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Drop Shadows in Final Cut Pro are basically an effect that creates an artificial shadow behind an image, typically used with graphics and text.  A drop shadow is put behind your object to make it look more 3-dimensional.   Why do I need a drop shadow, you're wondering?  Adding a drop shadow to your titles or graphics gives them a sense of depth; it really helps the graphic pop out of the screen.

You will find the Drop Shadow function in the Motion Tab in the Viewer window.  To add a drop shadow to a clip:  Double-click in your clip to load it into the Viewer.  Click on the Motion Tab.  Click on the Drop Shadow check box to activate.  Twirl down the triangle to show the drop shadow controls.  You can change the parameters to affect how your drop shadow looks.

dropshadow.gifThe Parameters
Adjust these controls in the Motion Tab to make changes in how your Drop Shadow looks.
Offset is how far away the shadow is from the image.  The higher the number, the farther   away it gets; the lower the number, the closer.  When it gets to zero, it puts the shadow    right behind the image, and if the number goes negative, it goes to the other side of the picture.

Angle tells us basically where the light source is coming from.  

Color used most of the time is black, but you can change it to any color you want.  

Softness is exactly that; how soft it is or how dissolved it is.  If you move the Softness bar all the way to the right, you will see how the shadow edges get feathery. 

Opacity is whether it is transparent or solid; the higher the number, the more solid the shadow gets, and the lower number you use, the more transparent the shadow becomes.

Often with Drop Shadow less is more. A Drop Shadow with an offset of 1 combined with a thin border will present a much more professional look than without. Heavy Drop Shadow is more like a matte than an accent

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