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Jul 22

Illustrator Make with Mesh

2008 at 09.37 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Sometimes I think “what could I create next?”. Why not start with just 4 lines and 5 color swatches and see from there? Use the tools at hand and see where it ends up. Surprising results happen when you do. Here is where I ended up…

The basics

Create 4 lines

Create 4 vertical lines using the Rectangle tool. I used the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) and hold down the Shift and Alt/Option key to duplicate the 1st one to create the other 3 lines. While doing this it's best to turn on Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides or hit Command/Ctrl + U).

4 lines and 5 color swatches

Add color

For the colors I browsed through my Kuler colors collection, saved the swatches of my choice on the desktop and then I've loaded them in Illustrator. To do this go to the Swatches palette's menu and choose Open Swatch Library and Other Library.... Browse to the palette you've saved, select it and hit the open button. Now click on the folder with the swatches in the new palette that appears on your screen. Now they will be added to your document's Swatches palette. Give each line a different color using your swatches. If you like, you could add a subtle linear gradient effect. That is what I did. I also decided to use my fifth swatch for the background of my creation using a separate layer (which I locked each time I needed to when I was editing my lines shape).

Make with Mesh

Select all lines and go to Object > Envelope Distort and choose Make with Mesh... from the submenu. Check the preview button to see the mesh before you click OK. To keep things simple and easy to edit I chose for 4 columns (1 for each line) and 2 rows (to have only 1 handle vertically in the center).

Make with Mesh

Start tweaking the lines mesh shape by dragging on the handles. I've used the Shift key a lot especially for the centered points where they come close together.

Add extra color effect

Add extra color effect - using Overlay mode on duplicated layer

Next thing I did is duplicating the layer with the lines mesh on top of my original mesh. I click the layer target circle icon on the right in the Layers palette and then I changed the layer mode to Overlay in the Transparency palette. Then I moved the shape a bit until I got an interesting enough result. It depends on the colors you've chosen on what is the best layer mode to choose.

Experiment with the shape

Experiment with the shape - using Warp, Pucker or Bloat tool

Then I decide to see how things looked in landscape version and I also wondered which effect I would get when using the Warp, Pucker or Bloat tools. I experimented with a very big brush, 400 px to avoid small bumpy effects.

Final result

Line Mesh Pucker Bloat - Illustrator Make with Mesh

In the end I decided to go back to my portrait version and for some Warp effects. Last but not least I added some text. First I created a curved path using the Pen tool, then I selected the Type on a Path tool and added my thoughts behind my creation.

Get inspired

Now that we're talking Illustrator, experimenting with shapes etc. don't forget to read the interview with the talented James White in the art section of my blog.

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


50served

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permalink this comment Denis Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 10.53 am

thank’s for this great tutorial, very easy to use and nice effect !


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permalink this comment Hanabi Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 10.57 am

Hey Veerle, great work as usual. I love how you always bring some tutorials that are simple to follow and achieve some great effects.

I have published the fruits of my labour following your tutorial:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanabi/2691635661/


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permalink this comment Jan Ligaard Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 02.08 pm

Woa - what can I say. You do a d.mn good job and your tutorials are so easy to follow.

I am not a big RSS subscription guy but your blog is one of the few.

Thanks and keep up inspiring us all.

Jan


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permalink this comment Jeff Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 02.17 pm

Pretty dang sweet!


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permalink this comment Kelly Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 03.26 pm

Beautiful and so creative…I love that you make me want to go beyond how I use tools everyday to try something new…Thanks for the inspiration!


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permalink this comment Melanie Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 03.36 pm

Very nice!

I was bored today so I thought I should give it a go (and learn a few new things too)

I started with your tutorial and ended… somewhere else. :)
If you want to have a look: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28826410@N02/2692935400/


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permalink this comment Bunny Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05.37 pm

This is wonderful.You have informed me of a lot of very good points here.
Keep up the good work:)


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permalink this comment JozB Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05.59 pm

Very nice, Verlee. Thxs!


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permalink this comment Dorin Vancea Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 08.09 pm

Great tutorial, thank’s a lot !


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permalink this comment davansy Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 02.21 am

cool veerle! you tutorials always open an prospect to us.thanks from the bottom of my heart!


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permalink this comment Kenji Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 06.19 am

the choice of colours and font for the text are spot on


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permalink this comment Yukiko Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 07.24 am

wow! it’s beautiful and very easy to try! Thanks wonderful tutorial!


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permalink this comment jayhan Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 08.53 am

This is a simple yet useful tutorial! I’m with other, thanks for the great tut!


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permalink this comment Ricardo Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 09.31 am

Nice and easy tutorial. Thanks.


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permalink this comment Mark Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 09.41 am

Great effect and dead simple.

I dont have illustrator personally, but I see no reason that the same thing cant be done in photoshop as the tools are there!


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permalink this comment Craig Farrall Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 12.39 pm

Great tutorial there Veerle, I will definately have to try that one out one day.


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permalink this comment Sean Smith Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 02.14 pm

Very nice tutorial. I looked around the Kuler site. Is a paid membership required to download themes? I haven’t registered yet, but am considering it.


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permalink this comment Andrew Ryan Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 02.37 pm

A very useful tutorial which nicely presents a simple way to achieve some great visual effects. Thanks for sharing! :)


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permalink this comment Patrick Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 04.53 pm

Fantastic tutorial Veerle, one of my favorite yet!


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permalink this comment Felicity Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 10.32 pm

Hi Veerle,
When I tried this out, and tried to pull at the handles of the mesh nothing happened but all of the four rectangles getting moved around. I only just recently started Illustrator and would like some help with this. I’m not sure whether this will help or not but I am using Illustrator CS2, could that be the problem?
Thanks for your help,
Felicity


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permalink this comment Veerle Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 08.35 am

Thank you all for the nice comments :)

Sean Smith said:

Very nice tutorial. I looked around the Kuler site. Is a paid membership required to download themes?

As far as I know everyone can register and once you are logged in you can download the color swatches. No payment is involved to use the Kuler site.

Felicity said:

When I tried this out, and tried to pull at the handles of the mesh nothing happened but all of the four rectangles getting moved around. I only just recently started Illustrator and would like some help with this. I’m not sure whether this will help or not but I am using Illustrator CS2, could that be the problem?

Sounds like you’ve used the Selection tool or black arrow instead of the Direct Selection tool or white arrow to tweak the anchor points. With the black arrow you select the whole object, with the white one you select 1 point at a time and so you can edit the handles. Hope that is the case for you and I helped you out.


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permalink this comment Keith Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10.06 am

Great tutorial, easy to follow.  Thanks.


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permalink this comment Alan B Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 06.34 pm

Hi Veerle… Ahhh that’s how you do it! Good clear tutorial again.  Thank you!


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permalink this comment Marcus Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 10.27 pm

Once again Veerle, a top tutorial!

One thing though, can you tell us how you got the blend of colours on the text as well??


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permalink this comment Sean Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 01.29 am

Veerle,
Thanks for the information and the resource.

Sean


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permalink this comment Felicity Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05.47 am

Thanks for the help! I used the white arrow instead and it worked!


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permalink this comment Nicole Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06.12 am

That is so cool. I love your tutorials. I’ve been lurking and thought is was high time to comment. Great job! ;)


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permalink this comment Samuel Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 03.29 am

Great tutorial, easy and cool. Thanks a lot!


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permalink this comment minkee Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09.28 pm

Another thing I had never used before in Illustrator. You always give me neat things to try \o/


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permalink this comment Michael Web Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09.48 pm

Really great tutorial thank you very very much!!!


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permalink this comment Niels Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 11.00 pm

Thanks for another great tutorial Veerle!


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permalink this comment Veerle Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 09.24 am

Marcus said:

One thing though, can you tell us how you got the blend of colours on the text as well??

There is no blend applied to the text. Each word has just a solid fill, that’s all. So nothing special here.


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permalink this comment Dorin Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 07.09 pm

Awesome tutorial, I’ve bookmarked this blog ! :)


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permalink this comment Greg Kirk Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 11.14 pm

Loving the colour palette


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permalink this comment akuma Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10.08 pm

Awesome tutorial, I personally suck at Illustrator but this gives me a reason to practice a little in it.

Is there a similar to Make with Mesh effect in Photoshop?

Newbie here xD, thanks again for the tutorial, I’ll try it out ^___^


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permalink this comment Peter Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02.18 pm

My first visit to this site and I’m totally blown away!!! I’m gonna spend some time here :-)


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permalink this comment bobby Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06.52 pm

Hi Veerle,

what a magnificient tutorial!  You always rock, should I say that you are the rockstar of tutorials?:)

only area I am having trouble with is with the pucker, bloat etc tools.  I lave tried to increase brush size but nothing seems to work. Bracket keys seems to have no effect either increasing or decreasing brush size.

Would you be kind enough to share how to solve that problem? I really appreciate it!

Bobby


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permalink this comment Thomas Eilander Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 11.07 pm

He Veerle,

first of all great Tutorial… I like the colors you have chosen as well… thx!!

Besides that I like your site a lot. Looks very nice… worth a bookmark!


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permalink this comment Veerle Fri Aug 1, 2008 at 06.42 pm

akuma said:

Is there a similar to Make with Mesh effect in Photoshop?

In the Liquify filter (Filter > Liquify) you can find a Pucker and Bloat brush. However the Make With Mesh is a typical feature for a vector-based application which Photoshop is not. You can create paths and do things with paths up to a certain degree, but for the more complex vector-based path things like this for example you need to resort to Illustrator I’m afraid.

bobby said:

only area I am having trouble with is with the pucker, bloat etc tools.  I lave tried to increase brush size but nothing seems to work. Bracket keys seems to have no effect either increasing or decreasing brush size.

You set the size of the brush by double clicking the tool in the Toolbox. Then you’ll get a window where you can set the width and height of the brush together with some other options. As far as my knowledge goes about these tools, you can’t resize the brush via certain keystrokes while using it. Anybody can correct me if I’m wrong of course :)


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permalink this comment Amjad Fri Aug 1, 2008 at 07.36 pm

wow, I never used Illustrator before but you’re making me regret it… thanks for the inspiration.


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permalink this comment Paul Tue Aug 5, 2008 at 10.09 am

Fantastic tutorial, gave me a great idea for a surfing banner using different shades of blue to create a wave effect with a corporate logo on the bottom right hand corner!


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permalink this comment Ansari Mohammed Vasim Fri Aug 8, 2008 at 04.13 pm

It is a great tutorial and good to follow.

Lots of love and thanks for the support.


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permalink this comment Guido Rosso Sat Aug 9, 2008 at 08.51 pm

I had forgotten all about Make with Mesh! Very neat.

I worked on Kuler and can confirm that you don’t have to pay for anything. :)


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permalink this comment Onyeka Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 09.01 am

Great great tutorial, thanks!

I’m a noob to Illustrator… but I had a problem though, I couldn’t get the Pucker & Bloat tool to work, whenever I selected the line shape, the option was grayed out on the menu. Any ideas why??


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permalink this comment Veerle Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 09.33 am

Onyeka said:

I’m a noob to Illustrator… but I had a problem though, I couldn’t get the Pucker & Bloat tool to work, whenever I selected the line shape, the option was grayed out on the menu. Any ideas why??

Are you sure you are selecting the Pucker or Bloat Tools from the Toolbox and not the Pucker & Bloat from the Filter menu? Because the tools are never greyed out, but Filters on the other hand can be greyed out. You even don’t have to select the object to be able to use these tools. They should work at any time.


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permalink this comment Hermann Sander Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09.30 am

Wow, really amazing! I like Illustrator.
Easy job with fantastic results and a great tutorial.


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permalink this comment Thomas Schickedanz Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07.53 am

Beautiful and simple, thanks!


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permalink this comment Candace Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07.02 pm

I have just found your site today! I wish I had seen it 2 years ago. I never even know this command existed! How do you change color of the object once it has had the mesh applied? I tried a few things I would have done with a gradient mesh but it won’t change.
Thanks so much - your site inspires me to poke around so much more in Illustrator menus now!


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permalink this comment gui Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01.40 am

Can someone please clarify how to continue after choosing “Make with Mesh”.


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permalink this comment Veerle Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10.31 am

Candace said:

How do you change color of the object once it has had the mesh applied?

You need to select the mesh object and then select the Edit Contents button in the horizontal Toolbar at the top. Then you can use the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) to edit the color.

Mesh - Edit Content

gui said:

Can someone please clarify how to continue after choosing “Make with Mesh”

The basic explanation is already there in the article. The finalization of my design, the text etc. is not in the scope of the article. Just experiment. I mean, take some initiative and just be creative :) Try out something new and something different.



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