More Photoshop Layers Effects
by Piero Desopo

Part 1   Part 2    Part 3   Part 4  Tips

Example 1: the shadows

Start with a RGB image. On this image create a new layer.

On the new layer make a gradient fill with the Gradient tool: to see the gradient options just press enter. To reset all tool default options click on the drop down menu from options window and select Reset All Tools.

Now you have the background and a new layer full filled. Make a selection ( rectangular or elliptical, as you want). When you have a selection you can move it simply moving the mouse or using the cursors key: only check that the tool selected is Marquee.

Invert the selction from the Select menu or press CTRL/SHIFT/i and delete the selction (press Delete).

In the layer window click on the background to select it then make a new layer.

Press hold the CTRL key and in the layer window click on the layer at the top: by this way you have selected the layer transparency of the highest layer. Now press D to reset the default colors (black and white) and then press ALT + Delete (or select fill from edit menu).

Press CTRL/d to deselect all.

Press V to use Move Tool and move the current layer two or more onces to the right and two or more onces to the bottom.

Your image could be like this:

fx4.jpg (7518 bytes)

Go to the filter menu, select Blur then Gaussian Blur: more great is the value that you enter more great is the shadow effect. I used for this example 3 in the Radius Value. Then I've changed the opacity value of the shadow layer to 80.

Here's the image:

If you apply this technique for a text layer or a object, the effect is more realistic.

Look here:

In this image I've used a layer opacity very low, about 30.