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I read the definition of 面影:

実際に目の前にあるように心の中に浮かぶ姿・かたち

"Shape(s)" that comes up in your mind as if it was in front of you/real

Based on the kanjis 面影 I'm assuming it's something to do with a picture/shadow/scenario/memory in your head. I found the word in this sentence 面影に差した日暮れ.

I searched up 心の中に浮かぶ and I found this for 心に浮かぶ https://kotobank.jp/word/%E5%BF%83%E3%81%AB%E6%B5%AE%E3%81%8B%E3%81%B6-265756

① 想像して心に描く。思い浮かぶ。

To imagine and "sketch it". To come to mind

Does 心の中に浮かぶ have a different meaning than 心に浮かぶ. Also, I'm just wondering if "as if it was" is a correct interpretation for ように in this case.

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There isn't any significant difference in meaning between the two expressions, except maybe in some very unlikely situations.

Generally speaking, if you have the right conditions, "[noun]の中に" can be swapped for "[noun]に" without affecting the meaning in any important way. Take this example:

(1) バケツの中に水が入っている
(2) バケツに水が入っている

You can justly say that there isn't any semantic difference of importance between the (1) and (2), insofar as they both state that there is water in a bucket. This is because even without "の中", what can conceivably be meant is that there is water in(side) the bucket and not in or on any other part of the bucket (the "入っている" having the concept of in-ness built in it). Where else in a bucket could water be contained, except, well, in it, under normal circumstances?

There are, naturally, cases where the meaning change:

(3) バケツの中に値札が貼ってある
(4) バケツに値札が貼ってある

There is a difference of significance between the two sentences above. (3) says that there is a price tag stuck on the inside of the bucket, while we can't know from (4) where on the bucket the price tag is stuck (because you can conceivably stick a price tag on any surface of a bucket other than the inside).

Though things are a bit vague with "心の中に浮かぶ" and "心に浮かぶ" because they are figurative language, I think it's not unreasonable to think of them in the same way as the pair (1) and (2).

All that said, though, we can also just think of "心の中に浮かぶ" as 'come up in(side) my mind' and "心に浮かぶ" as 'comes up on our mind' or 'comes up to our mind' and it will make little difference.

So, -- to bring this overlong answer to a conclusion -- the bottom line is that as idiomatic phrases, "心の中に浮かぶ" and "心に浮かぶ" mean much the same thing and used in much the same way, however you interpret their internal semantics.

(You are on point with the translation of "ように" as 'as if'.)

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