ELEMENTS: Drop Shadow on Own Layer

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ELEMENTS: Drop Shadow on Own Layer

Hi... This isn't a question, but I wanted to share it with any other Elements users in case you didn't know how to do this. I just figured this out tonight through a combination of online tutorials and accidental clicking of the mouse...lol! Seriously. I thought it was only an option in Photoshop and the only time I open my Photoshop is for special effects that are just not possible in Elements. I really prefer the simplicity of Elements. I'm in 10, so don't know about the other versions.

I don't have pictures but may over the next couple days do a full write-up and put it on my blog. We'll see. For now, easy as 1-2-3 and 4...

1. Add your desired drop shadow to your element/shape.
2. Open the fx (Style Settings) window (either double click the little fx icon to the right on the selected layer or go to Layer - Layer Style -Style Settings).
3. With the fx window open, click on the shadow area of your layer and you can drag the shadow wherever you want. Drag it far enough away from your object to give space for cutting. Click ok and exit.
4. Simplify the selected layer. Use the rectangular marquee to select your shadow. Right click and select "Layer via Cut" and voila! Now you have your object on one layer and your shadow on another.

You can now move it wherever you want, erase areas you don't want, change blend modes, opacity, etc. Lots of options to explore. Hope this helps someone. smiley

p.s. If this is already posted somewhere, sorry for the repeat. I didn't see anything about it in my browsing.

Thank you... great info!

You're welcome. I was ecstatic when I realized I could do that without having to switch over to PS...lol!

Amanda thank you for sharing

Thank you so much, Amanda. I've been doing this the hard way by duplicating the layer, filling with black, moving, etc, etc. Your method is so much simpler.

You're welcome. smiley

Thanks!!!!! Love learning short cuts! smiley

Thanks for that info, it works in PS Elements 9 too, the version I am using at the moment.

Thank you Amanda for sharing smiley Never can get enough info on shadowing! Here's a few more places to check if anyone is interested!-
-----> http://www.hummiesworld.com/tutorials.html many ways to create custom drop shadows and this one uses the smudge tool. (this video is 42 minutes long)

If you want to bed & warp your shadow/manipulate it half to death! Check out-----> http://peppermintcreative.com/blog/2013/07/how-to-bend-warp-drop-shadows-in-photoshop/ (This one is done in photoshop but I used it with photoshop elements 11 by following her steps and combining with the tutorial I listed first -since I didn't have a warp tool, I put my drop shadow on the layer below my paper that needed the shadow -by hitting control j to duplictate the item I needed a shadow for, then contol clicking on it over in the layers palette so I had my marching ants- and using the paint bucket tool I filled the selection with a dark greyish color then hit ctrl d to deselect...then I used the smudge and blur tools to "warp" it my way like I saw done in the first tutorial link @@@ http://www.hummiesworld.com/tutorials.html shown above at top! smiley

I ran into this tutorial on drop shadows yesterday and here's the link if you wanna read some more! (I haven't went through it all yet, but saved it in Springpad so I could read it when I get a moment!) http://desktoppub.about.com/od/creategraphics/ss/dropshadows.htm

I hope everyone has a blessed day as well as holiday season! xx

You're welcome Paula. I'm still learning to manipulate shadows so they look good/realistic. Thanks for the additional info. smiley

@Chris - You're welcome. Glad to hear. This little trick has helped me out alot.

thanks for the tips.. smiley

Thanks! I create shadows using a tutorial by Simply Tiffany. It have a lot of success with this method

Thanks for sharing Nancy! I bookmarked it to look at later. I've learned a lot from some of her other tutorials. I will def watch this one when I have time. smiley

Thanks Nancy!!! I pinned the video to my pinterest page too. smiley

Awesome tutorial!

Thanks, Amanda, this sounds really interesting! (One more in the list of cool things to try) smiley

Great tutorials, Thanks for sharing ladies!

I used a very old program to create various things for websites, yearbooks, posters...etc. You could separate the shadow from objects with that program and I have missed it using PSE. Thank you so much for this tip!!!

With PSE or Photoshop you can create a copy or duplicate layer, darken the layer or grayscale, offset the layer to use for shadow effects.

awesome links! thanks!

Judy: I am not sure if you can do this in Elements 11 ... I've looked and there doesn't seem to be an option to put your effect on a separate layer .... if you know a way I would love it smiley

Susan does PSE allow you to right click on a layer and copy or duplicate the layer?

Judy ... yes but it duplicates the whole layer including element and effect .... you can right click or drag it to the new layer icon

If you are able to delete the effects on the new layer as well as any included element you do not want so that you are left with the area you want to shadow. Than proceed to darken and ofset.

An alternative is to create the duplicate than mask what you want to shadow.

Judy .... its so simple lol ... I will have to try that ... I wouldn't need to use a drop shadow effect at all ..... thank you, I'm sure there are others who will thank you as well .... I'm shaking my head and wondering why that did not occur to me smiley

Judy - In PSE you can made the drop shadow, then increase the the distance of the shadow until it is away from the element you are working with (you may have to change the direction of the shadow depending on where it is in the page so it does not go off the page into the ether somewhere!). Then simplify the whole layer. Once simplified then use the marquee to surround it - just a good old rectangle - and then "copy via cut". It will then put the shadow in its own layer above the element in the layers panel. Drag it below the element in the layers panel. Now you play with your shadow to your heart's content. One thing to do is use the smudge tool where the shadow may naturally be a bit bigger or smaller. It is so much fun to play with!
There is another tutorial about shadows I just found, but I am not at that computer, so I don't have the bookmark. Will post it when I get home.

Nancy thankyou for the information. If anyone else tries this please let us know how it worked for you.

Here is that link.
She also has a list in there of reference numbers for different types of elements and their shadows. Hope this helps someone as much as it helped me!


From Elise Leung:

creating custom drop shadows in pse
I found this great video on creating custom drop shadows. Very easy!

Thanks for this. I love shadowing and this will be very useful.