Drop shadows.

Images that are cut out often appear stark against a white background. Shadows can not only alleviate that effect but also create a more natural looking picture. Quite often this can be achieved by modifying and retaining an existing shadow. Alternatively, a shadow may be created artificially. We show examples of both methods below.

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Natural shadows are often better than artificial ones, especially when there is reflected or transmitted colour present. In the examples above, clipping paths were used to isolate the subject from the background, which was then lightened to create a cutout, whilst retaining normal shadow tone.

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Artificial shadows may be created to replace natural shadows if they're not suitable or, in some cases, not present.