I'm not sure I'm using the right language, but I'm stumped on how to google for this. Basically, I want to take a layer containing multiple objects, duplicate it, and apply effects to it. I have to do this four times, but what I really need is to have the original be linked to these new duplicates.
If I shift the size, placement, etc of the shapes, I want the effect duplicates to mimic those changes. I can do this with Effect > Transform, which makes multiple copies that still have the parent's properties linked to them, but I can't target those copies with the various effects I want to do. Like, I want one of the copies to have a free distort and color change which will make a nice shadow. Am I out of luck trying to do this dynamically?