Difference between Cast Shadows and Drop Shadows

Cast Shadows and Drop Shadows fall under photo editing. So let us talk about that first. The effort that photography regularly needs, editing the said images, needs twice as much effort. Post-processing has become more crucial than ever. There are plenty of post-production features that make an image better. Photographed images may look appealing, but these effects make them look superior.

What is photo editing?

The process of enhancing the quality of an image by adding effects or retouching the image is called Photo Editing.

Can improve pictures at a fascinating rate using these effects. They may prove challenging for beginners but are well known by every professional. You can use applications other than Photoshop, which are GIMP, Lightroom, etc., to boost the quality of an image. This software can change the shadow or create a shadow based on what you need for an image.

However, picture editing is a vast subject, and it cannot be based on simply any service. There are some advanced techniques, such as the 3d mannequin effect, that photoshop is great. For this article, we will solely focus on Drop Shadow, Cast Shadows, and how to create the effects. With that, we will be talking about what’s in trend and what is not.

Drop Shadows.


Drop Shadows are shadows drawn behind an object to show that the object is above the objects behind it. It is most commonly used in wallpapers with text to add effect to the image. This effect is achieved by putting black or gray bars under the letters slightly differently. The realism of this effect might be increased by getting the pixels of the surface that the shadow will be cast on, darkening or softening the edges of the shadows. You can do this by adding Gaussian blur to the shadows.

The generic old drop shadows have gone out of style and do not bring style to its pictures no matter what it is. They have been said to be very tacky and cheesy. Hence people nowadays avoid using them. However, other forms of drop shadows have been in style for a while now.

Those include;

Subtle Drop Shadows creates a difference between the font and the background by making the contrast darker or/and making the font colors pop more. These differ from the normal drop shadows as it does not create a floating effect, rather have the purpose of differentiating the font and the background.

Hard Edge/Solid Drop Shadows; these are used to emphasize a word or used primarily on headings and important words to make it catch more attention.

How it’s different from the generic drop shadows?

Because it has a strong shadow that mirrors the font and is slight to the right.

Long Drop Shadows; these shadows are a newer design that brings the drop shadows a more stylish look without taking away attention from the font itself.

To achieve long shadows in Photoshop, one has to:

  1. Click on fx on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on drop shadow.
  3. Make sure you have the preview checked on.
  4. Workaround with the settings; Distance, Spread and Size until you find the right setting to match your needs.
  5. Once you have something you like, click on ok to apply those changes.
  6. Now, your drop shadow is applied; you can edit it anytime by clicking on the layers tab and double-click on the ‘drop shadow’ option.

Cast Shadows.


Cast Shadows is a shadows cast by an object or a person. To achieve that effect is a sense of realism in a photo with a plain background. It is mostly used in photoshoots and other product placements on the internet. For images on Amazon, Alibaba etc., to bring that natural look to life and lure customers into buying the product even if they cannot see it face to face.

To achieve this in Photoshop, one has to follow an intricate amount of steps:

  1. Use the Lasso tool to select the object.
  2. Right-click the object and select Layer Via Cut.
  3. Select Fx at the bottom of the Layers panel, then choose Drop Shadow from the list.
  4. Enter the following settings and press ok
  5. Distance: 69px
  6. Angle:-180
  7. Size:5px With the shadow layer selected, right-click the Fx beside the layer name and select Create layer from the list.
  8. Select the shadow layer, and then select Edit > Free Transform.
  9. Right-click on the object and select Distort.
  10. Drag the handles to adjust the position of the shadow, then press Enter when satisfied.
  11. Right-click on the shadow layer and select Duplicate Layer, and select ok.
  12. Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with the shadow copy layer selected.
  13. Move the slider to the right to blur the edges of the shadow, then select OK.
  14. With the shadow copy layer selected, select the Add Layer Mask icon.
  15. With the mask selected, select the Gradient tool and set the color of the foreground to white and the background to black.
  16. From the bottom of the shadow to the top, to make the shadow fade into the distance, add a gradient from about ¼ the distance by drawing it.
  17. Adjust the Opacity in the layer’s palette to make the shadow appear more natural.

That is how you cast a shadow on an object. That was not that hard, was it? Just like that, you will be able to cast any shadow on your images.


However, you have to choose the right images and the right software, which in this case is photoshop. The images need to be edited with perfection to be great for marketing. As the industry is reaching new heights regularly, your skills have to.


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