1 Simple Trick For AESTHETIC Drop Shadows In After Effects

The native drop shadow effects in After Effects are boring. With these drop shadow tools, you'll be able to achieve a more eye-catching and aesthetic drop shadow for text, images and other foreground elements.

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Adobe After Effects Drop Shadow

Adding a drop shadow element to your foreground elements such as text, soldi layers and images can add a sense of depth to your video. When used correctly, shadows can dramatically enhance the feel of your video sequence, and best of all, they're easy to use even if you're just a beginner!

What Are Drop Shadows In After Effects?

Drop shadows in After Effects (and in general design) are used to accentuate the appearance that a foreground element is positioned above another element. This could be text in front of a plain background, or even a transparent object nestled In front of other layers.

Usually, drop shadows aren't meant to be realistic looking as they are only used for decoration, however, if you're trying to achieve a real-life look, you can do so by using separate black or dark solid layers as a drop shadow instead of the drop shadow effect itself. This method of drop shadow creation may also require knowledge about After Effects 3D cameras and light positioning.

How To Make A Drop Shadow

For text, PNGs and other simple motion graphics, shadows can be achieved easily using the drop shadow effect.

  1. Open the effects panel and search for 'drop shadow'
  2. apply the drop shadow effect onto the desired layer by selecting the layer, then double clicking the effect. You can also drag the drop shadow effect directly onto the layer.
  3. Adjust the direction, opacity, softness and oher effect controls of the drop shadow to your preference.

You also have the ability to animate any parameter of the drop shadow effect by keyframing certain properties. See the templates below to find inspiration on how direction among other properties are adjusted to create eye-catching designs.

Realistic Drop Shadow After Effects - Simple Trick

Here are three easy-to-customize presets and templates that you can use to achieve a better looking drop shadow in After Effects. The first one is free to download and the following two will require a Motion Array subscription.

Long Shadow Titles


A popular look in recent motion design, the long shadow titles look good for opener videos and intros.

Add Drop Shadow To Text In After Effects


This template contains 10 unique drop shadow text styles which simulate the appearance that the text is under a spotlight, and thus, resulting in a shadow.

AE Drop Shadow Presets


Here are 10 unique presets for creating the ideal drop shadow effect for your text and foreground layers. We suggest you try each one to see what works best.