This tutorial teaches you how to add a drop shadow to a layer in After Effects. You can easily add a drop shadow to text, shapes, solids, videos, and graphics. Here’s how:
Adding a Drop Shadow to a Layer in AE
Right-click the layer (ex: text, solid, shape, video, graphic, etc.) in the Timeline panel. In the menu that appears go to Layer Styles then choose Drop Shadow.
A drop shadow is now added to that layer. By default this drop shadow is quite nice IMO. You can absolutely modify it though.
Modify the Drop Shadow’s Properties
In the Timeline panel, the layer you added the Drop Shadow to now has Layer Styles as one of its properties you can edit. Find Drop Shadow under Layer Styles. And here you can change the Blend Mode, Color, Opacity, Angle, Distance, Spread, Size, and more.
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Click into one of their values and change it to another number. For example if you change Distance from 5.0 to 25.0, the Drop Shadow will move further away from the its source (in this example it’s the text).
Copy and Paste Drop Shadow to Another Layer in AE
If you want to copy and paste the drop shadow from one layer to another in After Effects, select the Drop Shadow property of the layer in the Timeline. Hit Command+C if you’re on a Mac or Control+C if you’re on a Windows company to copy it. Then select the layer you want to paste it to. Use the keyboard shortcut Command+V (Mac) or Control+V (Windows) to paste the drop shadow.
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If you’ve read this tutorial and you still can’t figure it out, please leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to help troubleshoot it. But if you can now add a drop shadow in After Effects, I hope you stick around and check out some of the other After Effects tutorials on my website or consider signing up to get notified about new blog posts and happenings around EVF.