This guide teaches you how to add shadow to any character set.

Adding Shadows To Character Sets

This is recommended for RPG Maker XP graphics but can be used on any graphics.
First of all you need the following:
  • Photshop (I use CS4 I dont think it matters)
    A Character Set with a transparent background
    Some free time it doesnt take long

Step 1: Adding Transparency to your Character Set

First you have a character set but the background isnt transparen. Easy fix and this should work. Import it into RPG Maker XP. Now go into the
Graphics/Characters folder and then the character set you imported should have a transparent background. Now open it in PhotoShop

Step 2: Fixing the "locked" Layer

First open the character set in PhotoShop
Okay yiou may have noticed that the layer is locked which is bad because we can't add shadows to it.

This is an easy fix. First press Ctrl + A to select the whole image, then go to Edit > Copy to copy the image, now make a new file with the same width and height as your character set. Then go to Edit > Paste to paste the image right in. The Image will look like this:

The layer isnt locked and we can edit it now. But before we do delete the Background layer.

Step 3: Adding the Shadow

Okay so we're about done here. We just got to add the shadow. Right click Layer 1 and go to blending options. You'll see this window.

Now check the box Drop Shadow then click the option so this window appears.

Now I recommend you set it to these settings well this is what I use

It gives a clean image like this and makes it look good (to me) Play around with settings to your liking until you get what you want.

Then File > Save As > filename.png

Congratulations! You have just now (hopefully) successfully added a shadow to your character. This can also be done with battlers, tilesets, and any other rmxp resource. Just follow this guide and add a shadow to any picture!


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Resident Terrapin
Shadows don't work like this, but it's a nice and visual tutorial.
The only way something like this would work would be in something that the character would always be against a wall in, like an indoor level for a 2D sidescrolling game. You have to keep in mind where your light sources are coming from, and what is behind the character, so dynamic lighting is best if one is going to do something like this.
You should draw the shadow at the base of the character frames. And if you do it neatly animated it will be a must. :p
Congratulation for failing to understand the basic concept on how shadows works.
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