Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Basic Techniques: Outer Glow and Dropshadow

I already wrote a tutorial about Inner Glows and another one about Inner Shadows.
Both effects have something in common and some differences.

This is also true for the Outer Glow and Dropshadow effect.

The Outer Glow is the selection of your basetext filled with a light colour and then Gaussian Blurred, while the Dropshadow is the same but with darker colours and mostly an offset, meaning the shadowlayer is moved according to the lightsource.

The basic steps are:

01 create your canvas, type your text and align it, then 'Layer to Imagesize'
02 alpha select your basetext
03 create a new transparent layer under your basetext but on top of the backgroundlayer and name it
04 fill your selection with a colour
05 deselect
06 Gaussian Blur
(OPTIONAL: apply an offset for the dropshadow)
07 adjust Mode and Opacity

Phase 1-3

In the example i used white for the Outer Glow colour, a Blur of 25 and the default Mode/Opacity of 'Screen' and 75%.
Depending on the effect you want to achieve, other Modes may be the best choice.

For the dropshadow i filled the selection with black, a Gaussian Blur of 14 and then applied an offset of 8pxs down and 8pxs to the right.

You can do the offset by hand with the 'Move Tool'. Just drag it wherever you feels it looks best.


Click the shadowlayer once with the 'Move Tool' and then use the Cursor keys on your keyboard (more precise).


Use the Offset Dialog. You find it under Layer → Transform → Offset (shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + O).

As i already explained in the Inner Shadow tutorial, the left upper corner is the middle point of your coordinate system.

The „default“ Mode for shadows is 'Multiply' at 75%.

And finally an example of how both effects can look combined:
for a more dramatic effect i offset the Dropshadow a lot and reduced the Outer Glow to about 40%.

No comments: