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Inkscape Shadows and Highlights

Creating a shadow

Adding shadows and highlights to your drawings can create a touch of realism. This can be accomplished by creating a copy of the object for which you want the shadow, filling that copy with a darker or lighter color, and positioning it in relationship to the original object.

In the example shown above, I removed the boarder of the copy by, in the Fill and Stroke dialog box, setting the Stroke Width to 0. Next, in the same dialog box, I set the fill color to gray. It's easy to create any shade of gray by using the RGB color bars to set red, green, and blue to equal (and low) values.

Then I set the Blur bar to 10% and the Opacity bar to 75%. Blur sets the width of the shadow object's "fuzzy" border. Opacity sets how much of the background shows through the shadow. In the real world shadows do not usually totally obscure the object that they fall upon.

The last step is to move the shadow to underneath the object that is casting it. In with the shadow object selected, in the main menu select Object | Lower to get the shadow under the object.

All of these parameters; blur, opacity, and relative position can be adjusted to get the exact effect that you desire.

Cross with shadow

The example above shows what you can do with a shadow using perspective. To create this shadow I used the same steps as before, except this time I rotated the shadow object and then used the Edit paths by nodes tool (in the toolbox) to reshape the shadow object to give it a perspective look.

Perspective shadow construction lines

In the picture shown above, I have placed construction lines to aid in showing how I reshaped the shadow object to give it a perspective look. It helps to display the grid. To display the grid, in the main menu select View | Page Grid.

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