How to Make Gradients Bend in Adobe Illustrator CC Using Gradient Mesh
Hey there in this video, we're going to look at something called a gradient mesh. And what that allows us to do is do gradients that don't kind of follow the straight line, like a linear gradient or around radial gradient. We're gonna do things like this where it kind of whips around and there's different consistencies and things going on. Even this kind of like weird blurry thing at the top here. Plus we're gonna add this film grain has nothing to do with anything other than I try to make it look a little nicer by adding film green. Alright, let's go and do that now in adobe illustrator. Okay, first up open up gradient mesh dot ai from the exercise files. And we're gonna look at the easy ways and the hard ways. So I'm gonna grab my rectangle tool and just draw a rectangle out here, doing it with simple shapes like this, ellipses and rectangles. Super easy gradient mesh is awesome. What we're gonna do is there's two ways of adding a mesh. Okay, you can go to object and go down to creat...
e gradient mesh, decide how many rows and columns. I guess the more rows and columns you have, the greater control you have but the harder it is to make it look I guess smooth. Okay. So more detailed but less smooth. So yeah, let's go with that and we've got our gradient mesh and the other way to do it is I'm gonna grab the rectangle tool or something relatively similar and there's a way of doing it using the tool over here is a specific gradient mesh tool and this way you can just kind of click in specific parts, it's up to you what you want to do. Cool. Once you've got your gradient mesh though, the technique is the same, you wanna work with your white arrow and let's say we're going to select all of these guys around the outside, so I'm sticking these guys, I'm gonna hold shift and grab the ones at the bottom as well. So I just got all these top anchor points selected and the bottom ones, I'm gonna open up my properties and I'm gonna go to Phil and I'm going to go with my swatches and if you're using my file, I've got some pre made ones for us and I'm going to click on you guys and you can see what it does, it kind of adds are gradients now, nothing very exciting yet has happened, right? Because you're like, I could have done that with just a regular gradient, I'm gonna grab all these guys in the middle here and make them agree okay, and still you could have done this where it gets different, is if I click on one of these guys, maybe that one and that one I'm going to go into here and say I want you to be pink, this is where it gets a bit different, right is you can actually map out gradients in my case, make them look terrible. Let's have a look at what else you can do. You can move these guys. So let's go here. I can move and bend down this corner. You can see it does some really kind of interesting airbrush style effects. Okay? Um you can move them around. All these guys have handles, you can see I can adjust this guy, He doesn't have a color. Let's give him a color. I'm gonna give him black. Okay? And you can start kind of bending these things around and you start distorting. Now. That's a very good example because I'm just randomly doing a shape but it gives you a kind of a I guess a look at how easy it is when the shape is simple. Let's look at doing something with our whale. Okay, now the same thing, right? What I'm gonna do is I'm going to duplicate, you're going to go up there as exciting as you are shift. Oh, it brings up my on board tool holding down the old key on a pc. Option key on a Mac. I'm gonna have another option. Now if I select the body of this whale and try and do a gradient mesh, it's painful. Okay. It just happens when really complex shapes like this. Now I say that just because like it's just honest, I try and use the gradient to me, like I'm gonna click there. Cool. And it's kind of followed it, right? It's kind of put it in this line and went around the eye, which is not really what I wanted, but it's okay. Um And it's kind of done some stuff around here, so up here, it's gone really weird, okay. And it's just just what happens with a complex shape, I can say I want a couple of extra points follow along here because this is kind of what I wanna do right, I want to make a kind of gradient that follows this line. The problem with it though is yeah, all the kind of complexity. I'm gonna hold shift and grab you because every time you do one and they cross over it creates another joining path and it gets a little confusing about where you were actually going, I'm holding shift with my direct selection tool and clicking all of these and now I'm going to go to say that color there, it's kind of working and the more you add the harder it becomes, so what I tend to do, you can you can mess around with that, it's fine and use the gradient tool. So what I tend to do is I'm going to duplicate this first art board, um so shift o on my keyboard, holding down the key on a pc or a Mac to make a duplicate. Okay, and what I want to do is instead of trying to turn this into a mess, I'm just gonna use a simple shape, the lips just because it has like I guess it's quite elliptical shape, use that or a rectangle something super simple that matches what you're doing, make sure it covers the whole thing. And actually what I'll do is I'll delete that is I want to on its own layer because I want to use this guy on top. Okay so this is going to be my whale, I'm gonna have another layer that I want just underneath it, okay and you're going to be my gradient. And a little trick is um let's actually grab my lips tool on the gradient layer, gonna draw that big guy so he's just underneath. Now what I'd like to do is be able to see through this whale. Now I could go to my outline mode. Okay. Which is command y on a mac or control Y on a pc. But actually what I want to do is there's a little trick with the whale, I'm gonna lock him so he doesn't move. But also if I hold command and click him okay it just turns into outlines, you can turn it off by command, clicking it as well. So I'm working on the gradient layer and I can kind of see the outlines at least now why do I do this is because when I start using the gradient tool to grab him here when I say gradient tool I mean gradient mesh tool is when I start kind of clicking and say here it's more consistent lines up here, okay so let's say I've got this one and I can grab my direct selection tool and I can start bending this around to kind of fit the forms and the shapes of what I need and what I might do is bend him around my lips is maybe a bit big for what I need, but you're getting the idea right and if you need more points, okay I'm gonna slowly but surely remember the least amount of points becomes a lot easier. I'm gonna follow that line along at another one. White arrow and I'm going to start bending this around. Okay I don't even know what I'm doing, I'm kind of just following some curves. I'm gonna hope I'm gonna cross my fingers. This this thing's gonna look half decent when I'm finished I'm going to add another one there. Okay white arrow which is a key and this guy here had to be made. Okay to kind of make this thing consistent. But what you can do is you can grab him and drag him up. Yeah, make sure these guys don't overlap. I could spend ages. I should spend ages to make it look really cool. I'm kind of happy with what we're doing this guy here. What is he doing? He has to go somewhere, you can drag him off. Okay, so he doesn't kind of influence as much but he's going to be up here, you are going to come up, they think of points are going to come out here, you like get on with it dan k I'm getting on with it, I promise. Alright. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to click on maybe this guy maybe holding shift, grab this guy as well. This guy's got three of them selected. I'm going to go to my properties panel, I'm gonna go to my fill and I'm gonna use some of that gradient. Okay. And and yeah, that's the way to kind of do a great mesh. Yes, I could have just done there with a radi, just maybe a linear gradient. Let's let's go further. Okay. And couldn't have done that with a radio or linear, Maybe you could, so when it gets down to things like this um let's go, let's force him in here when it starts doing some cool kind of pushing around of these things. So it's that kind of really kind of tricky gradient and that you can see it's kind of really sharp over here, starts getting quite furio here just because of the distances between these anchor points are quite um quite big, so go through or what do we do now is you spend a bit longer doing it than I did. Oh man, okay, it's bad. So I'm gonna grab this guy and we're gonna go to our layers panel, we're gonna hold the command key to turn that back on and what we wanna do is they need to be on the same layer now because we want to turn them into a clipping mask. Do they need to be on the same layer? That's a good point. So as long as the whales in front, I'm pretty sure I might be able to shift, click this guy and hit command seven. Oh it did work. Okay, so command seven is the shortcut for clipping mask. If you're one of the long way there's make clipping masks not very long as a button or if you're an older version of illustrator object clipping mask. Make. Okay, either way that's what I'm trying to do, right? It's easier to do this gradient mesh inside a simple circle than it is to try and do on top of the actual shape. How good is this? This is pretty bad. Um My color seems like a good idea. Um Being caught out live, live and direct you guys watching me now. One more thing we might do before we go is often people want to do a kind of a gradient mesh that looks like kind of like they wanna do, they think they need a gradient mesh when they don't. Okay, let me show you another way that I often do things. Okay so I'm gonna grab my pen tool um and draw, I'm gonna turn the smart guides off, come on you because what I want to do is I want to create kind of a shape up here, kind of does this kind of same got in my head, let's make it a reality. So so you want to kind of like a jelly button kind of thing. So instead of trying to do that with a gradient map, um it's easier often just to give it the right color. So I'm gonna click down here and I'm gonna say I want you to be wait what? And then just use a blur. Okay, so I'm gonna go effect, I'm gonna go down to blur and use calcium total cheap trick to improve you on and you can kind of see what it's gonna do. It's the same kind of thing that we maybe would have been able to do down there. Okay, but getting the blue right with the capacity a little bit, I wanted this kind of, yeah, that kind of effect. I'm going to do one last little shape. What I'll do is I'll duplicate him and you, my friend, I'm going to trim off with a circle to get a kind of a bit of a layer thing going ship to outline mode just so I can grab you, it's like both of them and I'm going to go out of ally mode because it's kind of confusing, I'm gonna use my shape builder tool. Okay, shift em and I'm gonna delete these kids. So I just wanted this kind of chunk what I might do is turn down the blur of this, So we've got something that's got an effect applied. You need to go to the either the appearance panel which is under window or in my case I can see here. And I'm gonna turn this way down parents. Now I've got this kind of like dual effect here where the top part is kind of there are different blur levels. You get what I mean? I man I was hoping that was gonna look better. But hopefully you understand in technique gradient measures can be tricky sometimes it is easier just to make things like that. Okay and just blur them out. One last thing before we go is often gradients especially gradient measures and stuff in illustrator. It has a really kind of like victor look that maybe isn't as popular at the moment. Cool. Little trick is you can select all of this stuff and add a cool effect in here under effect. Cool. I'm trying to redeem myself to make it look somewhat better effect and go to artistic and it's not under artistic, it's under texture. Go to grain and I had kind of one part of it selected what part did I have it? I have it all selected. It's actually just picked whatever the top piece was and you can kind of see what it's doing right a zoomed in a little bit, it's adding this kind of like film grain texture stuff to it. You can decide on you know the intensity and texture and it doesn't mean we're with the edges though and I'll show you how to get around that but it only picked one piece even though it has done it to all of them. Can you see? And I find forget the edges but it kinda adds a nicer effect to these guys. So to get around the pixel, Ellis picks elation of the edges. I'm going to undo that and it's easier to do this, grab a rectangle tool, draw this over the top and you apply it to this basically into a layer mode. So do you I'm gonna play the exact same one, apply grain, This is this won't be here for you if you haven't done before. This is like repeat the thing I just did. So apply it to this and then under here under opacity switches to multiply does the same kind of effect into the background as well, which maybe not what you want, but it definitely fixes up these edges. And what I might do is adjust it a bit more under my parents panel here, click on grain and uh contrast I'm gonna go up maybe intensity. Let's go up quick. Ok, It's a better have I redeemed myself? Probably not. But you my creative friend are going to make it look better than me. You've got the techniques. All right. That is going to be it. I will see you in the very next video where I will do something that looks nicer, I promise.