How to add a drop shadow in Photoshop
There are many ways to add drop shadows in Photoshop. This simple method allows you to apply a shadow to an image or text in Photoshop.
Place your graphic on the canvas
Right click on the layer
Select “Drop Shadow” from the pop-up menu
Adjust properties like “Opacity”,
“Distance”, “Spread” and “Size” using the sliders
Set the shadow angle using the Clock Face Style Adjustment tool
Check the “Global Light” box to apply this angle to all drop shadows in the project for a consistent look
Use the Quality
section of the pop-up window to experiment with the “Contour” and “Noise” effects.
This is a great method for beginners, but for
more advanced users, our video expands on more advanced techniques Once you’ve perfected your shades, look to
Solo press for fast, high-quality prints of your finished work.
Create a Drop Shadow in Photoshop
Welcome to our tutorial on how to add a Drop shadow in Photoshop. There are many ways to do this, but first I’ll show you the most basic and simple way using the built-in tools.
First, we need to create a Photoshop document. Open Photoshop itself properly drop down the file menu and choose I like this default setting so I’ll make it this way.
Now I’ll drag a graphic onto my image.
The position where I want and press enter to place the object.
With the graphic selected in the ‘Layers’ tab, I can go to the bottom right of the screen, click the little FX button, and select “Drop Shadow” from the pop-up menu.
In the “Structure” section, different sliders adjust different properties of your drop shadow.
Add Drop Shadow Photoshop
Before we explore these options, I’ll just adjust the distance so that the shadow is visible.
As you can see, at this point, with the distance set to 0, the shadow follows the same shape as your graphic, so I’ll
just move the distance slider to where you can easily see your shadow.
If I drag a transparent object with a more complex shape and add a drop shadow, the opaque part of the image casts a shadow. We will look into adjusting it.
Incidentally, if you’re using a recent version of Photoshop with Smart Objects, don’t worry if you
press OK without finishing your changes. Go back to your layers and double click where it says “Drop Shadow” and you’ll get your drop
shadow’s ‘Layer Style’ window back. ’m going to add a background texture to the composition so we can see the shadow effect.
Drop Shadow creating for images
So, going back to adjusting the shadow properties, the first slider within the ‘Texture’ section is called ‘Opacity.’ This can adjust how hard your shadow looks against the background. If we
change the opacity of the shadow to 100%, it will basically look like a solid object that is completely opaque, but you can experiment with that yourself.
Next things look at angles and distances. We’ve already adjusted the distance enough so
that we can see the shadow, but now we can adjust the distance as well as rotate the shadow. Instead of slider control, angle
adjustment is achieved by moving a watch face like a hand.
Adjusting the angle and distance has the effect of moving the light source,
casting shadows from different heights and angles. Instead of using the clock face and slider controls, you can enter numeric values into the data fields with the controls or even use the arrow tool to grab and drag shadows around your image while
the ‘Layer Style Pop-up’ is still open.
You may have noticed that there is a checkbox at the top that says “Use
Global Lights”. This means that you can have multiple items with the same settings and change them at the same time.
How do I create a drop shadow in Photoshop?
This is especially useful if you have a large composition with multiple items
that you want to adjust in the future so that you match all of them with the correct shade values.
The next option to remember is Spread, it adjusts the feathering or blurring of the edges. When we move it to 0, it is very well feathered,
but when we move it to 100%, the shadow is very sharp and hard.
Size up next. Self-explanatory. Move the slider to adjust
the size of the shadow, which simulates how close the light source is to the object. The smaller the image, the smaller the shadow. Sometimes these settings don’t seem to make sense, so trial and error is often the way to use shadow size and spread time.
Below the Structure section, you have the Quality section, where you can change contours and add noise. This is a settings bank
that I rarely use, as it seems to be for very specialized applications.
So this is the most basic way to manipulate drop
shadows. But while the built-in tool is brilliant for basic use, graphic designers will prefer to create manual shadows
that can be fully manipulated, so another way to add drop shadows is through the duplication method.
Process duplication method
Instead of relying on Photoshop’s own drop shadow tool, this method creates an additional layer that mimics your original graphic and uses it as the base for your shadow. Allows a greater scope for editing and manipulation.
We’ll start with some basic text by pressing the Text Layer button, clicking Comp, and typing whatever we
want. To make it easier to distinguish, I’ll make this layer red and press the enter key on the right side of the keyboard to make the changes. Next, I’ll click on the layer and Alt-drag it down, or Option-drag if you’re on a Mac, or alternatively Ctrl or
Command J. I’ll then make the text for the duplicated layer black and you’ll see that hiding the top layer using the eye icon reveals the back layer.
If you’ve created a duplicate of a color graphic to serve as its own shadow, you’ll need to make the duplicate flat black before you begin manipulating it to make it look like a shadow. You do this by right-clicking on the duplicate layer and selecting Blending Options. Check the Color Overlay tick box and select black as the overlay color.
How to Create a Drop Shadow in Photoshop
We’ll rename the bottom layer our “shadow” layer so it’s not confusing. We will select the layer in the shadow and then we will give commands from Control or T keyboard. This brings up blue
control boxes around the layer that allow you to move it around using the directional keys. As you can see, it moves quite slowly, so you can hold the shift button to make the movements bigger.
Now we’re in a position to manipulate the shadow as we wish, so find a suitable spot and anchor the object by pressing the Enter button. It looks pretty good as it is now but may need more editing to make the shadow look authentic in context.
Going to the filter menu at the top, we’ll go to Blur and Gaussian Blur and this little window will pop up. Such a layer must be rasterized or converted to a smart object before proceeding. When rasterized, its text is no longer available for editing. It’s always best to convert to a smart object, and I’ll explain why in another video, but for now, we’re going to focus on blurring the layer.
Photoshop Drop Shadow
So as you can see, the background layer now has less harsh edges and we can make it as sharp or as soft as we want by adjusting the radius slider in the Gaussian Blur pop-up. But, going too far makes the shadow look distorted or too generalized, so it’s usually best to keep the radius at a sensible level.
We’ll press OK to add a change filter, which appears on the layer, and you can always double-click to go back to the option. If we rasterize the layer we can’t add a smart filter, it will commit a layer filter forever.
Another simple advantage of having shadows as a smart layer is that we can keep changing perspective. By activating the layer controls for the shadow layer as we did before, by selecting it on the layer and pressing Ctrl or Command T, we can hold down the Ctrl or Command keys while we snap at any corner. Smart filters will be temporarily turned off, so don’t worry if our beautiful blur disappears while we adjust the perspective.
How to Add Shadows in Photoshop
This actually helps us at this point as we can be more accurate with the placement of the shadow base.
I want it to look like the shadow is coming directly from the text, so I’m going to extend it a bit more than the height of the text, press enters as we did before, and then disable the opacity icon using the eye icon it still doesn’t look right, and that’s because we made the shadow layer before Removed when it was a 2D style shadow. We can
now bring it back manually using the directional keys and now it looks great. Here you have it two easy ways to create shadow in Photoshop means if you enjoyed this article then please support us and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to write a comment.. We are creating all kinds of tutorials for Adobe programs, so subscribe and enjoy our content.