Creating a Long Shadow in Photoshop

01 February, 2014

Long shadow is beautiful to look at, but its a little bit tricky to create inside photoshop
Here's a wonderful tutorial by Rose from psd tuts ( I like the pen tool option, because it gives me more control.
I created the same here with little more extra depth

01. Create a simple text on a light background

img 01.png

02. Add a color to your background. I use color overlay, so i can see the color in real time when i change

img 02.png

03. Create a single line with 45 degree angle and duplicate the line to match with the corner of the text. Guide lines will help you to give a consistent angle of shadow everywhere. To avoid having multiple layers when creating duplicates, use a line tool; so if you duplicate it will be on one layer

Since it is going to be a one big shadow for this block of text, use the top corner of the text to match the lines and do not have to worry about the bottom corners, except the first letter.

img 03.png

04. If required, zoom in to match all the lines to the edge of the text

img 04.png

05. Turn off the line and Use the pen tool to make a shape for the shadow. Leave a point at the end of the text and the start of the next letter. It does not matter where you place the points we can adjust later

img 05.png

06. Now Turn On the line and adjust the points to match the angle of the line. You can close the shape and make the fill opacity to 0 so you can see the lines more clearly

img 06.png

07. Once the line is closed, apply a flat color and check all the corner of the text for proper shadow depth

img 07.png

08. Set the Fill opacity to 0 and apply gradient

img 08.png

09. Duplicate the Shadow layer

img 09.png

10. And apply the same gradient

img 10.png

11. You can reduce the scale for the Gradient to have nice depth

img 11.png

12. Select the text layer and apply drop shadow. The drop shadow will lift the text from the ground

img 12.png

13. Since we applied drop shadow to the text, the shadow bleeds on top of the text. If the light source is coming from top left then it doesn't make sense to have a shadow here

img 13.png

14. To fix this, right-click on the text layer and select 'Create Layer'. You can also go to Layer Menu and select Create Layer (Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer)

img 14.png

15. Photoshop will make the effect as as a normal layer

img 15.png

16. Select one of the shadow shape layer and hold the 'Ctrl + click on the layer' to select

img 16.png

17. Select the Drop shadow layer and mask it. This will keep the shadow off the light area

img 17.png

18. Here's the final result

img 18.png

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