Isolating shadows in Sketch

Isolating a drop shadow in Sketch could be tricky. This short tutorial is going to show you one of the ways of doing that.

We are talking about the Sketch app for Mac

I wrote a short article called A good-looking drop shadow in Sketch and I want to dig a little bit deeper today. I would like to show you how to isolate a shadow of an object in Sketch.

Let me show you how to do it on an Netflix-like logo example. Netflix redesigned its logo not long time ago and it has a nice drop shadow in its “N”. And it looks something like this:

Drop shadow in Sketch

Here are the components of the logo that we are going to work with in this tutorial . I am going to use the names of the layers in the article as well.

Step one — the “N” shape

Let's put the “N” shape and the middle part together and give it proper colours (#AD3020 dark red, #E4432D light red). The result is a super-flat logo without shadows.

Drop shadow in Sketch

Step two — the Gaussian Blur

We are going to create a base for the drop shadows now. Let's change the colour of the middle part to #2D1414 (or something similar) and set a Gaussian Blur to 4px. The result is far cry from what we want, right? No worries we will fix it.

Drop shadow in Sketch

Step three — red in the middle

What we need to do now is to duplicate the middle part and change its colour to light red (#E4432D) again and disable the Gaussian Blur. Make sure, that the red layer is above the layer with the Blur.

Now we are much closer. But the shadow is on places where it should't be (all around the middle part of the logo). Let's move to the next step and start isolating the shadow.

Drop shadow in Sketch

Step four — the magical part

The question is how to get rid off the shadow that is overflowing on the top, bottom and on sides? We are going to use our masks.

Drop shadow in Sketch

Let's put all the parts from the picture above together. We need to activate the mask and disable its colour (mind the order, the mask layer needs to be below the middle part with the blur). Take a look at the short video below that will guide you.

Drop shadow in Sketch

We are going to do pretty much the same steps for the shadow on the right side of the middle part of the “N”.

Drop shadow in Sketch

Step five — your turn

Now you know how to isolate shadows in Sketch and how to force them to go in a certain direction. It is time to find a perfect mask for the shadow and make the drop shadow perfect. Try it on your own and play a little with this technique.

This is my final result:

Drop shadow in Sketch

I hope that this tip could be helpful for you. Do not hesitate to recommend the article if you find it useful.

See you soon with more nice Sketch tips and tricks. Bye bye!