Game Development Reference
Differences Between Layer Styles and Effects
In almost every instance, layer styles are signifi cantly more powerful than effects are. So, what are the differences between
Drop Shadow, the layer style, and Drop Shadow, the effect? The Drop Shadow layer style adds more blending options, gives
you the ability to use Global Lighting, adjust Spread independently of the blur of the shadow, and the ability to add noise to the
shadow. However, the Drop Shadow effect gives you the option to view the shadow only. This allows you to duplicate a layer and
have its drop shadow as a separate, autonomous layer. You can then apply warp effects to the Drop Shadow layer to give the
illusion that the shadow of the main object is being cast onto a more complex surface.
Figure 15.10 The Drop
Figure 15.11 The same project
with the Drop Shadow effect
applied with the default settings.
The Shadow Color and Opacity properties are self-explanatory.
Direction is easy to grasp, except it's backwards from what you
might think (maybe it's just backwards from the way I think). With
the bevel effects, the similar angle control determined what direc-
tion the light was coming from. In the Drop Shadow effect, the
Direction parameter dictates where the shadow is in relation to
the layer. Or, in other words, where the light is pointing towards.
The next property is Distance. This controls how far away the
shadow is from the layer. As you increase the distance of a shadow
from the thing that is supposed to be casting the shadow, it gives
the illusion that the object is fl oating farther off the surface. You
can see the result of this in Fig. 15.12. The Softness parameter is