Ppmshadow User Manual(0)                              Ppmshadow User Manual(0)


       ppmshadow - add simulated shadows to a PPM image


       ppmshadow [-b blur_size] [-k] [-t] [-x xoffset] [-y yoffset] [ppmfile]


       This program is part of Netpbm(1).

       ppmshadow  adds  a  simulated shadow to an image, giving the appearance
       that the contents of the image float above the page, casting a  diffuse
       shadow  on  the  background.   Shadows  can either be black, as cast by
       opaque objects, or translucent, where the shadow takes on the color  of
       the object which casts it.  You can specify the crispness of the shadow
       and its displacement from the image with command line options.

       ppmshadow sees your image as a foreground on a background.   The  back-
       ground  color  is  whatever  color the top left pixel of your image is.
       The background is all the pixels that are that color and the foreground
       is everything else.  The shadow that ppmshadow generates is a shadow of
       the foreground, cast on the background.

       The shadow is the same size as the foreground,  plus  some  fringes  as
       determined  by  the  -b  option.  It is truncated to fit in your image.
       The output image is the same dimensions as the input image.

       You can use pamcomp to place  a  foreground  image  over  a  background
       before  running ppmshadow on it.  You can use ppmmake to make the back-
       ground image (just an image of a solid color).


       -b blur_size
              Sets the distance of the light source from  the  image.   Larger
              values  move  the  light  source  closer, casting a more diffuse
              shadow, while smaller settings  move  the  light  further  away,
              yielding a sharper shadow.  blur_size is the number of pixels of
              fringe there is on the shadow, beyond where the shadow would  be
              if there were no blurring.

              The default is 11 pixels.

              Note  that this option controls only the fringing effect of mov-
              ing the light source closer to the object.  It does not make the
              shadow  grow or shrink as would happpen in the real world if you
              moved a point light source closer to and further from an object.

       -k     Keep  the  intermediate  temporary image files.  When debugging,
              these intermediate files provide many clues as to the source  of
              an error.  See below  for a list of the contents of each file.

       -t     Consider the non-background material in the image translucent --
              it casts shadows of its own color rather than  a  black  shadow,
              which  is  default.   This often results in fuzzy, difficult-to-
              read images but in some circumstances may look better.

       -x xoffset
              Specifies the displacement of the light source to  the  left  of
              the  image.   Larger  settings of xoffset displace the shadow to
              the right, as would be cast by a light further to the left.   If
              not  specified,  the  horizontal  offset  is  half  of blur_size
              (above), to the left.

       -y yoffset
               Specifies the displacement of the light source above the top of
              the image.  Larger settings displace the shadow downward, corre-
              sponding to moving the light further above the top of the image.
              If  you  don’t  specify  -y, the vertical offset defaults to the
              same as the horizontal offset (above), upward.


       Input is a PPM file named by the ppmfile command line argument; if  you
       don’t specify ppmfile, the input is Standard Input.

       The output is a PPM file, written to Standard Output.

       ppmshadow  creates a number of temporary files as it executes.  It cre-
       ates a new directory for them, /tmp/ppmshadowpid, where pid is the pro-
       cess  ID  of the ppmshadow process.  If the TMPDIR environment variable
       is set, ppmshadow creates the directory there instead of /tmp.

       In normal operation, ppmshadow deletes each temporary file as  soon  as
       it  is done with it and leaves no debris around after it completes.  To
       preserve the intermediate files for debugging, use the -k command  line

       The temporary files are:

              A copy of the input.

              Positive binary mask

              Convolution kernel for blurring shadow

              Blurred, colored shadow image

              Blurred shadow image before coloring

              Clipped shadow image, offset as requested

              Blank image with background of source image

              Offset shadow

              Inverse mask file

              Just  the  foreground.   Rest  is  black.   Original image times
              inverse mask.

              Generated shadow times positive mask

              Everything but the foreground (foreground area is black).


       The source image must contain sufficient space  on  the  edges  in  the
       direction  in  which  the shadow is cast to contain the shadow -- if it
       doesn’t some of the internal steps may fail.  You  can  usually  expand
       the  border  of  a too-tightly-cropped image with pnmmargin before pro-
       cessing it with ppmshadow.

       Black pixels and pixels with the same color  as  the  image  background
       don’t  cast  a  shadow.   If  this  causes unintentional ’holes’ in the
       shadow, fill the offending areas with a color which differs from  black
       or  the  background  by RGB values of 1, which will be imperceptible to
       the viewer.  Since the comparison is exact, the modified areas will now
       cast shadows.

       The  background  color  of  the source image (which is preserved in the
       output) is deemed to be the color of the pixel at the top left  of  the
       input  image.  If that pixel isn’t part of the background, simply add a
       one-pixel border at the top of the image, generate  the  shadow  image,
       then delete the border from it.

       If something goes wrong along the way, the error messages from the var-
       ious Netpbm programs ppmshadow calls will, in general,  provide  little
       or  no  clue  as to where ppmshadow went astray.  In this case, Specify
       the -k option and examine the intermediate  results  in  the  temporary
       files  (which this option causes to be preserved).  If you manually run
       the commands that ppmshadow runs on these files,  you  can  figure  out
       where  the  problem  is.   In  problem cases where you want to manually
       tweak the image generation process along the  way,  you  can  keep  the
       intermediate  files with the -k  option, modify them appropriately with
       an image editor, then recombine them with the steps used by the code in

       See  the  ppmshadow.doc  file  in the Netpbm source tree for additional
       details and examples of the intermediate files and debugging ppmshadow.

       Shadows  are  by default black, as cast by opaque material in the image
       occluding white light.  Use the -t option to simulate translucent mate-
       rial,  where the shadow takes on the color of the object that casts it.
       If the contrast between the image and background is  insufficient,  the
       -t option may yield unattractive results which resemble simple blurring
       of the original image.

       Because Netpbm used to have a maximum maxval of 255, which  meant  that
       the  largest  convolution  kernel  pnmconvol  could  use  was 11 by 11,
       ppmshadow includes a horrid, CPU-time-burning kludge which, if  a  blur
       of  greater  than 11 is requested, performs an initial convolution with
       an 11 x 11 kernel, then calls pnmsmooth (which is itself a program that
       calls  pnmconvol  with  a  3 x 3 kernel) as many times as the requested
       blur exceeds 11.  It’s ugly, but it gets the job  done  on  those  rare
       occasions where you need a blur greater than 11.

       If  you  wish to generate an image at high resolution, then scale it to
       publication size with pamscale in order to eliminate  jagged  edges  by
       resampling, it’s best to generate the shadow in the original high reso-
       lution image, prior to scaling it down in size.  If you scale first and
       then  add the shadow, you’ll get an unsightly jagged stripe between the
       edge of material and its shadow, due to resampled  pixels  intermediate
       between the image and background obscuring the shadow.


       ppmshadow  returns status 0 if processing was completed without errors,
       and a nonzero Unix error code if an error prevented generation of  out-
       put.  Some errors may result in the script aborting, usually displaying
       error messages from various Netpbm components it uses, without  return-
       ing  a  nonzero error code.  When this happens, the output file will be
       empty, so be sure to test this if you need to know if the program  suc-


       pnm(1), pnmmargin(1), pnmconvol(1), pamscale(1), pnmsmooth(1), ppm(1)


       John Walker http://www.fourmilab.ch  August 8, 1997


       This  software  is in the public domain.  Permission to use, copy, mod-
       ify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose
       and  without  fee is hereby granted, without any conditions or restric-

netpbm documentation             17 April 2005        Ppmshadow User Manual(0)

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