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.
A. Mesh line B. Mesh patch C. Mesh point D. Anchor point
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.
When printing mesh objects, spot colors are preserved for EPS, PDF, and PostScript output.
The object is converted to a mesh object with the minimum number of mesh lines.
Applies the object’s original color evenly across the surface, resulting in no highlight.
Creates a highlight in the center of the object.
Creates a highlight on the edges of the object.
The selected object is converted to a mesh object that takes the shape of the gradient, either circular (radial) or rectangular (linear).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.