How to apply a drop shadow on an object outer borders only?

Let’s say we have a ring on a transparent background:

My question is: how I put a drop shadow on this object’s external borders only?

If I apply a plain Drop Shadow effect, I get the following, which is not what I want since the internal borders also have a drop shadow.:


  1. Apply a drop-shadow as in your second example.
  2. Go to the blending options for the drop-shadow effect.
  3. Tick the box which says: “Layer mask hides effects”.

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  1. You can now use selection tools to select the inner drop-shadow circle of your layer
  2. With this inner drop shadow selected, you can mask it out.

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  1. Invert the mask, if necessary with Ctrl / Cmd+i

Source : Link , Question Author : Maël Nison , Answer Author : Ryan

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