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Part: Four Color and Effects > Blends, Masks, and Pen & Ink Fills

Chapter 17. Blends, Masks, and Pen & Ink Fills

At first glance you may be wondering why I would rope these three effects together in one chapter; there doesn't seem to be much that ties them together. But believe it or not, there really is a theme to these features: all three create or display objects within shapes defined by different objects. Blends allow you to create additional images by selecting two or more objects. Masks display images within the shape of a certain object. And the Pen & Ink filter creates additional objects that are displayed within the original object.

However, an even better theme is that these are the features that always stump beginners. And although blends and masks have become easier to use since the days when I was starting to work with Illustrator, they can still be daunting to new users. You need a strong will to get started with these features—the Hatch Effects dialog box (which is under the Pen & Ink command) is easily among the most daunting collection of options inside all of Illustrator—but your labors will not go unrewarded.

So welcome to the hard stuff in Illustrator. These are the commands that truly separate the beginners from the experienced users. When you finish with this chapter, you'll fully deserve to stick a gold star on your monitor.


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