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Mesh tool in illustrator by Violhaine Mesh tool in illustrator by Violhaine
1. As we know for the gradient tool, The colour goes from one colour and blends equally until it turns into another colour. In the example above, we turned Cyan (A) into Green (B). The only problem with the gradient tool, is that it mixes the gradient equally throughout the whole shape. But what if we wanted the gradation to start somewhere else within a shape? Mesh tool would be the simplest answer to that problem.

2. Let's start out with a simple shape a circle. I filled it in yellow, and I am Labeling the colour Yellow as (B). (please note that this circle has 4 nodes and because the colour of the shape is yellow (B) those 4 nodes have the colour yellow (B) ).

3. By Selecting the Mesh Tool, I can add a new node within the the area of the shape, in this case, I added a node just a little right of the centre of the shape. With this new node, I can give it a new colour. In this example I changed that Node to a colour Green which I labelled (A) (make a note that when I added this new node, that it divides the shape and adds new nodes, so now there is one node in the centre, & 10 nodes on the outer edge). So by changing that node to a Green (A) it slowly blends it's colour towards the other colours (in my example it connects to the nodes on the outer edge yellow (B) ), the same way that gradients work. Because the nodes on the outer edge were not assigned a new colour, they will remain yellow (B) ( Word to the wise: whenever you start a new shape, before you add mesh gradients, change it to a colour you wish the overal shape should be. Also note that at any time you can use the "Direction selection tool" and select one of those nodes and change it to a new colour).

4. You can add as many new nodes to your shape as you want by using the gradient mesh tool. In my example I added a new node to the lower left corner of the circle (labelled C). By doing this, newer nodes have been added to the outer edge of the shape ( 14 nodes in total on the outer edge). as well as 2 more nodes that have crossed over previous curves ( which I marked AB). I have coloured this new node red (C). From point (C) to the lower left edge of the circle, it slowly gradates from red to yellow. from point (C) to point (A) it slowly gradates from red to green. point (AB) represents the previous gradation from yellow to green, so in effect point (C) to point (AB) is actually red to yellow green.

Hopefully this will help any of you guys out wondering how the mesh tool works. And just another thing I might add, is that you can change the shape and direction of the gradation. If you ever noticed while making these new nodes, they have handles on them just like bezier curves do. The "Direct Selection tool" is a very handy tool to use while using the gradient mesh tool. just experiment with it, and you will understand it fully.
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rn-vth Featured By Owner May 1, 2010
thanks for the tutorial, it helped me a lot =D
zephroelectro Featured By Owner May 30, 2008
very good info :)
Violhaine Featured By Owner May 31, 2008
thanks :)
Freestylegirlzz Featured By Owner May 9, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the basic i have to make for the test tomorrow
Violhaine Featured By Owner May 9, 2007
glad I can help. Good luck with your test :thumbsup:
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Submitted on
October 19, 2004
Image Size
113 KB


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