If you have a simple path who's size has been determined by increasing points (so its always just a line) and the line path has a gradient applied, so it now looks like a tube, or blood vessel - is there any way to merge the two paths so they appear to be more organic with no abrupt seams where they overlap. I have asked researched this and have asked around and do not believe there is a way, but thought to post on the Forum to see if by a miracle, any Illustrator guru knows.
I have attached an example JPG
I'm not looking for a work-around, this I can do, I need to know if two path w gradients can be merged or not.
I can imagine a couple of ways, but I am not quite sure how it should look in your eyes.
You mention that you already have workarounds. Can you post something that shows how it may look when you use one of the workarounds?
Also, which version of Illustrator are you using?
this arteriole work would be more of a problem if I neeeded to export a PDF or SVG, fortunately I can touch up in Photoshop with the smear tool to blend some of the rough looking vessels.
I've simply noticed over the years, looking at free vector anatomy art online that most vector images fail when it comes to blood vessels and threadline connections. The gradient mesh and spot transparency option offers some remedy, but again an ability to merge gradient paths would be a complete solution.
I tried to submitt an Adobe product recommendation, but for some reason the submission failed, oh well.
Your "gradient_merge" doesn't look much different than your "paths.png" except the top path is over the other, it would look "cleaner" if under (as in your "gradient_merge"). I think the only way to do this as a true connected artery is to convert paths to outlines, unite in pathfinder, then build the gradient with various strokes in the apperance panel with different width strokes stacked, then create a graphic style to apply to others.
Perhaps you could make an opacity mask so that the joint area fades out.
As many transitions as you are looking at, this is probably more work than you want to undertake.
I have not worked it to perfection, but I'm quite pleased with the result: adding a path with a radial gradient applied which blends into the existing gradients.
Thanks! I like the look of it, but I think Ton's solution is less fussy, and would be faster and easier for a large number of junctions.
My variation looks similar to Peter's.
A gradient, expanded, made into an art brush and applied with lighten mode.
I started to go that way, then distracted myself.