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How to Illustrate a Conical Gradient Using the Mesh Tormentor Plug-In

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In this Quick Tip you'll learn how to create a conical gradient using Mesh Tormentor plug-in. Let’s get started!

Step 1

In order to complete this tutorial you should go to the personal site of Iaroslav Lazunov, and download the free Mesh Tormentor plug-in by clicking the corresponding button ("Download") here

After that unzip the received archive, close Adobe Illustrator, and copy YemZMeshTormentorEng.aip file into the folder "Extensions" on your local installation disk. (For example, it is the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS5\Plug-ins\Extensions folder on my computer.) Open Adobe Illustrator again. Go to Window > Mesh Tormentor. And if you want you may locate your plug-in between the Panels.

Step 2

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle. Set the Fill color to None.

Then take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an elongated rectangle.

Step 3

Go to Object > Create Gradient Mesh and set the quantity of Columns the same as the quantity of mesh colors you want to have in the final result. The quantity of Rows must be one.

Take the Lasso Tool (Q), select both: the leftmost and the rightmost pairs of the anchor points...

...and set the same color to these four anchor points.

Select the second pair of the anchor points and set the second color to them.

Repeat this action for all the anchor points pairs.

Step 4

Select this mesh, drag and drop it into the Brushes palette as an Art brush.

Oops! You cannot go this way! In order to fix the problem, go to the Mesh Tormentor and click the "Make BMG (brush mesh grid)" button. Positioning the mouse cursor over buttons leads to appearance of hints.

It is interesting to see what you have received in the Layers palette.

Now drag and drop the received "MeshGrid" group into the Brushes palette as an Art brush.

Step 5

Select the first-made circle and apply this brush to it.

Then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Now we need to convert these paths back to mesh. Go to the Mesh Tormentor again and click there "Convert BMG into mesh" button.

Step 6

The (red) ends of the mesh do not unite with each other. But you are able to correct them. Zoom in your work, take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select a pair of anchor points and move them to the coincidence with another pair.

Step 7

Now grab the Lasso Tool (Q) and select all the inner anchor points of the mesh.

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set the value of scaling to zero.

Generally speaking, that's all. You may take the Mesh Tool (U) and add some anchor points as you want.


I want to give you the final piece of advice in this Quick Tip. It would be interesting to set a quantity of Columns of the mesh in the third step in two or three times more than the final quantity of colors you want to be in the result. And to delete the unnecessary color stops in the seventh step by using the Mesh Tool (U) with Alt button.

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