Inner Shadow Trickery

with No Comments

Jenny BinderOne of the things I love about digital scrapbooking with Adobe Photoshop Elements is the ability to do the same thing a number of different ways. Today we’re going to do something you’ve probably seen, but maybe not accomplished in this particular way.

Recently I was trying to decide what to do for an album cover. My thought process took me back to my paper scrapbooking days, and the albums I loved that had a cut-out for a photo, and then a longer one below it for a name (or some other word). They were simple, yet elegant, and I decided this would be the style I wanted to use for my new digital album cover.

inner shadow

Maybe you’ve created a page like this. If so, did you actually delete a hole from the middle of your paper? Most people do. And that’s ok, but there’s a different method you can use to achieve the same look, and it gives you more flexibility for changes later.

Tutorial:This complete Digi Scrap Tutorial is available to our Digital Scrapper Premier Members. If you’re a member, please take a moment to log in, then come back and just refresh this page. Not a Premier Member? Find out more information here.

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Create a Solid Mat

  • First, note that I already have my main paper open and sized to the size I want.
  • Click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
  • Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the Tools bar at the left. Look at the Options bar above and make sure the Feathering is set to 0 pixels and the Style is Normal.

inner shadow

  • Click and drag out a selection the size you want the “cut-out” to be.
  • Fill this selection with your desired color. You can do this many different ways, but here’s one in case you need help: Choose Edit>Fill Selection. In the Fill dialog box that appears, choose Use: Color and then choose the color you want from the Color Picker dialog box that appears. Click OK to close the Color Picker dialog box and OK to close the Fill dialog box.
  • Press Ctr D (Mac: Cmd D) to get rid of your selection.

Step 2: Apply an Inner Shadow

If we were to apply a drop shadow to this mat, it would appear to sit on top of the paper. Instead, we’re going to apply an inner shadow, which will make it appear to sit under the paper.

  • In the Effects palette, click on the second icon at the top to get Layer Styles, open the drop-down menu and choose Inner Shadows.
  • Double-click on the Low inner shadow icon.

inner shadow

Step 3: Create an Easy Duplicate

In my case, I need another “cut-out” for the name. I could repeat steps 1 and 2, but an easier way would be to duplicate my first “cut-out” layer and then move and re-size it.

2009-02-16-image04el

  • Press Ctr J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the first “cut-out” layer.
  • Press Ctr T (Mac: Cmd T) and use the corner or size handles to resize. Click and drag to move it into place. When finished moving and resizing, double click on the mat to accept the transformation.

inner shadow

Step 4: Final Touches

Now the page is ready for my photo and name. The beauty of using an inner shadow rather than an actual cut-out in the paper is that I can resize and move the white area to fit my name and photo. You can see here that my photo ended up being vertical, rather than horizontal. Not a problem—I just made the white area the active layer, pressed Ctr T (Mac: Cmd T), resized it, moved it, then double-clicked on it to accept my changes.

Then, I added a few other embellishments and my album cover was complete. Of course you can apply an inner shadow to a photo as well. Just use the same procedure. It didn’t work well with my family photo because the edges are so dark that you couldn’t see the shadow at all. But with this heritage layout, it worked nicely.

inner shadow

Credits: Tutorial by Jenny Binder, www.HeirloomScrapbooks.com. Blue Family Layout–blue paper from Amy Bleser’s Floral Paper Pack; Flower and Sequin from Amanda Rockwell’s Humble; label from Mindy Terasawa’s Autumn Glory; stitching from Jenny Binder; font is Penshurst Shadow. Brown Heritage Layout—brown paper from Julie Mead’s Timeless Classic; gold layer style from Scrapper’s Guide; font is Rousseau.

1: Create a Solid Mat

  • First, note that I already have my main paper open and sized to the size I want.
  • Click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
  • Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the Tools bar at the left. Look at the Options bar above and make sure the Feathering is set to 0 pixels and the Style is Normal.

inner shadow

  • Click and drag out a selection the size you want the “cut-out” to be.
  • Fill this selection with your desired color. You can do this many different ways, but here’s one in case you need help: Choose Edit>Fill Selection. In the Fill dialog box that appears, choose Use: Color and then choose the color you want from the Color Picker dialog box that appears. Click OK to close the Color Picker dialog box and OK to close the Fill dialog box.
  • Press Ctr D (Mac: Cmd D) to get rid of your selection.

Step 2: Apply an Inner Shadow

If we were to apply a drop shadow to this mat, it would appear to sit on top of the paper. Instead, we’re going to apply an inner shadow, which will make it appear to sit under the paper.

  • Click the Add a Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
  • Adjust the Distance and Size to your liking, then click OK.

inner shadow

Step 3: Create an Easy Duplicate

In my case, I need another “cut-out” for the name. I could repeat steps 1 and 2, but an easier way would be to duplicate my first “cut-out” layer and then move and re-size it.

inner shadow

  • Press Ctr J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the first “cut-out” layer.
  • Press Ctr T (Mac: Cmd T) and use the corner or size handles to resize. Click and drag to move it into place. When finished moving and resizing, double click on the mat to accept the transformation.

inner shadow

Step 4: Final Touches

Now the page is ready for my photo and name.

The beauty of using an inner shadow rather than an actual cut-out in the paper is that I can resize and move the white area to fit my name and photo. You can see here that my photo ended up being vertical, rather than horizontal. Not a problem—I just made the white area the active layer, pressed Ctr T (Mac: Cmd T), resized it, moved it, then double-clicked on it to accept my changes.

Then I added a few other embellishments, and my album cover was complete. Of course you can apply an inner shadow to a photo as well. Just use the same procedure. It didn’t work well with my family photo because the edges are so dark that you couldn’t see the shadow at all, but with this heritage layout, it worked nicely.

inner shadow

Credits: Tutorial by Jenny Binder, www.HeirloomScrapbooks.com. Blue Family Layout–blue paper from Amy Bleser’s Floral Paper Pack; Flower and Sequin from Amanda Rockwell’s Humble; label from Mindy Terasawa’s Autumn Glory; stitching from Jenny Binder; font is Penshurst Shadow. Brown Heritage Layout—brown paper from Julie Mead’s Timeless Classic; gold layer style from Scrapper’s Guide; font is Rousseau.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.