Creating Custom Drop Shadows

In this lesson we'll add a custom drop shadow to each of our cars. This is a neat effect that goes beyond the default Shadow style in PowerPoint.

The trick is to use the car image as the basis for the drop shadow. By using the car's shape, you can create a more realistic shadow effect. It only takes an extra minute, but it's well worth the time.

If you're following along, I'm working in Lesson Files > Chapter_03 > CutoutShadow.pptx.

Creating the car-shaped shadow

  1. Begin by inserting a transparent car on your slide
  2. With the car selected, click the Insert > Shapes > Rectangle and drag a rectangle around the bounding box of the car
  3. Right-click the shape and select Format Shape...
  4. From the Fill tab, select Picture or texture fill and navigate to the same car image you inserted on your slide
  5. From the Line Color tab, select No Line to remove the outline from the rectangle
  6. From the Picture Corrections tab, drag the Brightness slider all the way to the left (-100%)
  7. Go up to the Glow and Soft Edges tab and set the Size to a value between 6-12pts. You want some heaving blurring on the image, but you still need it looking like a car shape.
  8. Click Close
  9. Click-drag the top sizing handle down towards the bottom handle
  10. Keep scaling down until the shape barely resembles the car outline
  11. Right-click the shadow and send it to the back.

That's all there is to it. You might find reducing the shadow's transparency helps blend the shadow better with backgrounds.

What's next?

In the next lesson we'll add the paper cutout effect to the car image.

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David Anderson