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5 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

When did you last check? Interactive, whole toolbar, presets, feathering options, cast shadow, etc.

dropshadow.jpg.eb7714a1528aaaacd0de635d1a57eb38.jpg

Very good, but the one I did quickly was poor compared to the others and this is why I didn't include it here. This is no reflection on CorelDraw, which is kit that I've used for years and rate highly. I just didn't have enough time to include a sample that would do it justice. 

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I also believe that drop shadow is different from an outer shadow and comes in many variations. To recreate some things in Affinity I think about how they were created in DP, what we had there was a nicely packaged, user-friendly version of drop shadow creation. Here is my view on how to replicate it in Affinity - using copy, colour, shear and a little gaussian blur if appropriate.  

Drop shadows.png


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I'd say they were perspective shadows.623746688_ScreenShot2019-11-02at21_38_58.thumb.png.4c7304b0532fed4892348be4c27e9430.png
 


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4 hours ago, Cailean said:

I couldn't do a job using only a hammer. 

Don't say that to Thor @Cailean :D


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Very nice, but it is the process that matters. If you follow the light and the red polygon in front of it, then what you see on the layer below is a shadow, not a reflection. It is like looking at your own shadow in front of you when you walk along a road. In this example, though, the shadow is offset from its origin. I could have shown a simple drop shadow of a painting on a wall and the light source creating a shadow beneath and to one side of the painting, but that would not have provided the opportunity to shear the shadow to show the effect of an off-centre light source and the distance between the object and the surface on which the shadow would appear.


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14 minutes ago, Sunset said:

Very nice, but it is the process that matters

If I really need to know how shadows would fall I actually make a mock up in a 3D app but that's just me being nerdy.
shadow.jpg


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45 minutes ago, Sunset said:

It is like looking at your own shadow in front of you when you walk along a road.

A real shadow would be affected by the height variations of the road, how much of it is cast onto things on it in front of you like cars or other pedestrians, the sun angle relative to your stance, & the amount of light reflected from other nearby objects onto the shadow.

All of this is because real shadows are cast by 3 dimensional objects onto other 3 dimensional objects. It is almost impossible to create this look with 2 dimensional shadow effects, including with drop, perspective, outer shadow, or any other kinds.


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Agreed, with the Sun that low, the shadow would be much more stretched. And a small intense light source like the Sun in a clear sky creates sharp edges near the object, not blurred at all.

Here is a quick 3d render with a physical sky and Sun at an elevation of 20 degrees. The scale of the platform is around 2 by 4 meters.

sunskyshadow.thumb.png.32394b9bd4593aa68e0507bf4a40ed22.png

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20 minutes ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Agreed, with the Sun that low, the shadow would be much more stretched. And a small intense light source like the Sun in a clear sky creates sharp edges near the object, not blurred at all.

To be obsessively picky about it, even on a totally clear day shadow edges are not totally sharp due to atmospheric light scattering effects. That is one of the most striking things about the photos taken by astronauts on the moon: shadows are razor sharp & utterly black because the moon has no appreciable atmosphere to scatter light.


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Weird, I can't seem to edit the previous message...

Yes, you are correct, and I am also aware of those effects and the various atmospheric conditions (or lack thereof) which may all contribute to different shadows produced.

It's really a quite fascinating topic. Gets more intricate the more light sources are added, as well as the bouncing of light around a scene/environment.

Back on topic: I still do think it is rather odd that Affinity uses a different term than most other software, aside from the discussion whether "Drop Shadow" or "Outer Shadow" is preferred semantically. 

And I feel a smart looking default effect, rather than "nothing", when applying an effect is user friendlier, and provides direct visual feedback, which is now lacking. I also agree that an option should be added to isolate the layer effects from other styling parameters in the Styles in Affinity.

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5 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Affinity uses a different term than most other software, aside from the discussion whether "Drop Shadow" or "Outer Shadow" i

¨Perhaps it was to distinguish the 2 options "inside shadow" and "outer shadow". In perspective, we call it "ombre portée", that would transate in "dropped shadow", but without this background, I would find "inner" and "outer" more logical terms, since they refer to the position from the object.

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3 hours ago, ErrkaPetti said:

Still, can't understand the upset here about drop shadow into Affinity Publisher...

Apub is such a wonderful app that at least me can live with the fact that outer shadow has to be edited to work well...

It is indeed a minor inconvenience. But minor inconveniences may add up:

  • layer effect settings are not remembered and always reset to "none"
  • the styles lack an option to save only layer effects (some workarounds exist, but that's the point, isn't it? It all adds up.)
  • the default settings don't "do" anything, and arguably take extra steps compared to most other software, which do start with a common default setting.

Taken together, users might get frustrated. I myself have noticed quite a few of these small workflow niggles throughout the Affinity applications.

That said, I couldn't care less whether it is named a "drop shadow" or "outer shadow". What counts is if the required effect can be achieved - and it is readily possible in Affinity, even if the workflow is a bit wonky.

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Remember these are 2D effects attempting to create the illusion of 3D, There is a plugin called Shadowify for Photoshop which tries to improve on the shadow effects: https://creativemarket.com/h3design/4017333-Shadowify-Blur-Shadow-Kit I don't know if it would work with Affinity, I doubt it but a suped up shadow effect would be a good asset to have.


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From my initial question asking for the location of the drop shadow effect in Publisher, this has turned into a very interesting discussion with lots of different views. 

Debate is healthy and informative and the reason why many forums exist. 

Also if we have concerns over a product, whether good or bad, the developers will be able to take these on board for future uodates, which again is a good reason for debate. 

Thank you everyone for your input. I've picked up a few useful tips. 

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As a video producer with a few years under my not inconsiderable sized belt, I am in total disbelief at the length of this thread.

In caption/title creation software including Adobe software ( I author DVD/BluRay with Encore and still have an older version of Photoshop) outer shadow and drop shadow are one and the same - bit like pasta dough - roll it flat you have Lasagne sheets, cut it into  thin strips you have Tagliatelle. SAME DOUGH!!!!

Even where there is a one click option, inevitably variables still need to be adjusted. I would conceed the option to "save as a favourite or as a default" would be useful, but as long as I can copy and paste the effect, then that's fine. I would suggest that in the creative process in different situations NO TWO SHADOWS ARE THE SAME so the ability to change any variable including colour, to achieve the look is what counts.... for serious users!.

I would add that in my aging version of Quark, shadow was either ON or OFF and was [expleted deleted] OK pretty useless :/

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The best thing about this thread is that it has been healthy discussion and very interesting.

Some of us used Serif's previous software for many years and we got used to the comfort of having some processes 'pre-packaged' - pre-packaged but infinitely variable as to width, length, shear, opacity, offset, blur and orientation (and maybe more), it was so easy that we never had to really think about how a shadow was created, but we knew all about how to get the effect that we wanted and the right effect for the job - as has been mentioned, unless you are doing a series of identical projects, all shadows are different.

The interesting thing for me, with Affinity, has been coming out of that comfort zone and thinking about what was in those 'pre-packaged' tools. At first I missed the convenience of the older options and, because I do different things these days, this thread made me look at shearing shadows for the first time - and by time I'd done those very simple examples, I was perfectly at home with it all. I have absolutely loved all the conversations though, from here to the sun and the moon and back again. Thank you to Cailean who asked the question - and welcome to Affinity! - and to everyone else who has joined in.


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FWIW, I started thinking about possible workarounds for the no defaults/no presets issue, which got me wondering if macros would work for this. Of course, that requires a copy of Affinity Photo so Publisher's Photo Persona becomes available via StudioLink, so there is that.

Anyway, macros that create drop shadows do work, after a fashion ... but I discovered some odd quirks & limitations. I would like to know if others see the same quirkiness, so I have attached Shadow Macros experiments.afmacros & Shadow test objects.afpub you can experiment with if you want.

The test objects file includes frame & artistic text, a Curves object, a Cog 'quick shape,' a pixel object, an embedded .afphoto file, & a placed JPEG. The macros work with all of them:

113867635_droppedshadows.jpg.4b95c0cbed1511714d7a321a53f03c7d.jpg

There are 2 macros, named mild & medium, differing only in the amount of offset they create.

Of course, I can create others with different offsets or radii, but when I try to use the gear icon & enable the 'eye' to create a macro with any runtime adjustments, for some reason the macro forces the target object to be rasterized. This does not happen if I just change the value to a different one without enabling runtime adjustments (which simplifies creating other non-adjustable macros) but all of these macros work by creating a parent Group layer with the effect applied to it & the target object as its child. Like I said, it's quirky.

Another quirk to be aware of is that the angle in the gear popup in the "Set effect offset / angle" macro step is (usually?) wrong -- in both my macros it shows as 45° but the actual angle applied is 135°.  Changing the angle in the macro step to other values may add 180° or some other angle to the actual angle but sometimes not. The same thing happens if the macros are used in Affinity Photo, so I think this is a bug.

Another limitation is that only the radius, offset, & angle effect adjustments are included in the macro -- opacity, color, etc. are MIA, but could be set after the macro is applied.


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Well as said before, for FX Effects just use Styles to keep them persistence and to reapply beyond document boundaries. Other than that, once a shadow effect is created the way you like, you can use plain copy and paste effect or paste style in order to reapply that to other objects. - This works usually seamless in and between all Affinity products.


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52 minutes ago, Sunset said:

The best thing about this thread is that it has been healthy discussion and very interesting.

Some of us used Serif's previous software for many years and we got used to the comfort of having some processes 'pre-packaged' - pre-packaged but infinitely variable as to width, length, shear, opacity, offset, blur and orientation (and maybe more), it was so easy that we never had to really think about how a shadow was created, but we knew all about how to get the effect that we wanted and the right effect for the job - as has been mentioned, unless you are doing a series of identical projects, all shadows are different.

The interesting thing for me, with Affinity, has been coming out of that comfort zone and thinking about what was in those 'pre-packaged' tools. At first I missed the convenience of the older options and, because I do different things these days, this thread made me look at shearing shadows for the first time - and by time I'd done those very simple examples, I was perfectly at home with it all. I have absolutely loved all the conversations though, from here to the sun and the moon and back again. Thank you to Cailean who asked the question - and welcome to Affinity! - and to everyone else who has joined in.

Thank you too and I agree that this has been a very interesting discussion. I also came from a PagePlus background, having used and loved the software from its original "Tiger" logo version, right up to X9. I also came from an Aldus Pagemaker background, which became Adobe Pagemaker and then Adobe made Indesign. Because of these programs I got used to having quickly applied presets which I could use as a start point and tweak if required.

It's interesting for end users and informative for the software developers to have discussions like this, even the opinionated ones. It's how we learn and develop, and it's how the software developers learn and develop for future upgrades.

Thank you to everyone for their contributions.

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57 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Well as said before, for FX Effects just use Styles to keep them persistence and to reapply beyond document boundaries. Other than that, once a shadow effect is created the way you like, you can use plain copy and paste effect or paste style in order to reapply that to other objects. - This works usually seamless in and between all Affinity products.

saving as a style in Publisher is allso saving the text style, and paste style does allso paste the text effect.

only paste effect would work here..


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1 hour ago, v_kyr said:

Well as said before, for FX Effects just use Styles to keep them persistence and to reapply beyond document boundaries.

I am not sure what you mean about beyond the boundaries but as has been mentioned more than once, the problem with using Styles for this is the style cannot apply only the FX but also applies every other property of the object that the style was created from:

726807992_shadowstyle.jpg.bce3d0b8041c239c342a93a3a98bc6c8.jpg

So I do not understand how using styles could work around that. :S


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35 minutes ago, dutchshader said:

saving as a style in Publisher is allso saving the text style, and paste style does allso paste the text effect.

only paste effect would work here..

  • Styles = for persistency save/load, keep in styles panel for several docs etc. So instead reusing that for missing presets here.
  • Paste Effects = Take just the effect if only that is needed, from an object which has the needed effect applied.  If it's a style copy and paste effect.

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create assets of your shadows and drag them in,copy the asset,paste fx and there you have presets with the opportunity to apply with just the shadow.

make sure to check the "scale with object"

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37 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I am not sure what you mean about beyond the boundaries

Well you know what persistence is, you also know that a style panel category keeps to be there when opening multiple different docs or closing/reopening the app.

39 minutes ago, R C-R said:

...the problem with using Styles for this is the style cannot apply only the FX but also applies every other property of the object that the style was created from:

That's why there is Paste Effect which I mentioned together, use a style copy and apply the effect from that. - Can't be that difficult to understand how to reuse instead what is already there in the software as a workaround for missing presets here or?


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