If you are playing along in our Layout-a-Day: Winter Cabin, you know that you’ll be getting this adorable deer as your prize today (January 12, 2021). I’m using him to illustrate how I sometimes double shadow elements. I find that a double shadow can be useful with animals or even people. Here, let me show you.

I start by dragging the adorable deer, by Aimee Harrison Designs, into my open document. In this case the solid paper from Tracey B Creations, also part of the January 12 LAD prize.

Note: I now have two layers in my photoshop document (PSD).

I need to start with the first shadow. These are my settings and my shadows are light, on a light background. Please adjust accordingly dependent on your background.

  • Make sure you are on the adorable deer layer
  • Click the fx to open the drop shadow panel
  • Set your Drop Shadow to:
    • Blend Mode: Multiply
    • Opacity: 36%
    • Angle: -48
    • Distance: 11 px
    • Size: 32 px
  • Click OK

Double check you are on the adorable deer layer:

  • Hover your cursor near the fx on the deer layer
  • Right-click; and a pop-up menu appears
  • Click on Create Layer

As soon as you click Create Layer, a pop up occurs:

“Some aspects of the Effects cannot be reproduced with layers!”

Click OK

You now have two adorable deer layers:

  1. the original adorable deer element (Layer 1)
  2. the shadow (Layer 1 shadow)

We are going to Distort this new shadow layer so that it looks like there is a shadow under the adorable deer. To do this, make sure you are on the new shadow layer:

  1. In the top menu, click on Edit
  2. Click on Transform
  3. Click on Distort

You can now grab the “handles” to Distort the shadow. Simply drag it down & closer to the deer until it looks right to you:

To make this distorted shadow even more realistic, it needs a blur to it. A shadow this far from the adorable deer will not naturally be crisp. Again, be sure you are on the shadow layer:

  1. In the top menu, click on Filter
  2. Click on Blur
  3. Click on Gaussian Blur

As soon as you click Gaussian Blur, a pop-up occurs. In this pop-up you can adjust the amount of blur by sliding the Radius slider on the bottom.

I set my blur at 15.0 Pixels

That’s it for the first shadow! Now click back onto the adorable deer layer (Layer 1) and reapply the original Drop Shadow settings.
Note: Photoshop remembers the Drop Shadow settings you last used as a default setting. This can be as simple as:

  • Click fx
  • Click Drop Shadow.

That’s it! Your adorable deer is doubled shadowed & ready for action.