How to Add a Drop Shadow in Photoshop

How to Add a Drop Shadow in Photoshop

The discussion topics of – How to Add a Drop Shadow in Photoshop. Well, Product photos are the most substantial factor in verifying the essence of a product in online shopping. Therefore, the more aesthetically an image of a product appeals, the greater the clients’ addiction to the product appears. And photo editing is a service that will help you elevate the standard of your product’s photos in a highly professional manner. 

In this instance, effects like drop shadow continue to glorify and affix a whole new dimension to photography, leaving an overnight response in the Online Business world. Although many people know about drop shadow, yet in the absence of sufficient confidence and proper direction, many may not know how to add a drop shadow in photoshop.

Creating a Drop Shadow

Drop shadow is a specific type of effect that helps an image replicate underneath itself to generate an impression. It also helps to lift off the surface of the background and change the dimensions and outlooks of the photos. 

So, in simple terms, a drop shadow is a process of creating a shadow behind an object. 

That makes it look more polished and professional. However, this task may seem very intricate and time-consuming at first glance, but in fact, it is very much possible to become proficient in drop shadow editing only if you try patiently for a short time with a strong interest.

Change The Background

Change The Background
If you want to make your product images look natural, professional, and pop out from a screen display, then adding a drop shadow to a product on a
white background can be a great option for you. You can also modify the background tones based on the characters of the photos you necessitate to attach. However, it is very indispensable and essential to alter the background to combine the drop shadow suitably.

  • Isolate your object from the background

Isolate your object from the background
At first, you need to insert the image you aspire to attach a drop shadow to. After that, open up the layers palette and cut down the image applying tools like a background eraser or magic wand. Now, separate the product images from the background and place them on a completely unique and attractive background, so that the images look much more appealing to the consumers.

  • Create the layer with an adjustable background

Separate the object in your photo and place it in a new layer by penetrating the layers palette. Rename the newly created layer to avoid any kind of confusion. Now you will discern an eye icon near the background layer option. 

Create the layer with an adjustable background

By clicking this icon, you can control the background visibility. Turn the visibility option off and you will get your object against a transparent background. You can also choose a background color from the drop-down menu. And you are solely at your liberty in customizing the colors.

  • Adjust your canvas size          

Canvas size
Working with the canvas in adobe photoshop means working with the entire area including shapes, sizes, images, and all the other objects given. You can always swap the elements inside the canvas but can never traverse the canvas margin. Instead, you will necessitate changing the area of the canvas. 

You will not confront any issues while expanding the canvas size, but be very wary while reducing it. It may cause the disappearance of the images or objects inside the canvas. Though it will not delete, rather hide the elements inside the canvas. 

Follow the given procedure to change the canvas shape:

  • First, choose the canvas size from the image menu.
  • Pick a unit and insert the expected size of the canvas.
  • You can also use the Relative checkbox for specifying the canvas size.
  • Place the original object in the new canvas.

Finally, change the blending mode from multiply to normal and fill to 100%. Go to the distort option and use tools like rectangular marquee to modify as required. When the modification is done, work on erasing and cleansing shadow edges as necessary. Then get back to the multiplier mood and fill back to 75%. Hopefully, you will notice a change you were expecting.

  • Create an alpha channel

After giving your product shadow an anticipated shape, you are required to converge on making it more realistic. As we notice in reality, when a shadow goes far from the object, it commences getting more volatile and blurry. The Alpha channel comes into play to counterfeit that. With the use of Alpha channels, you can make your photo look more swarming and professional than ever. 

Check out the dialog box by opening the channels palette. Click on the palette table to pick a new channel.

After that, create a different channel dialogue box and rename it by alpha-1. Make sure the colors indicate the selected areas.

  • Add a gradient within your  channel
    Gradient Blending

Attaching a gradient with your alpha channel will assist you to make your object more elegant and understandable. Especially, when one part is closer than the other part to the light source. But things get a bit more complex when it comes to multiple light sources and each contains different colors. Thus the experts need to play their role to get things going.

  • First, select the Alpha 1 channel by entering the Channels palette.
  • Enable the visibility for all the channels by clicking on the eye button given near to the background option.
  • Now using the gradient Tool Set the foreground color to black and the background color to white at the bottom of the palette.
  • Check if the gradient is set to black-to-white in the options palette and the gradient type is one-dimensional. 
  • Finally, draw the gradient to the selected part of your shadow and you will see a red gradient over your image.

Adjust the opacity

Adjust Layer Opacity
One of the best ways of blending your image with the background is adjusting the opacity. An entirely opaque layer indicates that the object is fully visible and everything underneath it is obscured. Reducing Or increasing the opacity impacts the transparency of the layer. 1% opacity of a layer means it is nearly transparent, while a layer with 100% opacity is entirely opaque.

Adjust the opacity of a layer

  1. Select the layer.
  2. Go Style tool from the tools sidebar.
  3. Enter the value of opacity percentage. (from 0%-100%)

You can always increase or decrease the layer opacity whenever you want to and that will make things more easy and exciting for you.

Refine the edge

Refining Edge is a fabulous tool to remove a subject from its background and dealing with complicated edges. Basically, the refine edge tool selects objects such as hair, branches, or any part of an image with edges, especially complex ones. To refine the edge, follow the instructions given-

Refine the age

  • First, go to the menu bar of your photoshop and select your file.
  • Right-click on the object and select refine edge. If you struggle to find the option this way, go to the select menu and pick refine edge.
  • You will notice a white background underneath your object.
  • Now follow the arrow button to check all the options available for making some effective changes to your object. Here, you will find the options like,
    • Marching Ants to select the animations for the visible images.
    • On Black and On White to choose the background color.
    • Black & White makes the selection white and the background black.
    • On Layers to help you visit the layer.
    • Reveal Layer to show the whole layer without any masks etc.
  • Go to the brush drop-down menu and select the adjustable shape and category of the brush. to be as perfect as you need.
  • Adjusting the value of the Radius slider will make your object more natural and original.
  • The Decontaminate Colors checkbox will help you to adjust the contrasting color background.

So, it is clear that the edge refining tool can undoubtedly be of unquestionable help for giving your object and shadow a shape in photoshop.

Add a Layer Mask

One of the most basic functionalities of Photoshop is a layer mask. The use of a layer mask will bring you extreme control over transparency. These masks can be used to make an image visible or invisible.

To get immense control over your blur setting,

Ad a layer mask

Under Select > Add Vector Mask choose from the Shadow layer box and make sure that the radio option is tested.

Now, by creating this, you will get the darkest area of the gradient. Now click select>select inverse and go inverse.

After that, click the Layer mask button and while using the shadow, it will look a little faded and more realistic.

Distorting the shadow

Your drop shadow should be so realistic that it can blend people with the background atmosphere. And for doing that, every single detail should crave for perfection. Therefore, positioning is one of the most crucial sections in photo editing and the visual representation of something of value. It also gives a proper idea on how to add a drop shadow in photoshop.

Distorting the shadow

  • If you want to reshape and move the object into position, you have to use Photoshop’s Distort command. For doing that, choose Transform from the edit menu, and then choose Distort.
  • Now you will get a black filled area. Drag this area diagonally and use the top transform handle to reshape the black part. Try to make it as perfect as possible to get a more natural and realistic vibe compared to the real image or object.
  • You can also work with the bottom part of the image depending on the demand by dragging the bottom corner handles.

For being a perfectionist, you can use other methods.

  • Insert your selected image and choose whatever shadow setting you need to have.
  • Create a layer by using the fx symbol from the layer option and click on the wave from the top toolbar.
  • Apply adjustable measures on the elements to make it look perfect.
  • Make sure the size of the shadow makes sense and looks natural.

Consider the light source and fade the shadow away

Check if there is any unwanted light from any side of the shadow that is making the shadow weak. Adjust all the lights and then focus on your shadow. Make your shadow fade so that it doesn’t look like something appeared by force.

To make it more perfect and natural, you need to give a blurry effect to the shadow. And for that, go to the Channels palette and select the color channels.

Make sure that the drop shadow layer is activated by entering the layer’s palette. You will get a dialog box here. And make any changes you want with the blur option. Make the blue focal distance zero, radius high, leave all other parameters unchanged and click OK.

If you want to recreate the shadows, create a new layer. Make use of the Brush tool to paint in the shadow. Now transfer the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and adjust the opacity to math the nearest shadows.

How to add drop shadow to text in photoshop

So far we were talking about how to add a drop shadow in photoshop on an image. But what if it’s not an image, rather a text file. No worries, now we are gonna talk about how to add drop shadow to text in photoshop.

How to Add a Drop Shadow in Photoshop

Adding drop shadow to text

First, Open your document>toolbar> type tool. You can also pick a color from the color swatch. 

  • Add or type the texts you want to add the drop shadow by selecting the type tool.
  • To change the font and size of the type use the character panel, 
  • To access the drop shadow panel, select the type layer> click on the fx icon at the bottom of the palette> choose drop shadow from the menu.
  • You can have a look at the preview by holding and dragging the panel by the top bar.
  • You can also change the shadow depth and keep it the way you want to.

So, as we can see, adding drop shadows in a text in Photoshop is very easy. It doesn’t take more than a few steps to attach shadows to the text or how to add a drop shadow in photoshop.


In the e-commerce system, the impression of a product depends on the photograph displayed against it. People always feel attracted towards the products with the most appealing photos. 

So, for growing your business up, you need to show them precisely the things they want to see. And effects like drop shadow can play a big role here in impressing the consumers. 

Drop shadow makes the images praiseworthy and incredibly attractive to entice the buyers. So knowing how to create drop shadow in photoshop may work as a ladder for your e-commerce business to reach the acme of success.

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