I have this image which I want to re-draw/reverse engineered so that I can use it at different sizes as resizing it cause it to look bad.

pic shadow

But I can't seem to figure out how to do it. The drop shadows on two sides and with the amount of shadows increasing from less to more as you go further out.

Do I, just for example, take a rect and play with the drop shadow settings? I tried that but I am not even getting close.

Just need a push to the right direction.

  • 2
    To each of his/her own, but I definitely always recommend photoshop for website graphics.
    – Joonas
    Aug 27, 2012 at 6:24
  • @Joonas: True but I have no exp with PS and with AI atleast I know 10%. How would one than increase size without pixelization in PS.
    – Jawad
    Aug 27, 2012 at 18:27
  • Jawad: If I wanted to keep scalability along with a complex shadow, I might just make that shadow really big, then make it a Smart object and use Free transform along with the Shift key to scale it to to my liking. That way you can pretty much scale it up and down without loosing the quality ( as long as you stay below the original dimensions. ). There are tutorials for making such shadows in photoshop, but you could use something like this as well graphicriver.net/item/special-drop-shadows-generator/…
    – Joonas
    Aug 27, 2012 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


Gradient mesh isn't really necessary for a simple rectangle.

  1. Create two long rectangles (the same size)
  2. Give one rectangle a simple black-white gradient and a normal drop shadow.
  3. Edit the gradient to make both colors transparent, leaving only the drop shadow visible.
  4. Add two points to the top-center and bottom-center of the drop shadow path.
  5. Select all 4 corner points with the white arrow tool and drag them down to make an upside down V shape.
  6. Use the Convert Anchor Point tool on the two points you created in step 4 to round out the middle corners.
  7. Select the two top corner points and drag them up and inward.

enter image description here

.... I think thats a little more than a push in the right direction.


I would use a gradient mesh for a couple reasons.

  • It will be infinitely scalable as a mesh
  • Trying to teak some raster settings within Illustrator will require quite a bit of playing, especially to achieve the distance blurring. And, after all that, you'd still have to re-tweak whenever you want to adjust the shadow.

While many users fear and avoid gradient meshes, there's really no reason to. They are as quickly created as any other vector object within Illustrator. In most cases the use of a mesh is much more versatile than any raster effect.

Mesh shadow

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