Cool Tip for Determining Drop Shadow Angle in Adobe Photoshop

JGaulard

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I just wrote a post on the blog about creating and applying drop shadow effects to some text using Adobe Photoshop. It's a pretty good and thorough post, so if you want to take a look at it, you can do so here.

While I'm sure what I shared will help someone with making some really great looking drop shadows, I wanted to mention here that I did leave one thing out. It's a really nice tip that can save some time if you use effects frequently. This tip can be used when you're applying drop shadows, inner shadows or anything that uses simulated light that comes from a specific direction.

Inside of the Layer Style palette, if you click on, say, the Drop Shadow effect, you'll notice a circle that says Angle next to it. Generally, we use this circle to click inside of and then turn the angle, which results in the shadow adhering to the simulated light angle. There's also a global lighting feature that locks the lighting for whatever effect you're currently working on with others.

Anyway, the tip for today is that you don't need to actually click inside of that Angle circle and drag to change the lighting angle. If you move your mouse to the image you're working on in the workspace (while the palette is still open), click and drag, you'll see the angle inside the affect area magically turning. It's pretty cool. The reason this is helpful is because it's oftentimes very difficult to get the perfect angle from inside that small circle in the palette. By clicking and dragging your mouse, out on top of the actual image itself, that extra room gives opportunity for a more precise result. I hope this helps.
 
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