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Modifying mesh lines

You'll use the gradient mesh tool to reshape mesh lines by moving mesh points on them, add mesh lines with an unpainted mesh point to the mesh, and delete a single mesh line in the forewing of the first butterfly.

Select the hand tool ( ), and move the butterfly at the top of the artwork down to the center of your window.

Select the gradient mesh tool ( ), and position it over the left forewing. Select the left mesh point on the top horizontal line (don't release the mouse button), then hold down Shift, and drag the mesh point to the left.

As you drag to the left, the intersecting vertical mesh line is reshaped. Holding down Shift as you drag constrains the movement horizontally, leaving the horizontal mesh line unaffected.

Select the bottom mesh point on the right vertical line (don't release the mouse), and Shift-drag to move it down without affecting the vertical mesh line.

Notice how the color blending readjusts to the new position of the mesh point.

Figure . Shift-drag left to move mesh point along horizontal line.

Figure . Shift-drag down to move mesh point along vertical line.

For a color illustration of the edited mesh point, see figure 11-2 in the color section.

You can add a mesh point to a mesh object without applying the current fill color to it or changing the existing colors in the object.

Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) away from the object to deselect it.

Select a new color fill by clicking a color in the Color palette or the Swatches palette. (We selected the Color 6 swatch.)

Using the gradient mesh tool ( ), position the pointer in the center of a patch. (We chose the middle right patch; see the following illustration.) Shift-click to add a new mesh point with two intersecting mesh lines—without changing the color in the object. Notice that the Fill box in the toolbox changes to the existing color of the object where you clicked.

If you want to change the color of the new mesh point, click a new color in the Color palette or Swatches palette. (We selected the Color 6 swatch again.)

Figure . Shift-click to add unpainted mesh point.

Figure . New mesh point picks up underlying mesh colors.


Note: You can add anchor points to an existing mesh line by selecting the object and using the add anchor point tool ( ).

Now you'll delete a mesh line.

Using the gradient mesh tool, position the pointer over a mesh line and hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to display a minus sign on the pointer. Alt/Option-click a segment (between two mesh points) on the mesh line to delete the line.

Notice how the color on the new mesh point spreads into the area where the line was.

Figure . Position pointer over line to left of new mesh point.

Figure . Alt/Option-click segment to delete mesh line.

Figure . Result

You'll complete the butterfly by reflecting a copy of the forewing.

Click the selection tool ( ) in the toolbox to select the bounding box of the mesh object.

Select the reflect tool ( ) in the toolbox, and Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) in the body of the butterfly, about midway between the existing wing and the wing guide.

In the Reflect dialog box, make sure that the Angle option is selected, type 36 in the degree text box, and click Copy. (Don't click OK.)

Depending on where you clicked in the body, you may have to adjust the position of the reflected copy by using the arrow keys.



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