drop shadow

what is it?
drop shadow is a highly effective, fun, and 'tres cool' plug-in for iMovie that lets you float any graphic above your clip - and cast a drop shadow onto the clip's surface. what's so special about 'drop shadow' is that it detects the artwork's shape itself, and draws the drop shadow accordingly. add to this it's ability to 'gaussblur' the shadow, and controls to specify height and direction of the shadow, and you have one exciting plug-in that'll make Final Cut Pro owners green with envy (and no, this plug does not work with FCP).

you may use any still graphic to be floated above the clip. the plug will automatically detect the background, and cut it out. what remains is a shape (with holes if you like) that casts a shadow on the clip below.

to achieve it's magic, this plug-in combines parts of our 'chromakey' plugs (invisible color detection, shadow strategies), simple mask (shadow masking), gaussblur (blurring the shadow's edges), simple canvas (composition), snow flakes (just kidding), and darken/brighten (darkening strategies).

of course, this plug also supports 'live preview'. users beware, however: gaussian blurs are known for their tendency to crush unworthy processors. if you engage 'diffuse' shadows, you'd better have a fast processor, or live tracking of changes will make chess look like an action title (since the shadow mask is generated only while placing and resizing the source, the effect is quite fast during application of the effect, however). we recommend that you set the diffuse parameter as the last step before applying it to the clip.

what should I use it for?

use this plug whenever you want to place some artwork above your clip that should cast a shadow. use it for

 

price : USD 3.50

version 1.0.0

strongly not to engage this in conjunction with 'live preview' - unless you have a powerful mac. always use this slider as the last step in your configurations.

shadow x, shadow y
use these sliders to position the drop shadow,. if both sliders are centered, the shadow will be positioned exactly below the logo.

movie slider, left, right
allows you to access the whole movie and pre-view the effect

live preview
when checked, the effect will be applied to the current frame. warning: do not use this in conjunction with diffuse unless you have a sufficiently fast processor, or you'll wait.

 

shadow source setup dialog

logo source
this pane contains the artwork that will be used to create the shadow base

shadow base
this is the basic shape that will cast a shadow on the clip. black pixels will be opaque, and cast a shadow. white pixels will be transparent and show the original clip.

load picture
use this button to use the artwork that is to be used for creating the shadow.

original frame
pressing this button will force the active area to assume the exact dimensions of the picture loaded from file. use it to ensure 1:1 proportions of your artwork.

invisible color
this box shows the currently active 'invisible color'. when generating the shadow base from the artwork, all pixels that are this color will become transparent

note that you cannot set the invisible color from this dialog. go to the main configuration dialog to set the invisible color.

tolerance
this slider defines how closely a color must match the invisible color to be recognized as invisible. full left means exact match, full right means any color will match.

tighten shadow
this option engages a pre-processor that helps eliminating background spill when resizing artwork, or if you used an anti-aliased pen close to the border of the artwork.

 

all contents 2003-2010 by cf/x

 

- watermarks
- logos
- titles
- annotations

features

active rect
your logo artwork will be sized to exactly fit into this rectangular area. to move, click and drag inside it. to resize, click and drag it's handles.

select all
pressing this button will select the whole clip's surface as the active area

invisible color
this box shows the color that the shadow processor will ignore (i.e. regard as invisible). all other colors in your logo will obscure the clip and cast a shadow. to pick a color, either use the eye dropper or color picker.

note:
a lot of thought has gone into putting the invisible color selector in this dialog, and not in the shadow source setup dialog. after using the plug for some time during development, we found that this was the best place to put it.

shadow source/source
click this button to call up the shadow source dialog

diffuse
drop shadow can employ a powerful gaussian blur algorithm to make the drop shadow appear more smoothly. warning: although we strongly suggest that you use this feature, we suggest even more