Drop Shadow – An effective show up

One of the most effective visual effects in Photoshop is Drop Shadow. This technique allows creating an offset shadow behind an object to illustrate itself a 3D depth in a 2D background. Setting the shadow with a proper edit will give the image a totally different look. Here is an example.Drop shadow service - Clipping Path Service, Image & Photo Editing

  • Uses of Drop Shadow

    Drop Shadow offers its main feature in multiple goals. These are the major uses that are well applied when talking about this method.

    • Add depth for 2D pictures: use a shadow to elevate a subject and highlight the area. This is useful for popping out objects off flat design images.
    • Differentiate the piece and the background: helps your clients to figure the dimensions of the completed piece
    • Enhance headline readability: images with busy backgrounds like a crowd or leaves, drop shadow helps to get over the obstacles.
  • How does drop shadow work?

    Most of the configurations start from the Layer Styles Drop Shadow Dialog Box. The following profiles will show what effects drop shadow technique can do.

    • lend mode

      As what it’s called, this mode the blending mode at Linear or Multiply to darken the layers behind the shadow created. Blend mode also lets you set the color of the shadow by adding the tint or something of your creativeness to generate better effects.


      Here is where you specify the transparency of the shadow. 0% means invisible whereas 100% give complete opacity. Changing opacity can also help the subject look more prominent.

      You can see in the example below where opacity highlighted the subject.

      (an example of Opacity: )


      The angle spinner and its corresponding box permit users to adjust the light source. Tick the “global light” box to simultaneously change the angle of light source angle of shadow is changed using other tools. Leaving it unchecked to manipulate the shadow’s light angle independently.

      The following example shows that when you change the angle of the light source, it changes the way shadow falls.

      (Example of Angle)


      The distance slide bar used for modifying the distance between the subject and the background which produces space with its shadow.

      This sample indicates how the subject is hovering above the background using distance adjustment.

      (example of distance)


      Spread slider changes the fall of shadow fading out at the edges. For shadows with hard edges, you can even set it to 100%

      In this example, the farther edge made darker when the spread percentage increased.

      (example of spread)


      Size bar does its job in changing the size of the shadow. When it’s at 0, no shadow has been shown, or the shadow is equal to the shape. Shadow grows in 1-pixel unit as you slide the bar to the right. Size-controlling also allows us to watch over the softness of the shadow.


      This option gives the shadow more shapes of falloff. Different curves provide abundant abstract effects. It is recommended to keep the “Anti-aliased” box checked to maintain the quality of the shadow’s fall.

      Here is an example of a contour fall shape.

      (example of contour)


      This option is handy in designs resembling dirt or concrete. The higher percentage of noise gives a grittier surface to the shadow. From 0% to 25% suggested for a natural look.

      Knocks Out Drop Shadow

      This can mean tricky for beginners, so it’s better to leave it checked all the time. Basically, when this box left ticked, the subject will create a transparency mask (it has knocked out the drop shadow). Alternatively, subject done with this box unchecked results in high see-through opacity.

      Let’s look at the example here

      (Example of Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow)

  • Who needs Drop Shadow?

    This Photoshop practice offers variable users from ordinary people to professional designers. It is best applied in designing name card, portfolio, any displaying subject that requires concentrating on the title. It works effectively on texts which represent brands, titles of events or advertisements. Products on a mere white background taken in inefficient light condition, or configured on computers aren’t enough to gather attention if it doesn’t look real. The technique creates shadows that imitate real objects as if it was shot by a pro.

    Drop Shadow is a complicated technique includes clever manipulation with dark and light. Using it unwise may result in unpleasant designs. Such knowledge demands years of experience in working with contrasting colors, opacity, and transparency, Blurring Filter, etc. It requires much expertise and experience working on it.

  • Conclusion

    All in all, Drop Shadow is a popular tool in Photoshop offers glamorous shadow effect on texts and other subjects. This tool is popular not only among people in graphics and designing but also common users who wish to make their designs more eye-catching. While using Drop Shadow ineffectively may give cheesy designs that are not attractive and hence decrease the conversion when it comes to marketing them to the crowd.

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