Old gradient mesh in illustrator

New Here ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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Two years ago I created a beautiful hummingbird using gradient mesh and the mesh tool and I shocked myself on the finished project.  Now I am trying to create another work of art using the gradient mesh again, but now it automatically fills in when created.  Before it never did that.  Is this ability to have a clear gradient mesh gone for good or is there a setting I need to utilize in order to get my clear mesh back?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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How do you create the Gradient Mesh? Select an object and choose Object > Create Gradient Mesh?

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Im sorry Mr. Fredriks... Did you even read my post?  I know how to create a gradient mesh.  My problem is that it automatically fills when created.  It never used to do that.  Am I missing a setting somewhere?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Of course I read your post., Vrginiakay. But after doing something 2 years ago you may not remember now all the steps you took.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 07, 2022 Jul 07, 2022

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If the object that you want to make into a gradient mesh has a fill of None and then you apply Object>Create Gradient Mesh the resulting mesh should remain clear. You can then select individual anchor points within the mesh with either the gradient mesh tool or the direct selection tool (white arrow). Whatever anchor points you select will then have colors you choose radiating from them. If you want the mesh you create to have a gradient fill to start with rather than a flat background then choose "To Center" or "To Edge" from the Appearance pull-down that is within the Create Gradient Mesh dialog window that pops up when you first create the mesh. For more details see: https://www.webucator.com/article/how-to-use-the-gradient-mesh-tool-in-adobe-illustr/

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Hey Mr Silbert

Thank you for responding.  I do everything I am supposed to.  I create a new document, I place my photo in the document.  I create a new layer.  I lock the original layer and then I turn off the fills then I create a clear oval over the part I wish to recreate and I go to object then hit create gradient mesh and it automatically fills.  I am very frustrated.  I cant turn off the fill.  2 years ago it never did that.  It was always clear to where I could see my picture and then I could color over it.  Am I missing a setting somewhere?  All the videos and research I have found shows to click the eye on the layer of the mesh to put it on outline then use the navigator to show where I am coloring in.  I dont want to do that nor did I have to do that 2 years ago.  I just created the mesh over my picture and began coloring.  This is very frustrating.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Please describe exactly how you create the mesh (step by step) and show us screenshots of what is happening and also tell us what you expect to happen instead.

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Ok two years ago I created a beautiful hummingbird using gradient mesh over a photo of a real humming bird (included).  the mesh was clear and I was able to color as I went.  Please don't ask me the steps I went through back then.  I think I just created the mesh over the picture and I bagan to work.  Now when I try the mesh it auto fills.  So as I stated in my previouse post.  I create a file I place my photo that I am trying to recreate into the file. I adjust the artboard accordingly then I create a new layer.  I lock the original layer then I make sure that my fills are disabled.  I then create a empty shape  that I want to use for my gradient mesh then go to object then create gradient mesh and it auto fills.  very frustrating.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Virginia,

 

no offense, but I doubt that you were able to create a gradient mesh without any fill colour two years ago.

 

As long as I can remember gradient mesh objects that have been converted from unfilled paths always got a white fill colour by default. Just did a quick test in Illustrator CS 5 and it applies there as well.

 

So, you may have taken some completely different routes and it would certainly be interesting to know how you did it with your hummingbird.

 

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Actually I did create it using a clear mesh.  I created that as well as a rainbow trout.  I have included the pictures and their originals.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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This is probably the technique you're looking for: http://www.jeffwitchel.net/2012/01/gradient-mesh-magic/

What makes the Mesh "clear" is going into Outline Mode in just the Mesh Layer. (Mac: Command/ Windows: Control + Click on the Visibility Eye in the Mesh Layer).

Thank you Todd Ferris for teaching me this tool.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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What version did you use two years ago? the latest? I tried with CC2020 and I got the same results as CC2022.

As other users have mentioned, if I start with a no-fill shape, the shape gets filled with a White color upon conversion to a Mesh.

 

There's a newish Freeform Gradient tool, it was available two years ago so I'm not sure if you used the Gradient Mesh by choice. Here's tut in case you find it useful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hJlffeGkmo

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Very nice images, Virginia, but none of them show a selected gradient mesh and the raster image underneath.

 

Any chance that you can provide the original Illustrator file? Did you perhaps use the meshes in Outline view?

 

In case you can't, let's see if someone else may confirm your findings about different mesh mechanisms that were supposed to be there two years ago.

 

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New Here ,
Jul 13, 2022 Jul 13, 2022

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For some reason everytime I try to send you the copy of the Illustrator version of the hummingbird and liscence plate I get the error...

"Correct the highlited errors and try again.

    The attachment's liscence plate ai content type (application/postscript) does not match its file extension and has been removed. "

 The message is for both files,  so I am not able to send them to you.  If you have an e-mail address or some other way for me to send it to you I will.

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New Here ,
Jul 13, 2022 Jul 13, 2022

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Also I checked the time stamp on the original Illustrator applications of the hummingbird and liscence plate are September 27, 2019.  I looked it up and that should be Illustrator 2019.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2022 Jul 13, 2022

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Not sure if you saw my answer above, but you should really give it a try. It works!

I'll paste my answer below.

"This is probably the technique you're looking for: http://www.jeffwitchel.net/2012/01/gradient-mesh-magic/

What makes the Mesh "clear" is going into Outline Mode in just the Mesh Layer. (Mac: Command/ Windows: Control + Click on the Visibility Eye in the Mesh Layer).

Thank you Todd Ferris for teaching me this tool."

 

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New Here ,
Jul 13, 2022 Jul 13, 2022

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I did see your post and I also looked at the video.  I have seen that video before.  That is where your turning your mesh into an outline mode but you cant see the color as you add it without using the navigator.  That is not what I am needing.  I am needing a clear mesh to start so that I can color as I go and not have to rely on a small screen such as the navigator is to see where I am coloring.  When I created the two pictures in 2019 the mesh did not auto fill, it was clear I am trying to get that back.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2022 Jul 14, 2022

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Here's a workaround to help see what colors you're adding.

Open a second window with the same file (Window > New Window) and arange the windows next to each other (Window > Arange > Tile). In one of the two window's, view the Mesh Layer in Outline Mode as shown in the video

It works! See attached Screenshot.

Best,

Jeff

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2022 Jul 13, 2022

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Virginia, you may save the Illustrator file as .pdf with the "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" option turned on. Then try again to upload this .pdf file to the forum.

 

Or you may use a file sharing server (Google Drive, Adobe Cloud Drive etc.) and share a public download link.

 

Apart from that, I agree with Jeff. In his video he describes the Outline route as a common technique to work with gradient meshes and raster images. One could even open an additional window of the same document and modify the layer visibilility there, so you can always see what you are actually doing.

 

One thing is a bit different today: Unlike the description in the video, to capture the colours with the Eyedropper tool one would have to Shift (key) + click.

 

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Contributor ,
Jul 14, 2022 Jul 14, 2022

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Mesh objects can’t have 'no fill' — technically.

I am afraid Bill Silbert made an incorrect assumption.

No 'clear mesh' is possible, in whatever version of Illustrator (I tested it in 10, CS6, just to be sure). Perhaps you are confusing it with the Outline technique, as many here suggested.

You can change the opacity of a node though, but it does not fit your story.

Freeform gradients can’t have 'no fill' for stops also, so it’s not the case also.

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