… for Apple Motion

Tip #956: Well… THAT was Obvious

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Drop Shadow tool is a fast way to access Inspector settings.

A drop shadow applied to a shape using the Drop Shadow tool.

Topic $TipTopic

Sometimes you overlook something REALLY obvious. I sure did and here’s what it does.

The drop shadow settings in Inspector > Properties can be applied to any selected element. I use them all the time.

However, as I was writing Tip #955 about the Anchor Point tool, I discovered – immediately below it in the Tools palette – the Drop Shadow tool. Wow! Who knew?

This tool applies a 75% opacity drop shadow to whatever object you have selected, then allows you to adjust its position and feathering.

To use it:

  • Select a layer in the Layers panel.
  • Select the Drop Shadow tool. This automatically puts a bounding box around whatever element is selected.
  • Drag the middle of the bounding box to move the shadow to a new location.
  • Drag one of the four corner dots to increase feathering.

NOTE: The four modifier keys have no impact on this setting.

EXTRA CREDIT

  • The color and opacity of the drop shadow can only be changed using the Inspector controls.
  • To modify an existing drop shadow, reselect the layer and the Drop Shadow tool.
  • To remove a drop shadow, go to Inspector > Properties and reset the Drop Shadow parameter settings. (Click the small downward-pointing arrow to the right of the Drop Shadow title.)

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