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How to Add Edge Shadow to Upholstery Texture


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You know how you can purchase an upholstery or other fabric texture with a blended shadow around all four edges?  Well, if you have a plain upholstery texture and you want to add that shadow, how do you do that in GIMP?  (Please give thestep-by-step "dummies" answer.  lol.   I'm still learning how to use GIMP.)

Thanks for the help!

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There are a couple ways to make a shadow for your texture in GIMP.  The easiest way is to use the "Drop Shadow" filter [ Filters > Light and shadow > Drop shadow ].  You'll get a dialog to define the drop shadow.  The default settings are X = 8, Y = 8, Blur radius = 15, Color = black, Opacity = 80, and the box to "Allow resizing" is checked (this is important because the drop shadow is going to increase the pixel size of the final texture).  Accept the defaults or adjust to your needs (you might have to experiment to find what you want or need).   Once you click "OK" the filter will create a new layer under the layer you want the drop shadow placed.  The next step is to go back to the "Drop shadow" filter and repeat the process except that you change the settings for X and Y to the same number but make them negative in value (X = -8 and Y = -8).  That will give you another layer placed under the texture layer that is 180 degrees rotated from the first drop shadow layer giving you a shadow all the way around your texture.  Now, since the drop shadow increased the pixels both horizontally and vertically to accommadate the drop shadow your image size has to be increased.  The way I do that is to merge the two drop shadow layers into one layer (don't merge all your layers incase you want or need to modify them later).  Then under the "Image" menu click "Fit canvas to layers".  That will increase your image size to accommadate the drop shadow and the size that you were working at will change.  You need to remember that when you do your final save for uploading to SL  For instance if you are working at 1024 X 1024 pixels after you fit the canvas to your layers your size might be 1044 X 1044..........you'll need to scale your image back down to 1024 X 1024 so that you don't get distortion or let the SL software do the resizing for you (it sucks big time).

 

There's a few other ways but that's the most straight forward and probably the quickest.

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I'm not quite sure that I understand what you want.   If you simply want to take a square texture and make a graded shadow around all four edges, you can do that easily enough. One way is to add a new layer, pick up the background color from your fabric, darken it a bit, and apply it with your gradient tool set to grade from zero at the center to about 30% fill at the edges. Add a second new layer, repeat the process, and turn it 90 degrees.  You'll have to play with the gradient a bit to get exactly what you want, but that should do the trick.

Thing is, I don't know if that's what you are looking for.  If you apply that texture to a piece of furniture, the shadowed parts could show up anywhere.  If you truly want good-looking shadows on specific parts of your furniture, you'll have to do a very careful job of custom shading each texture that you apply to the furniture.  That's a real pain.  It's a bit easier if you are texturing sculpty furniture, but you'll still need to work with a 3D modelling program to paint and then bake the shadows.

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Variations of: [1] Open texture in GIMP (left); [2]Add new transparent layer and [3] set mode to Multiply; [4] Use Gradient tool with default gradient, square, reverse and [5] drag from center to edge (panel 2); [6] Open Tools-Color->Curves; drag top right handle to 1/4 way across the top, and bottom left handle to 1/4 way up the left side (panel 3);  [7] layer->Merge down (panel 4).

shadowedge.png

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I hope it would have been enough for me to find the functions and work out the details, and learn about gradients and the curves while playing with them. That's the best way to learn, isn't it? Not worth more, as it's only to show another alternative. Actually, I had a better picture with all the controls as well, but dear old GIMP crashed befor I finished it, and I guess I am just too lazy.

:matte-motes-crying:

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I understand exactly what you are saying.  I'm one to push myself when I want to learn something.....but, I also know that I create so many problems for myself by attempting stuff before I understand the basics.  The question was how to make a shadow for a texture that is all the way around the texture.  I can think of about a half dozen ways to do that.......great for me. :)  However, I get the distinct impression the poster of this thread is not all that experienced with image editing programs (let alone GIMP)...........I wanted to keep it simple and to the specific question.  The drop shadow filter does what the question asked.  Actually Rolig's response is what I really think the question is implying.......but, man, that requires some experience with layers and shading.  I just don't think that was the question.

 

I could be wrong.

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My thanks to all of you, and I will give all of the suggestions a try.  And your impression is correct--I am a novice.  I am willing to work hard to learn, but there aren't many good references out there--at least not references about using GIMP for SL applications.  One of you needs to write a "GIMP for Dummies" book--seriously.  I'd buy it!  :matte-motes-grin:

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I wish I had the skll to write something like that.  I was so frustrated when I first started trying to make textures for SL and everything was for Photoshop.  The technique and process is identical...........really, it is.  GIMP, being open source and having slightly different methods (terminology?), makes it hard to make the connections (online referrences, for the most part, assume some level of experience with imaging programs) did not help much..acttually they created more confusion than anything.  I finally decided that I had to bite the bullet and start from the beginning........I bought a book on Amazon.com.  That book taught me be basics and all that Photoshop stuff I read about in the tutorials and explainations started to make sense.  I figured that it's going to take time (for me, it was about 6 months) to figure out how to do what I wanted to do........it's been a very pleasant road since then.  :matte-motes-big-grin:

 

The book I purchased was "Beginning GIMP from Novice to Profession" by Akkana Peck.  Easy reading, and step by step instructions for anything you want to do with imagies (textures).  I paid about $30 USD some 4 years ago.....it's worth every penny.

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Something else you might consider is checking out the Gimp class offered through Builders Brewery, or run a search Education Events to see what is offered in world.  Builders Brewery offers a myriad of classes on a variety of topics each week and the classes are free...although, it is common courtesy to tip the person teaching the class.

I recently attended  a BB  class on shadows done in  GIMP (I use photoshop), which sounds like what you are looking for.   It was held in voice.  I can't recall the person's name who taught the class but I believe he offers a basic series of classes offered in relatoinship to GIMP.  TP to the main LM and join the group so you are notified of upcoming classes.

Here are a couple of links I found by googling--I think the Youtube one is what you are currently looking for. 



http://gimp.pixtuts.com/gimp-tutorials/effects/realistic-shadow

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