How to make a cool drop shadow effect

Title 2


Title 1

Title 3


This is not going to be a tutorial on how to create drop shadows. I think there is quite a few good
tutorials about that subject already. Still, should there be a demand for a drop shadow tutorial I
will consider writing one. In this tutorial I will show how to make a title graphic with a falling shadow.
If you have seen my Dreamwater title image you know what I am talking about. If you don't then
click here to see the image.

Step 1

Creating the title text

The image we are going to work with this time looks like this:

• Open a new work space and make it approximately 450x250 pixels
• Choose the text tool and click in the work space (preferably in the top half)
• In the text box type in MY TITLE (or whatever you'd like)
• Select the text and choose a big font (I've used Columbo here). Set the font size to 50 pts.
• Click OK

Then it is time to use those layer effects again. In the image above they're already applied and I
have used the same as with the first title image. With one exception: No shadow! If you don't
remember how to apply the layer effects or if you have forgotten the settings click here!

Step 2

Creating another text layer

The next step is to do the first one all over again (i.e. to create an identical text layer except for
the layer effects).


Another way of doing this is to duplicate the first text layer, but this
must be done before applying the layer effects!

The only real difference is that on this text we will use the colour gray instead of green (or
whatever colour you chose to use). When done you will see this:

Step 3

Creating the shadow effect

This step is to make the second text look more like a shadow. Imagine the light coming from
above and slightly behind and from the left of the title. Needless to say some changes has to be
The first thing to do is to make the text reversed (as seen in a mirror). Make sure the second text
layer (the one with gray text) is active (i.e. selected)
• On the Edit menu choose Reshape and then choose Flip vertically
• When the text is reversed choose the Move tool and move text as close to the other (green)
text as you can
If you succeeded the result will look like this

Step 4

Adjusting the shadow

Remember I said the light was coming from above, slightly behind and from the left of the text?
Well, then we will have to slant the text. Make sure the right layer is active and do as follows:
• On the Edit menu choose Reshape and then choose Warp from the submenu.
You will now see a rectangular box, with eight anchor points, around the text. Like this:

As you can see the box also has a center point. This can be moved around to enable other ways
of slanting the object. Now do like this:
• Place you mouse cursor over the mid anchor point (handle) in the bottom line of the box. The
cursor change shape to a smaller arrow with two small arrows.
• Hold down the left mouse button and pull the mid anchor point gently to the right. The text gets
slanted to the right.
• Pull until the mid anchor point is slightly passed the I in the text. Measure from the green text.
When done release the mouse button. The image should now look like this:

Step 5

Making the shadow look better

To make look even more like a real shadow we have to blur the gray text. This is done by using
one of the many filters that came with Photoshop. However, if you go to the Filter menu you will
find that all filters are inaccessible (grayed out). This is because you can't apply filters on text
layers. We will have to render the layer.
• Make sure the right layer is active and go to the Layer menu
• Choose Text and then choose Render layer from the submenu
Now the text layer becomes an ordinary layer, and all the filters are accessible. Here is what to
do next:
• On the Filter menu choose Blur and then choose Gaussian blur from the submenu
A small dialog box pops up. Here you can specify how much blur you want. If the Preview
checkbox is checked you can see how the text get more and more blur as you pull the slider.
• Settle for 1 pixel of blur (or more if you want) and click OK
Now the image will look like this:

Step 6

The final adjustment

The final step. The shadow is falling the right way but it is still a bit too long. So we have to adjust
it. This is how to do that:
• On the Edit menu choose Reshape and then choose Distort from the submenu
The same box as when you slanted the text appears
• Place your cursor on the bottom mid handle, hold down the left mouse button and push gently
towards the green text
When the shadow is adjusted to your liking release the mouse button. Now the image will look like this:

That's it! Of course, if you want a darker shadow just choose black colour, or a darker shade of
gray, for the text.