If you need "real" shadow effects (i.e. if the image data itself should
contain the shadow), you can follow the suggestion below but using GD to
achieve the effect by concatenating images.
If you're looking for a solution to *display* the thumbnails in the
page, then this is what I would do: I'd create the shadow of a rectangle
in any imaging software, with the appropriate blur size and transparency
for the given situation (depending on thumbnail size and background
color/pattern, respectively). Then I'd create a new layer to mask the
undesired portion of the shadow (a placeholder for the actual thumbnail
in effect), select it and use the selection to trim the shadow. I'd now
have a mirrored L-shaped shadow mask. I would now determine where
exactly do the corners end and where the continous linear parts begin
(to the pixel, by deeply zooming in). Now all I'd have to do would be to
trim the five areas which are different (three corners, a vertical and a
horizontal patch) and I'd save those as five distinct files - and then
use tables to display them around each thumbnails. The corners would be
<TD><IMG SRC="top_right.png"></TD> and the vertical and horizontal ones
would be <TD BACKGROUND="horizontal.png"><IMG SRC="spacer.gif"></TD>.
You'll obviously have to make sure that the corner images match their
width/height with the respective backgrounds.
> I'm trying to auto-add shadow effects to my image thumbs using PHP or the GD Library
>if that's even possible. Any ideas where I start?
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