Chapter 11. Working with Transparency and Special Effects Tools

In This Chapter

  • Adding dimension with 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 you can do using some of the more advanced features in Adobe Illustrator. These special effects tools can help you create art that 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 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 if you're working on an element that requires continuous tones, such as a person's face, you turn to the handy Mesh tool to create smooth tonal variations in your illustration. Choose to blend one color into another and then use the Mesh tool to adjust your blend. Now in Illustrator CS5, you can apply varying levels of transparency to these mesh points.

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

We show you how to create a gradient mesh in two different ways: Clicking gives you a little more freedom to put ...

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