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Re: go-home echo icon concept

Maybe we should at least consider whether the darkest color at the first end should be solid or semitransparent. If it would be semitranpsparent than the amount of lightness in that point could be handled only by the transparency. As it is in real world - when the object which casts the shadow is nearer than the shadow is darker and less blurry, in oposite way a light find its way (due to diffraction and dispersion) and allows us to see more details of background and less details in a shadow. So we could in that case decide the basic values - when the shadow is casted from a solid object directly above - and the other values simply would be an alternation of these - like in the case of glass more degree of transparency. Do you think this could work well? I think shadows for an icon set should be consistent.

Diana Fong wrote:
The shadow, quickly examined, is a sort of gradient with the darkest (sometimes solid) color at one end (often closest/touching the object) and a transition to transparent pixels at the other thus allowing the sense of integration with the panel, background, and such. The general guideline provided was to describe my approach of using a dark gray as the starting point for the shadow's gradient. When creating the initial icons I often found myself creating far too dark shadows if I started with black. When creating several of these icons a day, I easily found my shadows getting darker and darker. Thus starting with a dark gray, instead of black, helped me take care of this problem and thus my posted suggestion to other contributors.
What should the values be?

Colors and shapes are relative. Artists should be encouraged to use their artistic sense in determining relative colors, with the posted palette as a base guideline. A color determined for one icon might not work as well for another, thus the value added by artists who can visually compensate and flexibly combine colors and shapes to create pieces that work both as an individual icon and as part of the whole set. An example of this is...system-search...the tilt of the object requires darker shadows near the handle and a lighter shadow cast by the glass itself. Compare this icon to any of the others that sit directly on surface, such as applications-internet, the shadows for those are slightly darker.

With that said, I am not opposed to further clarifying, correcting, or expanding the initial guidelines. With specific questions such as the ones raised about Stars and Pluses, the guidelines can be made to be more detailed and informative. This is an ongoing project. Presenting works in progress, runs the risk of missing and inadequate information. However, these can be constructively discussed, proposed, and remedied.

To address this specific issue, I still stand with my recommendation of starting with a dark gray instead of black. Due to the blur aspect of the shadow, it seemed somewhat obvious that the shadow would be semitransparent...but this can be specifically added in the guidelines for additional clarity. As for the exact value of dark gray...perhaps Luya can propose (and Martin or others can confirm) a few Hex Values, since the shadows on the emotion icons seem to be good starting points. However, I would like to stress again, that these numbers should really be used as references, allowing artists the flexibility to tweak as appropriate from icon to icon.

Diana Fong
Red Hat
Visual Designer | Desktop Group

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