Add Drop Shadow Effect in Photoshop

The Drop Shadow Effect in Photoshop has a number of uses, apart from adding apparent depth to flat images. So over the next few months we are going to run a series of fun things to do with it. First of all, let us start with the normal use of the Photoshop Drop Shadow effect.

Add a Drop Shadow To A Flat Object

Shadows give a touch of 3D imagery to an otherwise flat design, so bring it to life. If we have a flat object to add to a project, we might want to add a shadow to lift it off the background. This may be a character, or text string, or an image cut out, such as a person or shape. In each case use the following sequence:

  1. Select the layer of the object to receive the drop shadow
  2. Under the layer tab, select the fx to Add a Layer Style
  3. From the list select Drop Shadow
  4. On the Layer Style window, under Structure, Select the Opacity (defaults to 75%) say 50%
  5. Set the angle of the light source, for example 135˚, which is 45˚ from the left
  6. Set the Distance slider for example 10px
  7. Experiment with the Spread slider, although 0% is fine
  8. Set the Size slider to a suitable value for example 10px
  9. Finally, click OK

Other Things To Do with the Drop Shadow Effect in Photoshop

The Photoshop Drop Shadow effect has a number of parameters which make it very flexible. Have fun playing with the sliders in the Structure group of the Layer Style window. It is so easy to produce very diffuse shadows, or highly concentrated dark shadows. Finally, try adjusting the angle of the light source to see how the shadow behaves.

Coming Soon

Watch out for the next post in the series of fun things to do with the Drop Shadow effect. Enjoy!