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Adding a drop shadow effect

From: Photoshop CC Essential Training

Video: Adding a drop shadow effect

Photoshop has a number of built-in non-destructive effects, like the drop shadow, which can be applied to a variety of different kinds of layers. So first, we are going to add a drop shadow to this photograph. In order to do that, we need to scale the photograph smaller or add canvas size around it. In this case, we'll just scale it a little bit smaller. To do so, I need to convert the background into a layer. So I'll double-click on the background, and then we'll rename this photo. Click OK, and now I can go to the Edit > Free Transform. If I hold down the Shift+Option key, or the Shift+Alt key in Windows, and I click and drag in.

Adding a drop shadow effect

Photoshop has a number of built-in non-destructive effects, like the drop shadow, which can be applied to a variety of different kinds of layers. So first, we are going to add a drop shadow to this photograph. In order to do that, we need to scale the photograph smaller or add canvas size around it. In this case, we'll just scale it a little bit smaller. To do so, I need to convert the background into a layer. So I'll double-click on the background, and then we'll rename this photo. Click OK, and now I can go to the Edit > Free Transform. If I hold down the Shift+Option key, or the Shift+Alt key in Windows, and I click and drag in.

You can see that I'm constraining the proportions, and I'm dragging in from the center. So, I'll go ahead and just make it a little bit smaller like that. And then, tap enter or return in order to apply that. Now to add a drop shadow at the bottom of the layers panel there's an effects icon. I'll select that and then choose Drop Shadow. We can see that the Layer Styles dialog is broken into two areas. On the left we have all of the different styles and then here we have all of the attributes. So while I've got the drop shadow selected we can see those attributes.

If I were to click where it says outer glow then we see all the attributes for the outer glow. If I move back to the Drop Shadow you should notice that the outer glow is still applied. If I wanted to turn that off, I need to actually uncheck it. Alright, so let's take a look at some of the settings for the Drop Shadow. You can change the angle of the drop shadow. You can also change the distance, but it's probably easier if you simply click in the image area and then drag in order to change both the angle and the distance at the same time. I want to make this drop shadow a little softer, so I'll increase the size of it. I also want to add a stroke to this image so I will click on the word stroke and then I am going to change the options for the size. I wanted to be a 2-pixel stroke and I want the position to be on the inside not the outside because watch as I increase the size. When the stroke is on the outside I get a rounded edge. If I change the position to the inside, now I get a nice, sharp square edge. I'll change the size back down to 2.

And if this is something that you want to apply all the time, instead of having to always come in here and refine the default, I'm going to make these my new default by clicking on make default. When I click OK in order to apply this, we can see on the Layers panel that I now have effects and, in fact, I have both the Stroke and Drop Shadow. If I want to hide all of the effects at once, I click the eye icon next to the word effects. I click it again in order to toggle it on. To hide only the Stroke, I can toggle the eye icon next to the Stroke effect and the same for the Drop Shadow. If I want to collapse my effects I can click on the upward pointing arrow next to the word effect.

If I wanted to reveal them I click on that again. If I want to edit a specific effect I can double-click on that effect and it brings that up as the targeted effect so that all of my options are readily accessible... I'm just going to decrease the size a little bit and click OK. Let's go ahead and add a type layer tot his image. I'm going to tap the T key, which will give me my Type tool. And then to reset the Type tool, I'm going to use the context-sensitive menus, so I'll Control+click on Mac, or right mouse click on Windows on the T and choose Reset tool. Then I'll click in the image area, and I'll type in CALIFORNIA. If I wanted to scale this, I could hold down the Cmd key so that I get the transformation handles.

And then after I start scaling, I'll hold down the Shift key in order to constrain the proportions of the text. I'll release the cursor, an then commit to that type. If I need to re-position the type, I can tap the V key, to access the Move tool, an then reposition the text in the image area. Now if I want to apply the effects that I've applied on the photo layer, to the type layer, I can do so, by using the layers panel. If I simply click Effects and drag it to the California layer, it actually moves the effects. So they're no longer on the photo layer.

Instead, they're on the text layer. I'll undo that by using Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. In order to make a copy of the effects, I'll hold down the Option key or the Alt key and then click on the word Effects and drag it to the Type layer. Now we can see that all of the effects have come over. But if I didn't want all of the effects. Let's say, I only wanted the Drop Shadow. Well, let's undo what we just did, so I'll use Command+Z or Control Z. And this time, instead of dragging the word effect, I'll hold down the Option or the Alt key, and I'll just drag the word drop shadow. That will only make a copy of the drop shadow effect. Now the drop shadow looks a little wrong on the type, so I'll double-click where it says Drop Shadow.

And you'll notice that if I start dragging around the Drop Shadow for the text layer, the drop shadow for the bottom most layer also moves. So you would think that these two might be somehow connected. Well, they are, but it's only the global light that's connecting them both. So, let's go ahead and make sure that the drop shadow looks good for the photo layer. Then, if I want to unlink the angle, I can uncheck the Use Global Light. Now when I click and drag, I can move the drop shadow for the text independently of the drop shadow for the photo layer. So it's up to you whether you want them to move together or not. If you do, just enable that again.

I will change the Opacity for the Drop Shadow on the type. By dragging that down, you can see that by reducing that, it's not changing the drop shadow that's around the photo. Excellent. I'll apply that. And I want to show you one more thing. I'm going to add a number of layers. I'm going to use my Shape tool here. And I'm going to select the Custom Shape tool. Then to make sure that we're all starting in the same place, let's use the context-sensitive menu and reset the tools. Then for my shape I'm going to select just one of these shapes on the top row.

Maybe the arrow. And I will click and drag out an arrow. We can see that Photoshop created a shape layer. Now I'm going to duplicate that shape layer four more times, by using the keyboard shortcut Cmd+J on the Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows. So I'll tap the J one, two, three, four times, so that I have five shape layers total. Now, I'll select my Move tool, and then I'm going to move the topmost shape layer over to the right. And if I want to limit it to a horizontal move, I can hold down the Shift key while I drag.

Now I can quickly distribute the other shape layers. The top layer is already selected, so I'll hold down the Shift key and then select the bottom most layer. Then with the Move tool still selected, I can click the distribute icon. Now instead of adding a layer effect to each one of these shape layers individually, I can place them in a group and then add the effect to the group. So we can use the keyboard shortcut Command+G or Control+G. Or I can choose Layer > Group Layers.

Now, that these layers are in a group, and we can see the contents of the group if we want to by using the disclosure triangle, but we don't need to. I can add an effect to this group. So, from the bottom of the layers panel, I'll select the effects icon and then we'll choose Drop Shadow. You can see that I'm adding the drop shadow, to the group, so that all of the layers inside that group are affected. Now that's a little hard to see, so let's also add a stroke. I'll change the color to white.

Click OK. And now we're certain that we've got some layer effects on there. I just want to make sure they're really bold because when I click OK, I want to show you that if I remove any of the layers from this group, if I drag this shape layer, and I drag it to the top, so I see that single solid line there. When I release the mouse, I have taken the shape layer out of the group. Because it's no longer in the group, it doesn't have the layer effects applied to it, because the layer effects are only being applied to all of the layers within that group.

In order to put that shape back, I just need to drag it on top of the group and let go. One last keyboard shortcut, if you want to collapse all of the layer styles in your layer panel, so if you don't want to see the effects, strokes, and drop shadows, you can hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows. And click to the right of the Effects icon in order to hide all of those at one time. Excellent. That wraps up this overview of Layer Effects and the Layer Styles in Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Essential Training
Photoshop CC Essential Training

164 video lessons · 55903 viewers

Julieanne Kost

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  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 4m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
    4. What's new
      1m 26s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 29m 57s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 18s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 56m 7s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      5m 42s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 55s
    7. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    8. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    9. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    10. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    11. Making an average photo great
      6m 5s
  7. 1h 3m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    2. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    4. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    5. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      7m 49s
    6. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    7. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    8. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    9. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    10. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    11. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    12. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Customizing the interface in Photoshop
      5m 16s
    3. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    4. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    5. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    6. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 41m 55s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      9m 28s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
    10. Making selections with Color Range
      5m 17s
    11. Selecting with Focus Mask
      3m 10s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 40m 53s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      5m 6s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      6m 18s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of filters
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 9s
    10. Using the Spin and Path Blurs
      7m 38s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 35m 37s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      11m 58s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 24m 48s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles
      5m 11s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      4m 46s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      5m 54s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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