I'm working on a design with a phone hovering above a tablet, which is itself also hovering above a surface.

I'm trying to figure out how to mask this drop shadow, so it looks more realistic and doesn't have a shadow just hanging around in the air.

I only want the shadow to show on the tablet.

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


There may be a better way.. but here's how I'd handle it...

  • Edit > Copy the rotated Rectangle
  • Edit > Paste in Place
  • Edit > Copy the Phone image
  • Select the pasted rectangle and Edit > Paste Into
  • Double-click the corner of the rectangle where the phone is
  • Add the Drop Shadow
  • Select original phone image
  • Object > Arrange > Bring to front

enter image description here

enter image description here

The Drop Shadow Effect tends to create some dark edges on the image frame (as you can see above). By moving the original phone image to front, these edges are covered and no longer a problem.

This allows the shadow to follow the contour of the image. In this example one could merely draw a triangle in the corner and apply the drop shadow since the side of the phone is essentially a straight edge. But understanding this processes will help in instances where the image to shadow is not simply a straight edge.

  • Been a long week...I didn't even think to simply make a separate shadow, mask that, and place it between the phone/tablet. Thanks!
    – Manly
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 20:26

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