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Help!Can't figure out how to copy and paste a drop shadow behind an image in photoshop

May 18, 2012 3:33 PM

I use illustrator most of the time. I'm designing a brochure and I've always embedded images, but now I'm trying to it correctly by linking them instead. So I have an image in ps as a tiff. I created a drop shadow for the image in illustrator. I want to copy and paste it behind the image into the same file so both are one file linked to the brochure. Also the drop shadow pastes as too small, then i also can't get it positioned right etc. Please explain how to do this step by step. I've been trying for hours to figure it out. thanks!

  • Trevor Dennis
    5,931 posts
    May 24, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 4:17 PM   in reply to artsyvom

    Is the drop shadow for the entire image area, or just one element in that image?

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    May 19, 2012 1:06 AM   in reply to artsyvom

    Why are you not just creating the shadow in Photoshop (Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow for example)?


    Edit: After changing the background layer to a regular one and increasing Image > Canvas Size if necessary.

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    May 19, 2012 7:23 AM   in reply to artsyvom

    someone told me that it was better to make drop shadows in illustrator.

    It may be if that’s the end of it (especially with regards to Blend Modes for the Drop Shadow) – but the way I understood your description you tried getting the ai-shadow into Photoshop and that would seem not to make a lot of sense.

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    May 20, 2012 8:31 AM   in reply to artsyvom

    If a placed psd includes a Drop Shadow (created in Photoshop) this will take the Blend Mode of the object – so if you want the image Normal but the shadow for example to Multiply that is not convenient.

    Furthermore if you place several psd files, scale them to different percentages but want them all to have identically dimensioned Drop Shadows it would be more convenient to do that in Illustrator than to counter-calculate the magnifications and set the Drop Shadows in Photoshop accordingly.


    If the shadow is supposed to be a straight Drop Shadow (no perspectival distorsions, gradual blurring etc.) I see no significant advantage of creating it in Photoshop as opposed to the layout application from whence the output-pdf will be created – if your output is indeed a pdf.


    In general I would not recommend embedding images in Illustrator (or Indesign) as that imbues the risk of disregarding potential changes made on placed images later on.

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