Chapter 11. Working with Transparency and Special Effects Tools

In This Chapter

  • Finding out about the Mesh tool

  • Getting to know the Blend tool

  • Using the Symbol Sprayer tool

  • Discovering transparency, blend modes, and opacity masks

This chapter is full of neat things that you can do using some of the more advanced features in Adobe Illustrator. These special effects tools can help you create art that really makes an impact: Discover how to make your art look like a painting with the Gradient Mesh tool, create morph-like blends with the Blend tool, become a pseudo-graffiti artist by trying out the Symbol Sprayer tool, and see what's underneath objects by using transparency!

The Mesh Tool

If you're creating art in Illustrator that requires solid colors or continuous patterns, you can achieve those results quite easily. But what if you're working on something that requires continuous tones, like a person's face? In that case, you'd turn to the very handy Mesh tool, which enables you to create the impression that you used paint and paintbrushes to create your illustration. Choose to blend one color into another and then use the Mesh tool to adjust where the blends occur and how dramatic the blends should be.

The Mesh tool can be as complex or simple as you want. Create intense illustrations that look like they were created with an airbrush, or just use it to give an object dimension, like the objects shown in Figure 11-1.

We show you how to create a gradient mesh two different ways: First by clicking ...

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