Way back in the eighties when everybody was break dancing, everybody had big hair, and people put shoulder pads in their jackets I created a comic book series called "Hamster Vice," and what I am going to do is show you how to add the drop shadows to this book cover as well as how to add one that's going to be like a perspective view on the ground. So I'm gonna zoom out a little bit and the first thing I'm gonna show you is the easy way. And the first thing you can do is come over here where you see this FX and we are going to add a style to it so I'm going to go to drop shadow. And the drop shadow of course will be highlighted when you get to the layer style dialog box and you have this angle dial here and what you can also do which is a lot more interactive when you want to apply a drop shadow is simply don't even bother trying to position it with a dialog box. Put your mouse out here, click and pull the shadow out to where you'd like place it like so. Now that's a drop shadow but it doesn't look like a shadow to me. What we have to do is drop the opacity down a little bit and we also have to play around with the size of it as well spray and now we softened that up quite a bit, we can also change the color. So I click on the swatch and what I can do is put my mouse out here to try to grab some of that color which is purple and use that as the color because the color of your object would of course influence the shadow. So that's one way to create a drop shadow, once again put your mouse out here and you can reposition that shadow manually and use the sliders here to change how that shadow is going to look. So I'm gonna cancel that and show you another way of doing a shadow which is the manual way. But we, we can have more control as to how it's going to look. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create a new layer. I'm gonna drag it underneath this book cover here and I'm going to simply drag out with a polygonal lasso my own shadow based on what I think the shadow would look like and I am gonna make believe my lights were just coming from up here. So once again I'm gonna click and I'm gonna pull out my own shadow like so and Ill double click to close that shape. Once again I'm gonna grab my eyedropper tool, click onto the color itself and this time we are gonna go to edit and we are gonna go to fill and we are gonna choose to use the foreground color. click OK and once again its kind of harsh, not a problem. We are gonna do something different this time, we're gonna deselect it. So press command or control D. Now we have that layer selected, let's go to the filter menu. Let's go to blur, choose Gaussian blur and increase the radius of that blur until we have a nice soft shadow. And don't worry if its too blown out, we can fix that in second, grab your move tool once the shadow is uh calculated, wait a couple of seconds. Move it into position like so and now drop the opacity down until you are happy with that shadow. Likewise you can also use a gradient to fill that in to have a more gradual change from dark to light as a shadow fades away. So once again this is another way to create a drop shadow in Photoshop CS3. There are a lot of ways but the way that you might want to use most often is the way I just showed you here where we have another layer behind the object you are trying to create a drop shadow for and you draw your own shadow out with uh polygonal lasso tool or any of the other selection tools, fill it with a color and then put a blur on there and then drop the opacity down.
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