Deke's Techniques 518: Cast 3D Font Shadows in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke creates cast shadows for some colorful 3D-style letters in Illustrator.

Namely, he begins by riffing off last week's episode on chromatic type with these chunky, decorative Zebrawood-set letters:

Zebrawood-set letters with color added

And turns them (and the "blocks" that they sit upon) into full-fledged shadow-casting objects.

Three dimensional letters with cast shadows in Illustrator

The trick here is to capture the outline of the letters, offset it, then use the Transform effect to create the shadow (which is really just a 50% opacity fill repeated many---160, in fact---times down and to the left. For example, the red selection here is the the unfilled outline for the number 9 around which these "shadows" proliferate:

The outline is offset then duplicated to make the "shadow"

You can see how it all works in the video without having to bend your brain around faux-wood blocks of letters.

Deke's Techniques, casting fabricated shadows to make your message more virtually substantive!

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