Quick Tips

Making Global Light Work For You

Problem: You applied a drop shadow to an object on one layer, then later you applied a bevel on another layer, but in the Bevel and Emboss options in the Layer Style dialog, you notice that the position of your drop shadow just moved when you changed the angle of your bevel. Reason: Adobe uses a feature (that acts like a bug) called Global Light. The idea behind it makes sense, yet we’ve never run into the scenario it was created for. The idea is this: You’ve created an image with lots of drop shadows, all casting in a particular direction. If the client saw your work and said, “Hey, instead of having the shadows go down and to the right, can we make all the shadows go up and to the left?” If that unlikely event ever occurred, you’d be set, because all you’d have to do is move one shadow and all the other shadows on other layers would move to the exact same angle. It’s a great idea; it just never happens (okay, it’s probably happened somewhere, once). Solution: In the Layer Style dialog, deselect the Use Global Light checkbox. Now you can move the angle of your current layer style separately from the rest of your image. Life is good once more.


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