you don't want change, like the original object you want to be casting the shadow, you will have to use one of your selection tools to select only the shadow portions of your layer. If your shadow has a lot of curves in it, now may be a good time to check out a tutorial on using a Pen Tool Bezier selection, but you can always just stick with the selection tools you know to complete this article.

Step 3 - Add A Fill Color

Make sure that the background color (the rear of the two colors you have selected) is the color you want your shadow to be. With your selection made, click the Flood Fill Tool. Make sure to set the blending mode to Hue. This will change the color of your shadow to whatever color you have selected, while preserving all textures and shadows underneath. If your shadow isn't already semi-transparent, you can play with the opacity values until you can see partway through the shadow layer. This will give you the full effect of a colored shadow laying on the surface underneath.

Don't be afraid to play around and adjust the various colors, blending modes, and degrees of opacity as you employ the Flood Fill Tool. All of these characteristics will change how the final color of your shadow will turn out, as well as just how realistic that shadow ends up looking by the time you are done. Once you have mastered these, you can add other gradients, masks, and other effects to create truly dynamic, colorful shadows.

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