Today, we’re going to have a tutorial on how to do lifted shadows on twine or string on a layout.

We’re going to get started with this beautiful twine element with stars.  For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to use the stars as a brad element that is holding the string down on the paper, so the string will be coming up off the page much more than the brads will.  The background is just a piece of cream cardstock for visibility’s sake.

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Let’s add a medium shadow to the string and brad element to start us off.  Double click on your string element to bring up your layer style dialog box.  Click on drop shadow, and select a shadow that works for you that pops your element off of the page a bit.  My settings are as follows:

Blend Mode: Linear Burn (color black)
Opacity: 35%
Angle: 90%
Distance: 25%
Spread: 15%
Size: 20%

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This looks pretty good, but we can make it look better.  Let’s right click on the FX on the layers pallet of our twine element, and a drop down menu will appear.  We will select ‘create layer’.

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Now we have a layer for our twine element on top, then a layer for our shadow under that, then our cardstock.  This gives us the option to change the shadow without changing the twine element.  The options are endless!  Make sure your shadow layer is selected (the middle layer), and select your transform tool (CTRL T or Command T).  This will put a bounding box around your shadow.

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Now go to Edit – Transform – Warp.  This will change your bounding box and add more controls for us to manipulate your shadows.  (You can also go to the top of your menu bar and choose the “warp” icon if you have that open in your menus.)

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Now you can pull on the blue dots and manipulate the string’s shadow to pull it away from the page.  Leave the shadow close to the stars, and pull it away, especially from the ends of the strings and the places where the shadow would be far away – like the top loop of the string.  Play with it a little bit – you can always undo and try again.  When you are satisfied, click the arrow to confirm.

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Your possibilities are endless, and it really does make a huge difference when you’re working with strings and twine.  I hope you’ll experiment with warping your shadows, and not just on strings.  More ‘uplifted’ shadows are to come.  Be sure to check out the rest of the LAD Uplifted prompts in the forum to get tutorials and prompts and a free collection as you participate.  We’d love to see you around!

Here is a link for creating a warped shadow in Affinity Photo.

And here is a link for creating a warped shadow in Photoshop Elements.  It also mentions some shadow effects for Paint Shop Pro.