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Create a Text Shadow in Photoshop
Tutorials Basics 17854 Views June 22nd, 2012

It is very important to know how to create a realistic shadow in Photoshop, not only for photo manipulations but also for any digital art. I consider shadow to be one of the basic things that you need to learn. In this tutorial I will show you how to add a shadow to a text in Photoshop using gradients and transform tools. After you learn the principles is quite easy and you can create a shadow in just a few minutes.

I am not saying that the tutorial is 100% accurate but for the Photoshop beginners I guess it is a very useful tutorial.


To create a shadow in Photoshop is quite easy if you know some simple rules that you must obey. For example the most important thing is the light source. It can be one or even more light sources and each light source creates a shadow for all the surrounding objects.

Other things that you must take into account when you want to create a realistic shadow are the light direction, the light distance from the object, the intensity of the light and so on.

Let's start with a simple Text Layer, color #e4ddc6, and a Background Layer, color #a59d87. As you can see the background and the text have no color variations, so that means there is no light source.

Light Coming From the Front

Now I will add a light source that comes from the front center towards the Text Layer. It is good to know that the distance and the intensity of the light source determines the opacity and the lenght of the shadow.

The first thing that we have to do after the light is added, is to change the color of the text, making it a little brighter and also add a Gradient Overlay to the background.

To create the text shadow we have to duplicate the Text Layer and rename the first text layer, Shadow Layer. Rasterize the Shadow Layer and resize it to 60% only on the vertical scale. Make sure you select the Reference Point Location like shown in the image.

Use the Perspective Tool from the Edit, Transform menu to add perspective and create a realistic drop shadow effect.

Reduce the Fill of this shadow layer to 0% and add a Gradient Overlay with transparency.

Part 1Part 2

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4 comment(s) for "Create a Text Shadow in Photoshop"

4:22 AM Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Thank you very much !!!

I love this web ^^ reply
4:27 AM Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I am glad you like it :) reply
2:08 AM Monday, July 01, 2013
3:31 AM Saturday, March 19, 2016
As you can see the drop shadow effect works great with text and shapes. This work was made by Larissa. reply

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