[Tango-artists] Shadows in Icons
Simon Pascal Klein
klepas at klepas.org
Fri Aug 1 08:59:35 PDT 2008
Shadows should generally be based on the angle of the light source as
per the style guide* but I think—as you pointed out—shadows have
become somewhat inconsistent over time. The style guides notes:
“Having homogenous lighting across all icons also is important for
visual consistency. Tango icons are lit from above, with the light
source slightly to the left. Icons with on the table perspective may
cast a fuzzy shadow on the surface as if the light source came from
the position of the observer.”
Generally we’ve been giving the horizontal expanse of the shadow equal
stretch (if strictly following the guideline, the shadows should cast
slightly further on the right if the light source were to be offset
slightly to the left). I think shadows at 22x22 are discretionary—I
agree that some icons don’t have them whilst others do, but I don’t
think it’s a large issue that needs addressing. Personally, I don’t
mind the slight 1px shadows below some of the 22x icons—particularly
icons that are primarily one large shape as apposed to numerous
smaller shapes stacked.
Setting width:height ratios is a complex task—take into account the
various sizes (16x, 22x, 32x, 48x and hi-res) and the dimensions,
reflectivity and opacity of objects in the icons (e.g. a magnifying
glass will cast very different shadows to that from a large computer
casing). Also the style guide makes no mention how far the light
source is above the object nor how powerful it is.
Ultimately I think this stuff is best left as a discretionary decision
of the artist. If something looks weird or inconsistent I think other
artists are bound to pick up on it eventually and since all icons are
stored in a revision control system anyone can check out a revision,
make the changes they want and suggest merging the improvements.
That noted, I’d be interested in which icons you would recommend
changes—post them to the list and we’ll have a look at them. Thanks
for the comments and welcome to the list.
On 30/07/2008, at 3:25 AM, Ryan Henningsen wrote:
> Why are there shadows under almost all tango and gnome-tango icons?
> It makes sense for a lot of icons like music notes or the magnifying
> glass white would cast a visible shadow underneath them, but not on
> icons like the terminal and text editor where the shadow only
> extends 1px from the actual icon (on size 22 icons). Beyond that
> there isn't a specific dimension for the shadow perspective. Some
> shadows are almost circular while others are extremely elongated.
> Should we have a recommended width:height ratio shadows used in icons?
> This is also my first time sending a message on a mailing list, so I
> hope I did it right!
> Tango-artists mailing list
> Tango-artists at lists.freedesktop.org
Simon Pascal Klein
(e) klepas at klepas.org
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