How to Create a Shadow in Adobe Photoshop

Anything that is drawn on either a piece of paper or on a graphic designing program like that of Adobe Photoshop, cannot look realistic until and unless you add a shadow to it. And adding a shadow on Photoshop is very easy because of the amazing features provided by the program. After you have drawn an object, you can access these features with the following steps and can adjust the shadow of the object according to your requirements.

  1. Open your Photoshop to an empty file or open the file that you have completed and just need to add a shadow it.
    Open your Adobe Photoshop and create a layer before you start working on your designing.
  2. I drew a random shape on Photoshop just to show you guys how you can simply add a shadow under an image without much hassle on Adobe Photoshop.
    I drew three ellipses just to show you an example of how you can make an object and then add a shadow to it to make it look like it has been kept on something just how it will appear to the eye in reality
  3. Once you have drawn the image and completed the rest of the designing, for the shadow, you need to double click on the right side of the layer as shown by the arrow in the image below.
    Double click on the right side of the layer. Note: Make sure you have selected the right layer. For example, if it is ellipses 3 that I am making a shadow for, I need to select the third ellipses only otherwise the shadow will fall on the wrong layer.
  4. Clicking here on the layer will open an extended box of options for various effects that can be added to your shape. You can contour the shape, you add a stroke for the shape, you can also add inner and outer glow for the shape depending on how you want your shape to be. One the same list of options, scroll down and you will find the option for ‘drop shadow’.
    The detailed settings for the effects that you can add to an object on Adobe Photoshop
  5. Click on this once, and the shadow will appear. To make the shadow even deeper, you can click on the plus tab on this as many times as you want. Note: keep looking at the object to see how the effects you are adding is making the image look better or worse.
    Drop Shadow. As the name says it, you can add shadow to an object by clicking on this tab.
  6. If you click on the space right before the plus sign on drop shadow, all the extended settings for the drop shadow you just created will show towards the right of this panel. Here, you can try and experience all the settings for the shadow, You can change the angle, you can increase the distance for the shadow, you can increase or decrease the opacity for the shadow, you can add a color tot he shadow, you can even change the way the shadow is contoured. These are all the settings that you must explore and learn through trial and error. Most of the designing part is through trial and error and how the things turn out, in the end, is a fruitful experiment.
    Each effect here has more settings for it which can be accessed by double-clicking on the right of each tab.
  7. To make the shadow longer, you must toggle with the tab in front of Distance on these setting to increase the distance of the shadow.
    Increase or decrease the shadow of the image with the object
  8. The spread of the shadow can also be adjusted through the slide bar here.
    Decide how much the spread of the shadow should be
  9. You can adjust the size of the shadow depending on the object of course. To keep it real, and yet again, depending on how you want the shadow to fall on the object, keep the shadow of size either equal to or smaller than the object. Here in this image, the shadow size is larger than the object itself which give sit a very bad effect.
    Increase or decrease the size of the shadow accordingly
  10. Setting up the angle for the shadow is also possible on Adobe Photoshop. This angle feature, allows the user to decide the angle at which the shadow will fall. For instance, assume the light is falling on the object from the left side, This means that the shadow of the object will fall on the right side of the object.
    Decide on a more realistic angle for the shadow through this feature

Work on the project as you like, and make the object look amazing through these settings for a shadow.

Habiba Rehman
Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.