How to Apply Drop Shadow Tool in a Photo

Rokaiya Yeasmin Munni | August 28, 2012

Before and after image

Drop Shadow tool is the most simpler and easy handling tool used in photo editing. It gives a striking look to the object in a photo frame. Try it out with this tutorial.

Drop Shadow is a cool photograph-editing tool. It makes the images look more surreal or three-dimensional. It is very simple to add a shadow to the image using layers and layer styles. It is used to create a shadow, which enhances and adds natural weight to the Photoshop image. A drop shadow can be added to a text, image any other object as the user chooses. Here, this tutorial briefs in creating a shadow for a text. Do not forget to understand the most important structures like, the creation of line, the size of shadow, and the dimensions of shadow for generating a clean effect.

Step 1:

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dorop shadow, how to apply drop shadow, drop shadow tutorial, drop shadow services

If a photo is selected to perform the drop shadow action place the photo on any background. This makes the photo appear in the layer above the background layer.

Step 2:


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dorop shadow, how to apply drop shadow, drop shadow tutorial, drop shadow services

Select the layer that holds the photo. Check the layer menu and apply the layer style of choice.

Step 3:


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Now go head down, select the effects option and the effect pallet appears. In the effects pallet click the layer style icon.

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A layer style dialog box appears. Check the drop shadow box from the styles menu and a list of more options appears. . Even more effects like inner shadow, outer shadow or inner glow can be selected if required.

Step 4: The layer style contains option even to change the structure and quality of the shadow. Select a blend mode from the blend mode drop down menu.

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For an example set the blend mode to multiply.

Step 5:

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Scroll over the opacity option to find number appear on the check box next to it. As the number increases the opacity of shadow also increases hence transparency decreases.

Step 6:

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The angle option changes the lighting effect of the shadow select any color to make it even more appealing.

Step 7:

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As the distance option is dragged it changes the position of the shadow.

Step 8:

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The spread option can be applied to spread the shadow and more the spread option applied the shadow quality also diminishes.

Step 9:

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The size indicates the size of the shadow. Increase the size the shadow gets blurred. All these above options make changes only to the structure of the drop shadow.

Step 10:

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To change the quality of the shadow there are contour and anti-aliased option. The contour is basically a curve to show how it fades from drop shadow to transparency. The anti-alias choice mergers the edges of the contour and gives a neat finish.

Step 11:

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And finally do not forget to check the “layer knocks out drop shadow” which controls the visibility of drop shadow.

Do not forget to save the work. By changing the color, size and orientation of the shadow the photo gets the complete finish.

dorop shadow, how to apply drop shadow, drop shadow tutorial, drop shadow services

A shadow added to a photo gives it a more vibrant effect and give more like a 3-d look.

Rokaiya Yeasmin Munni

Rokaiya Yeasmin Munni is the Manager & Head of Digital Marketing of Clipping Path India, an offshore outsourcing image editing partner for internet retailers, photographers, designers, print media and webmasters worldwide. She has been working in Graphics Design, Content Management and Digital Marketing for the last 17 years.

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