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  • Drop Shadow in Illustrator

    How do you make a speckled/dithered drop shadow in Illustrator? This is common on packages and I haven't figured out how to do it. Help?

    Here's an example...

    Last edited by balou; 01-30-2006, 05:20 AM.


  • #2
    If you are talking about the shadow behind the letters this is literally a push-the-button Effect. You need v10 or above.

    Illustrator does have a Help index for simple (and not so simple) questions.

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    • #3
      Using Illustrator CS on Mac. I understand how to do a drop shadow effect but can not find in the help files how to dither it as in picture.

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      • #4
        I would take it into photoshop and add the drop shadow in there! Play with the "noise" slider until you get your desired effect. Has you want this type of drop shadow beware you won't be able to scale it as you would a vector image!

        Hope this helps!
        Design is only as good as what it achieves

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        • #5
          Won't transparency be an issue when I bring it back into Illustrator? I was hoping it could be done in Illustrator so it remains vector.

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          • #6
            Sorry, I had assumed the texture/dithering to be a function of the print process in the example you posted.

            Since the drop shadow is already a raster effect, as long as you know the final output size of your piece, you can do it in PS as suggested. If this is a logo or something who's size isn't fixed, you may want to reconsider the noise effect.

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            • #7
              One thing about Illustrator and drop shadows. Always create a duplicate layer behind the one you want the shadow on and apply the shadow to the dupe. Once you apply it you can't get it off if you need to remove it or change it for some reason.

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              • #8
                This may be a bit of a hack work around, but if you want to keep the thing as a vector you could fool around with making a custom scatter brush made of dots and then apply it to a duplicate of your text, underneath the original text.
                match in the gas tank, boom boom

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kool
                  One thing about Illustrator and drop shadows. Always create a duplicate layer behind the one you want the shadow on and apply the shadow to the dupe. Once you apply it you can't get it off if you need to remove it or change it for some reason.
                  you can also get it off in the apperence pallete, changes are different but you can get rid of it

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                  • #10
                    You can change a drop shadow or get rid of it it in the appearance palette only if you create it as an EFFECT. If you do it as a FILTER you are hosed.

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                    • #11
                      this information was useful. Thanks
                      Web Design | Personal Blog | sam_khrap - Think.

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                      • #12


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                        • #13
                          There are two different ways to do this. You can either apply an effect by going to the taskbar and selecting Effect->Stylize->Drop Shadow, or option #2: Copy the object, paste it in front, hit "control+[" ("Option+[" for Mac) so that it is behind the original object, fill it with black, then go to your transparency palette, and choose "Hard Light" (or whatever best suits the shadow you need) with a opacity setting of 80%. This will cause the texture of the background to show through while still preserving the vector shape.

                          Why do the latter? This enables you to adjust the shape of the shadow if you have an odd dimension of space, and need to have the shadows wrap (eg, the background falls away or a "wall" adjusts the shadow. If you do it with the easier of the two methods, then the shadows will not wrap around, as they will follow the shape you put the effect on, and as such you cannot adjust it to where it will look like correct shading.

                          EDIT: Here is an image to what I am talking about. The top one is the two shapes, where the bottom is the effect. Excuse the rather mediocre image, as this was whipped up to show the difference in a timely manner.
                          Last edited by palo1; 04-24-2009, 09:05 AM.
                          ~People like me are the reason people like you take medication~
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                          • #14
                            I have only known to do this in raster like godder mentioned. Either by using the dissolve blending mode or with the noise slider in the effects menu.
                            once you convert that into a Spot Channel in the PSD, you should be able to place it into illustrator (of course you can't put it on top of other art, you would have to keep that plate/separation off to the side)

                            I believe this can also be done in the RIP process at some printers with a very corse line screen using Frequency Modulated Screening, essentially converting a regular vignette into random dots.
                            www.standercreative.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eraser Nubbin View Post
                              This may be a bit of a hack work around, but if you want to keep the thing as a vector you could fool around with making a custom scatter brush made of dots and then apply it to a duplicate of your text, underneath the original text.
                              Yeah, I think this is the best way for a roughish vector shadow. To make a regular "blurred/soft-edged" shadow as a vector, you simply use a black/white color blend as an opacity mask for a black or darker colored shape.

                              Both Filter drop shadows and Effect drop shadows are raster. The difference is that filter rasterizes immediately as soon you create it in the Illy file, while Effect remains scalable until you actually output the file into something else (PDF, EPS, etc.). Neither will create vector output - the Effect version simply remakes the effect every time you change or move it in Illy (try moving a 3D object and you'll see exactly how that works ).
                              Last edited by Ned; 04-24-2009, 12:57 PM.
                              Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
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