I'm looking remove the shadows shown in the below diagram so that the shadow only appears on the line it's over and not the background artboard.

My fix for 'removing' the shadow from the diagram

Shadow displaying on artboard instead of just on the line: Shadow displaying on artboard instead of just on the line

My fix for 'removing' the shadow from the diagram: My fix for 'removing' the shadow from the diagram

I've looked around a bit for answers, and one solution was talking about putting effects on different layers, but I don't think such a solution will work for this problem. I've also tried to use the eraser to, but that doesn't seem to work on shadows (maybe it doesn't work on any effects).

This isn't a massive issue, but it would be nice to have a neater solution than what I've currently got, so any suggestions would be gratefully received :)

  • 1
    Couldn't this be achieved by just using a gradient on that portion of the line? Dec 6, 2017 at 16:19
  • Nice idea, just tried it, but couldn't get the gradient to produce the right effect. Dec 6, 2017 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


This is fairly easy to do with overlapping objects. It's not something I'd try with a single object. I'd never use the drop shadow effect and I'd never consider masks necessary.

enter image description here

Once you have the two circles aligned, it's really just a matter of duplicating them, cutting and removing segments, then applying a gradient to one piece. Using Object > Path > Add Anchor Points can assist in adding additional anchor points half-way between the default anchor points.

  • Good answer, this tutorial is a good place for some more detailed steps. medialoot.com/blog/… Dec 6, 2017 at 22:11
  • Thanks! I got what I needed to do done, but this answer didn't directly lead me to the finished result. Could have done with some more clarifying steps. I did use your gradient idea as it's nice and clean, but it wasn't easy to get the segments to properly align, and I created a compound path, which I don't know if was the correct way because you didn't mention, but I achieved what I wanted. Thanks again for putting me on the right path. Dec 7, 2017 at 13:34
  • @TheoMatthews maybe you should ask a question on aligning objects.
    – joojaa
    Dec 7, 2017 at 13:36

I would use part of a line segment and just making gradient stroke go from Gray to 0% opacity. Then multiply that layer on top of the blue. You'll get the same effect with nothing overlapping the circles.

Another option is to just use a mask, duplicated from the shape of your circle.

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