You can add/remove effects to an effect list. Figma renders up to 8 of each shadow type, and 1 of each blur type. Keep in mind that the blurs used by these effects can lead to poor performance, with background blurs typically being the most expensive effect.

Effects like shadows, glows, blurs, and the paint lists combine with blending to create a variety of looks to a shape.

Drop Shadow:

 A versatile effect that can be used to make a shape pop off the background by casting a shadow below. The shadow can be offset, the blur size controls the softness, and the color and blend tint and combine the shadow.

  • Drop shadows can also be efficiently applied to a group and layer under the group as a whole instead of each individual shape.
  • Set a blur size of 0 to create a hard shadow of the shape.
  • Create an outer glow with an offset of 0 and set blend to Screen.

Inner Shadow:

A versatile effect that can be used to add inner depth to a shape. These have similar controls to the drop shadow but appear atop the fill but below the stroke on a shape.

  • Like drop shadows, inner shadows can be applied to groups.
  • Create an inner glow with an offset of 0 and set blend to Screen.

Layer Blur:

 This blurs any given layer's geometry.

  • Blurs of large numbers of pixels can contribute to performance issues.

Background Blur:

This blurs the geometry of all geometry underneath the bounds of the layer with the blur.

  • Blurs of large numbers of pixels can contribute to performance issues.
  • To see the background blur, make sure to set the fill paint opacity much less than 100%. Opacity can be set as low as 1% to see all background blur.

Effects Render Order

In Figma, effects apply to both layers and groups. Using group blurs and shadows can improve performance, but keep in mind the stacking order differences from the tables below. 

The differences in group and layer shadows are most evident on overlapping layers. When shapes don’t overlap, then the appearance should typically be the same.

Layers:

  • Layer Blur (top)
  • Stroke Paints
  • Inner Shadow
  • Fill Paints
  • Drop Shadow
  • Background Blur (bottom)

Groups:

  1. Layer Blur (top)
  2. Inner Shadow (of Group children):

• For all Group Children
• Fill and Stroke Paints, Masks, and Effects
• Render Background Fill (if enabled and/or exported)

3. Drop Shadow (of Group children and Background Fill)
4. Background Blur (bottom)

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