Shadow Effects, Methods
Just wanted to run over shadow effects, so get ready to be dazzled! Woo :) Ok I found these a long time ago, and it's a popular site anyway but A List Apart is a treasure trove, great place to sit and absorb. And funny to say, I was reading today somewhere and some guru had quoted Picasso who had mentioned all good artists copy, and great artists steal! Don't be afraid to copy something directly and modify it to your needs, because trust me, someone is going to do it to you. Consider it part of the way the web works.
The Onion Skinned Drop Shadow Effect
Come on that's a great name! The effect works rather well too but personally I only used it once or twice, I had some positioning problems that weren't related to the effect itself that I couldn't resolve at the time at my level of knowledge at the time. Try it out though, their instructions as always, are direct and to the point.
CSS Drop Shadows I (and II) Fuzzy Shadows
These are both good methods, I used them a lot. In particular they make strong use of PNG files with their GIF equivalents. I tend to try to use PNGs if I can but I also remember on some commerce work, that the mainstream might not have browsers advanced enough to read them properly (not even IE5 for example, and IE 5.5+ has to be forced to use filter).
I have been working on a recode of another project and using a different method to achieve the shadow effect by using positioned DIVs and tacking on the shadow sections as images. The P is forced to be a size based on the box container thus containing any text or images inside. I'll post when I finish it.
Needless to say you might have seen these shadow effects in a lot of places - they do look nice and do add to the overall image of the site. But then again it depends what you put in there too or what kind of site it is.