View Full Version : 2 layers with differend drop shadows

01 January 2004, 04:02 PM
i'm using photoshop 8.

i've got two layers and i want to apply 'drop shadow' effect on each layer WITH DIFFERENT PARAMETERS.

the problem is when i appy 'drop shadow' on two layers and change it's parameters, both layers react to parameter change, and i want to have unique 'drop shadow' on each layer.

any ideas how to do that?

01 January 2004, 09:49 PM
don't know how photoshop 8 goes, but i think you should see the "use global light" tick box next to light setting. uncheck this and it should work.

Ian Jones
01 January 2004, 03:56 AM
Be a pro, learn to do everything without layer styles. Nothing beats ultimate editability.

01 January 2004, 08:02 PM
Be a pro, save you time and achieve the same results in a faster way, that way you might have some free time to enjoy with other stuff that might be cooler then making drop shadows in PS ;)

Software is a tool nothing else, they put that stuff there to optimize your workflow and make your life easier not to make you waste more time in useless tasks.

I remenber the time when I had like 90+ layers to add shadows in a PS that hadn't layers effects, and it was a huge pain in the ass, I do agree with you Ian, it's great to know how to do it in a basic way, but if you already does and you have new ways that are easier to achieve the same effect, why not use them?

By the way bumskee is right, uncheck "use global light", and you are ready to go, it's the same in CS.


Ian Jones
01 January 2004, 03:58 AM
Blasphemy! or something similar... Go hardcore or go home. :)

01 January 2004, 09:45 PM
and what is "basic way"? a gaussian blur on top? sorry if this question sounds silly, because i'm not a pro on photoshop

01 January 2004, 12:33 AM
Yeah it's quite true, layer styles are much like filters, BUT! in your case I think it's worth while for you to study it. you gotta learn the rules if you want to break them.

well there are numerous ways to achieve effects by layer style, harder and results are usually better if you know what you are doing. gaussian blur is one of those used, it's usually combinations of this and that. manually painting using lighting and channels and so on.

layer styles are pretty hard to use, and if well used in right combinations it will bring very good results, but it is limited. fast and simple for multiple things and quicker though.

there's a thread here with heaps of ps tut sites. good luck~

Ian Jones
01 January 2004, 02:24 AM
Ok, so I was only taking the piss... just to irritate diogo girondi. :D

However, as Bumskee said... you should learn to do it manually aswell. For example if you want a drop shadow under text you simply create a new layer below it, ctrl+left click on the text layer in the layers pallete to load the selection then you fill the new layer with your drop shadow colour. Add some gaussian blur to taste and nudge it around if you want a bit more direction from your light source.

01 January 2004, 02:49 AM
yes yes, good example, Ian. I couldn't think of one..hehe

I guess the reason we all saying manual is simply better because you learn other things besides using layer styles. and if you rely on ur layer styles you will quickly realize how limted your work can be. (looking at some of my stuffs here..) where as in if you did lots of these manually, your objects will start to take volume and more realistic? yes yes.

an example is using alpha channel for text effect, instead of bevel stuff in layer style. it can easily be achieved with lighting, throw some texture in, wrap, curves, (i use chrome here for shiney things..) and if I might just play with some layer modes. well the possibilities are unlimited, obviously if you know your layer style you can also add that to the list too!

01 January 2004, 07:01 AM
heh... that's pretty funny. When i saw everyone talking about making drop shadows the 'basic way' i was thinking "Wow.. .these guys are hardcore oldschoolers and paint them by hand!"

but yeah, the old Duplicate, Brightness to 0, and lower opacity on the layer below is pretty good if you want warying types of drop shadows.

01 January 2004, 12:18 PM I'm really mad :banghead:


Just kidding Ian, Like I said I understand and I agree with your point here, sorry if I sounded rude or something in my previous post, wasn't my intention, sorry. I agree with you, layer effects are useless specially when you have perspective involved, and you have perspective plus soft light (shadows) the only way is to paint the damn thing by hand.

01 January 2004, 12:20 PM
In PS8 you can also use Lens Blur to create hard2soft shadows, it's kinda tricky, but it's easy to do.

1. Create your scene and your shadow shape layer.

2. Create a new empty image with the same dimensions of your original one.
Now move your shadow shape layer with the shift key holded to your empty image and flatten it.

3. In this new image create a gradient in a new alpha channel to be used as Depth map in Lens Blur.

4. Apply the lens blur filter and select the Alpha1 as the Depth Map, and click in the position you want the focus to be placed, adjust all the other parameters at your will.

01 January 2004, 12:21 PM
5. Now the tricky part, create three new layer named R,G,B and go to you channel palette.
Load the selection for the Red channel (ctrl+click) and invert it (ctrl+shift+i)
Go to your layer "R" and fill your selection with R:255 - G:000 - B:000 and set it's transfer mode to Exclusion
Load the selection for the Green channel (ctrl+click) and invert it (ctrl+shift+i)
Go to your layer "G" and fill your selection with R:000 - G:255 - B:000 and set it's transfer mode to Difference
Load the selection for the Blue channel (ctrl+click) and invert it (ctrl+shift+i)
Go to your layer "B" and fill your selection with R:000 - G:000 - B:255 and set it's transfer mode to Exclusion

Make sure you layer order is R > G > B from top to bottom, link the whole three together and merge them (ctrl+e)

6. Move the this new layer to your original doc with shift key holded

7. Set its transfer mode to multiply, and voila!
You should have a hard2soft shadow

I know the exemple and it's images sux, but it's just an exemple :)


01 January 2004, 12:28 PM
i've got another question: is there selection feature like 'shrink' or 'expand' selection?

for example, i select a rectangle, fill it black, then shrink selection by 2 pixels and delete the selection. the result - 2px thick rectangle border.

is there an efficient way to do that, o should i do it 'by hand' (select the inner rectangle manually)?

01 January 2004, 12:29 PM
select>modify>contract, expand etc etc.

01 January 2004, 01:03 PM
this is why I suggested going for those tuts, Not that it's gonna help you greatly with ur creativity, but it will outline some important tools and features in PS. a good starting place as long as you don't rely on it.

diogo girondi, nice~ that sounds really tricky. :thumbsup:

01 January 2004, 01:32 PM
diogo- that's awesome! I love how PS and Shake are getting more and more similar by the day... they're my 2 fav 2D programs :D Using channels to control specific effects in PS, and you can import a PSD with individual layers now in Shake.

01 January 2004, 01:46 PM
i felt it should be somewhere :)
thanks a lot!

01 January 2004, 01:52 PM
by the way, is there a faster way to resize a layer? (i've got the layer with logo and i want to make logo smaller)

now i select the layer, copy-paste into new image, then resize, and copy-paste back.

01 January 2004, 02:26 PM
tranform??? ctrl+t unless I didn't quite understand ur question.
also. ctrl+j does copy into new layer in the exact same place.
ctrl+alt+shift+n will add a new layer on top of current layer without the name window popping up.

two of my favourite shortkeys, if only there was a short key to bring up the colour picker....damn..

01 January 2004, 02:43 PM
indeed. transform helped :)

i should really find a time and read all these help files - then i wouldn't be asking silly questions :lightbulb

01 January 2004, 02:55 PM
trust me~and go and check out some tuts, you will feel a lot more safer with photoshop after you finish some.

01 January 2004, 06:38 PM
Don't forget also that you don't have to read through all the help files in order to find out something fairly simple. Just Hit F1 (the help key) and then do a search on what you need.

For example, type "resize layer" in the search box and you'll probably get back a list of topics, one of the first of which would be "Layer Transform".

I can't check this right now as I just reinstalled my OS, but give it a go, damn site quicker than asking in here and waiting for a reply ;)

Then if you want more info that the basic help can't cover, this is the place to be :)

Ian Jones
02 February 2004, 01:47 AM
Hey np Diogo... was just a bit of fun. :p

02 February 2004, 03:45 AM
Cool!!! :bounce:

A bit of fun is always cool


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