Tip #486: Add Drop Shadows to Text

… for Apple Motion

Tip #486: Add Drop Shadows to Text

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The secret to adding drop shadows is to add them to the group.

To add drop shadows, you apply them to the group, not the text, when blend modes are involved.

Topic $TipTopic

In Tip #475, I showed how to fill text with an animated background. In Tip #484, I showed how to put a background behind the filled text. Now, I want to show how to put a drop shadow on the text, because you can’t do it on the text itself.

Fill the Text

  • Add text into a group.
  • In the same group, put a background below the text that you want to fill the text.
  • Change the Blend Mode for the text to Stencil Alpha.

Add the Background

  • Create a new group and put it below the group containing the text.
  • Put the background you want to put behind the text effect into this second group.
  • Change the Blend Mode of the top group to Normal.

Add the Drop Shadows

  • Select the group that contains the text.
  • Go to Inspector > Properties, then enable and modify the drop shadow settings.

NOTE: If you try to apply a drop shadow to the text, it will disappear as soon as you change the blend mode.


The screen shot shows the Inspector settings, plus the finished effect.

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