How to Add Shadow to any Character Set

Started by G_G, April 03, 2009, 12:43:26 am

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April 03, 2009, 12:43:26 am Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 12:45:21 am by game_guy
Adding Shadows To Character Sets

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.
Image is Large: ShowHide

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:
Spoiler: ShowHide

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.
Spoiler: ShowHide

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

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

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.
Spoiler: ShowHide

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!


That is an incorrect way to go, since in RMXP you add shadows on the ground. If you actually use this in RMXP, it will look pretty stupid. :\

Take an example from TLoL IV, the way the shadows are done.


I know you can add shadows through scripts but is there another way? I've never heard of another way and I dont like using Shadow scripts they're really laggy (for me at least)


Wrong section...

Also, the way you're unlocking the layer could lead to misalignment...

The better way to do it is to go to Image > Mode > RGB


Game_guy, you missed my point. I wasn't referring to any script, I was talking about how the shadow generated.


Nothing fancy, just simple.



The shadow Arshes has there makes him look like he's on the ground dying or just has something plain wrong. This really isn't a great way to add shadows. In a bird's eye view, objects that are erect have a shadow usually under them, not like that. This would work better for other things that aren't requiring perspective.

The way you corrected the Background isn't optimal as well. It works though, haha.

The way I do it is double clicking on it, making it go into the Layer Window, and then pressing OK. It'll be named as Layer 0, but hey, the name changed and that's it. No more lock. :P

What's osu!? It's a rhythm game. Thought I should have a signature with a working rank. ;P It's now clickable!
Still Aqua's biggest fan (Or am I?).


Maybe if some mugger pushed him against a wall it'd look realistic. I dunno I can imagine it now xD

Mugger "Tired of your stupid crap always showing up in crappy RMXP games and never making it fun >:U"



To unlock a layer you can Duplicate it (the duplicate won't be locked) then Delete the original. That's how I do it in CS5 at least.

EZ Destroyer

shadow seems weird. shouldnt it be on the floor?


That has already been said.

Quote from: DeathLock on April 03, 2009, 12:50:37 am
That is an incorrect way to go, since in RMXP you add shadows on the ground. If you actually use this in RMXP, it will look pretty stupid. :\

Take an example from TLoL IV, the way the shadows are done.

Please don't necro old topics if you have nothing relevant to say (both Hixomdido and EZ Destroyer).
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EZ Destroyer

very sorry. didnt see the date of the last post.


Since there is some renewed interest in this...

I use Gimp, so I'm not sure of the relative function in PS, but Gimp has a shadow type called "Perspective Shadow"
which results in something like this:

You need to break each cell or row into layers, then apply the shadow setting the horizon distance to whatever the max is (48.?)
You can set the angle, length, blur parameters to create something pretty realistic.
This example uses a "down-left" light source, so you'd set it more "up-left" to match the RTP

Be Well

EZ Destroyer