Easily Create Object Shadows In Illustrator

Making an image, icon, logo, etc. standout to someone is not an easy task. If you want an object to really pop out of the page and grab someone’s attention, then adding a shadow can really help. It is an easy trick and can be be done by a pro in illustrator all the way down to someone who has just opened the program for the first time. It only takes 3 steps to make making this a quick addition to any design to add a little pop. So lets begin with a beach ball by itself to see how much a simple shadow can add.

Starting product:


step 1:

Select the ellipse tool and create a circle like the image below

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 8.40.26 AM          Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 8.40.48 AM

step 2:

Make sure there is no outline and the shape is filled with black.

step 3:

While the shape is selected, add a feather effect to the object. At this point you can play around with the look of the shadow by changing the pixel radius up for less fill and down to create more fill.

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 8.41.15 AM     Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 8.41.36 AM

Now we can place our object over top of the shadow to create a 3d effect and allow our object to really stand out.

Final product:

Screen shot 2013-03-20 at 8.41.56 AM

Once the shadow is created it can also be copied and pasted into Photoshop by simply selecting the circle and copying and pasting into Photoshop. You can also get creative with this type of shadow through different shapes and for more advanced options, you can use the pen tool to create custom shapes.

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