Photoshop Help

Surprised I haven’t run into this before. Is there a way to add a mask to a layer effect rather than the actual layer?

Here’s a simplified version of what I’m trying to do. In this scenario, I’d like to mask the drop shadow on the translucent green box so that the drop shadow only shows up on the blue box.

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 1.56.59 PM

I have a hack in mind, but it’s not a very elegant solution, so I’m hoping someone here has dealt with this before. Thanks.

So, this may not be ideal since it “separates” the drop shadow from the green square, and won’t be a live effect, if you right click on the effect and choose “create layer”, it turns the shadow into its own layer. And then you can opt/alt click on the line between that newly separated shadow and the blue square which will mask it to the blue square.

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You could also change the blend mode of the shadow to color burn which isn’t quite the same, but it doesn’t “effect” white so the shadow will only “burn” on another color.

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That’s the only way I know of to keep it a live Layer Effect. If it’s not satisfactory, you’ll have to go “destructive”.

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I was hoping to keep the effect editable, but maybe that’s not a possibility. Setting the blending mode of the drop shadow to color burn may shift the colors on the underlying layer too much, but I’ll give that a try. Good idea.

I’m a little surprised PS won’t let you throw a mask on an effect.

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 3.07.26 PM

This is the only “easy” way I could get it to work fairly well. Basically duplicate your green square. One with the effect, one without. Create a mask to match the blue square and apply it to the drop shadow version of your green square. Then, create an inverted mask of the blue square and apply it to the duplicated non-drop shadow version of your green square. Then unlock the masks so they don’t move with the green squares, then if you select both green square layers at once and move them around, you will see that the shadow stays only over the blue.

Ha, that is a confusing mess. Hopefully you can make sense of it.

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Hi Steve,

Had a look at your problem and wonderd, is this what you want to achieve?

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It’s a check box in the layer style or fx palette where you can check if the effect its applied to the mask or not. Its in tha main window’s palette.

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Yes, that’s the look I’m after.

Thanks, Yulmix. I can make this work. There is still an extra step in needed for my application vs. being able to apply a unique mask directly to the effect, but the goal of having everything remain non-destructive and the effects editable are there.

Thanks to all for your suggestions and time. Appreciate it. I’ll toast GDF with my “it’s Friday afternoon and I’ve worked really hard at work all week and deserve to have a beer at my desk” afternoon beer.

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You need a reason?

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As you see I copied my green square to a second layer and changed the opacity to the top layer.

Applied a dropshadow to the middle layer and set the fill colour to none on that layer.

Got to the blending options in the layer style panel and changed the blend if options for the underlying layer.

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