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This is a quick way to create a cast-shadow in Photoshop.
Don’t confuse a cast shadow with a drop shadow. There’s no strict definition but I see a drop shadow as being decorative, and a cast shadow being realistic.
We are going initially to create a drop shadow using a Drop Shadow Layer Style and then converting it to a cast shadow.
I’m using type because it’s always isolated on its own layer with a transparent background. Don’t feel constrained to using type. Any object on its own layer with a transparent background will work.
Create a Drop Shadow using Layer Styles
- Using the Type Tool add some text, but leave enough room for the cast shadow. Make sure you have enough canvas area to create the shadow.
- Commit the Text by clicking the Tick icon on the Options Bar or press escape.
- Double click the blank area of the Type Layer to bring up the Layer Style Dialogue box.
- Click the Drop Shadow by clicking on the blank area to ensuring Drop Shadow is ticked and highlighted.
- Don’t worry about the angle at all. Only Spread and Size are important to get right.
- Click OK to close the Layer Style dialogue box.
Turn the Drop Shadow into a Layer
Here’s the magic.
In other words, we are going to rasterise the Drop Shadow, so we can Transform the shadow.
This is destructive as we are turning the non-destructive layer style in an ordinary layer.
Right-click on the Fx Symbol on the layer, and choose “Create Layer”
IGNORE THIS WARNING
You will create a new layer with a name based on the original layer.
Double-click on the layer and you will see there are some changes like Fill Opacity will be reduced, and the Blend Mode will usually be “Multiply”.
Each time you use “Create Layer” attributes of the layer will be different, depending on the initial Layer Style.
By the way, “Create Layer” can be used on any Layer Style.
Transform the Shadow
We are now going to use the Edit/Transform/Perspective.
Don’t feel constrained to using just perspective. You could even use Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl + T), and make use of the modifier key (Cmd/Ctrl) to distort the shadow.
I am going to use the Edit/Transform/Perspective. Line up the text, then drag out any bottom corner.
Add a Gradient Overlay
You could if you wanted to add a Layer Mask and fill with a White to Black Gradient using the Gradient Tool.
I prefer to add another Layer Style – called Gradient Overlay.
Double click the Layer to bring up the Layer Style dialogue box.
Go to Blending Options and Tick “Transparency Shapes Layer”. This ensures the Gradient is only applied to the opaque areas of the layer.
Set up the Gradient Overlay roughly like this ensuring you’re using a Reversed Black to White Overlay at 90 degrees angle (optional). Playing with Scale Slider will affect the fade of the Gradient.
That’s it folks.