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Gradient Mesh

Gradients are somewhat limited. They have only two shapes (at least in Illustrator). Blends (which I cover in Chapter 17) are a little more flexible, but even they have their limitations. They can't send colors out in different directions from the same point. So Illustrator gives you yet another way to have one color segue into another—you can convert an object into a gradient mesh. A gradient mesh (sometimes called just a mesh by its close associates) is a special type of path that is filled with a series of special interior paths. Wherever these interior paths cross, it creates a node (or what Adobe calls a mesh point) to which you can assign a color. Each node has four control handles that dictate the shape and direction of the color that extends out from the node. You can create objects that are more three-dimensional and appear to have been painted or airbrushed.

Figure 15.24 shows two example of the same object with the same gradient mesh. Only the mesh point has been edited.


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