Meshes

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. ToolsDefault keyboard shortcuts | Illustrator
      4. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      5. Artboards
      6. Customize the workspace
      7. Properties panel
      8. Tool galleries
      9. Set preferences
      10. Touch Workspace
      11. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      12. Recovery, undo, and automation
      13. Rotate view
      14. Rulers, grids, and guides
      15. Accessibility in Illustrator
      16. Safe Mode
      17. View artwork
      18. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      19. Files and templates
      20. Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Work with images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Create 3D objects
      10. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      11. Adjust path segments
      12. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      13. Perspective drawing
      14. Symbols
      15. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    3. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    5. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    6. Type
      1. Create text
      2. Fonts and typography
      3. Format type
      4. Import and export text
      5. Format paragraphs
      6. Special characters
      7. Create type on a path
      8. Character and paragraph styles
      9. Tabs
      10. Text and type
      11. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      12. Update text from Illustrator 10
      13. Arabic and Hebrew type
      14. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      15. Create 3D text effect
      16. Creative typography designs
      17. Scale and rotate type
      18. Line and character spacing
      19. Hyphenation and line breaks
      20. Text enhancements
      21. Spelling and language dictionaries
      22. Format Asian characters
      23. Composers for Asian scripts
      24. Create text designs with blend objects
      25. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    7. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    8. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Import artwork files
      2. Import bitmap images
      3. Import artwork from Photoshop
      4. Place multiple files | Illustrator CC
      5. Unembed images
      6. Import Adobe PDF files
      7. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
      8. Links information
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Export artwork
      2. Collect assets and export in batches
      3. Package files
      4. Create Adobe PDF files
      5. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      6. Adobe PDF options
      7. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash on launch issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. GPU device driver issues
    5. Wacom device issues
    6. DLL file issues
    7. Memory issues
    8. Preferences file issues
    9. Font issues
    10. Printer issues
    11. Share crash report with Adobe

A mesh object is a multicolored object on which colors can flow in different directions and transition smoothly from one point to another. When you create a mesh object, multiple lines called mesh lines crisscross the object and provide a way to easily manipulate color transitions on the object. By moving and editing points on the mesh lines, you can change the intensity of a color shift, or change the extent of a colored area on the object.

At the intersection of two mesh lines is a special kind of anchor point called a mesh point. Mesh points appear as diamonds and have all of the same properties as anchor points but with the added capability of accepting color. You can add and delete mesh points, edit the mesh points, or change the color associated with each mesh point.

Anchor points also appear in the mesh (differentiated by their square rather than diamond shape), and can be added, deleted, edited, and moved as with any anchor points in Illustrator. Anchor points can be placed on any mesh line; you can click an anchor point and drag its direction lines to modify it.

The area between any four mesh points is called the mesh patch. You can also change the color of the mesh patch using the same techniques as changing colors on a mesh point.

Diagram of a mesh object
Diagram of a mesh object

A. Mesh line B. Mesh patch C. Mesh point D. Anchor point 

Create mesh objects

You can create mesh objects from vector objects, with the exception of compound paths and text objects. You cannot create mesh objects from linked images.

To improve performance and redraw speed, keep the size of mesh objects to a minimum. Complex mesh objects can greatly reduce performance. Therefore, it is better to create a few small, simple mesh objects than to create a single, complex mesh object. When converting complex objects, use the Create Mesh command for the best results.

Note:

When printing mesh objects, spot colors are preserved for EPS, PDF, and PostScript output.

Create a mesh object with an irregular pattern of mesh points

  1. Select the Mesh tool  , and select a fill color for the mesh points.
  2. Click where you want to position the first mesh point.

    The object is converted to a mesh object with the minimum number of mesh lines.

  3. Continue clicking to add additional mesh points. Shift-click to add a mesh point without changing to the current fill color.

Create a mesh object with a regular pattern of mesh points

  1. Select the object and choose Object > Create Gradient Mesh.
  2. Set the number of rows and columns, and select the direction of the highlight from the Appearance menu:

    Flat

    Applies the object’s original color evenly across the surface, resulting in no highlight.

    To Center

    Creates a highlight in the center of the object.

    To Edge

    Creates a highlight on the edges of the object.

  3. Enter a percentage of white highlight to apply to the mesh object. A value of 100% applies maximum white highlight to the object; a value of 0% applies no white highlight to the object.

Convert a gradient-filled object to a mesh object

  1. Select the object and choose Object > Expand.
  2. Select Gradient Mesh, and click OK.

    The selected object is converted to a mesh object that takes the shape of the gradient, either circular (radial) or rectangular (linear).

Convert a mesh object back to a path object

  1. Select the mesh object, choose Object > Path > Offset Path, and then enter zero for the offset value.

Edit mesh objects

You can edit a mesh object by adding, deleting, and moving mesh points; changing the color of mesh points and mesh patches; and converting the mesh object back to a regular object.

  1. Edit a mesh object by doing any of the following:
    • To add a mesh point, select the Mesh tool  and select a fill color for the new mesh points. Then click anywhere in the mesh object.

    • To delete a mesh point, Alt‑click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the mesh point with the Mesh tool.

    • To move a mesh point, drag it with the Mesh tool or Direct Selection tool. Shift-drag a mesh point with the Mesh tool to keep the mesh point on a mesh line. This is a convenient way to move a mesh point along a curved mesh line without distorting the mesh line.

    Dragging to move mesh point (left) compared to Shift- dragging with the Mesh tool to constrain the point to the mesh line (right)
    Dragging to move mesh point (left) compared to Shift- dragging with the Mesh tool to constrain the point to the mesh line (right)

    • To change the color of a mesh point or patch, Select the mesh object, and then drag a color from the Color panel or Swatches panel onto the point or patch. Or, deselect all objects and select a fill color. Then select the mesh object and use the Eyedropper tool to apply the fill color to mesh points or patches.

    Adding color to a mesh point (left) compared to adding color to a mesh patch (right)
    Adding color to a mesh point (left) compared to adding color to a mesh patch (right)

Set transparency for gradient meshes

You can set transparency and opacity values within gradient meshes. Transparency and opacity values can be assigned to individual mesh nodes. To assign transparency values:

  1. Select one or more mesh nodes or patches.
  2. Set the opacity from the Opacity slider in Transparency Panel, Control Panel, or the Appearance panel.
    Note:

    If you save the object to legacy format or EPS or PDF, the transparency on the mesh object is retained by creating an opacity mask.

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