Summary:

Simple Mesh Background in Illustrator

    ●  Create a Simple Colorful background for your project.


Learn About:

Mesh Tool Opacity and Transparency

  •   This tutorial is part of the Shadow Life and CD Cover Projects.

Other People's Work:


Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #9: Open your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator

    ●   If you are working on the
CD Cover Project open that ...



    ●   OR, if you are working on the
Picture Perfect Project
open that ...

 

 

 

   ●   OR, if you are working on
Shadow Life Project open that ...

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

 

 

Step #2: New Layer ~

Make a New Layer and drag it below the other layers.


If you already have a background, drag your new layer just above the old one. Maybe you can use both backgrounds!


Step #3: Create a Rectangle ~

Get the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …

rectangle tool

… and create a rectangle covering your artboard.


Step #4: Add a Gradient ~

With the Rectangle Box selected, click the Gradient Tool.


Step #5: Set your Color ~

Double-Click the Gradient Slider and select a color …

Also do the other side, too.

 


Adjust the angle and aspect of your gradient here (if necessary).


Step #6: Pen Tool and Colors ~

Get the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …

pen tool

… unlike Photoshop, however, Illustrator has both Stroke and Fill colors.

Set your Fill color to black and Stroke color to none …

fill-black-no-stroke.png


Step #7: Make a Shape with the Pen Tool ~

Make another NEW LAYER above your background …

new-layer-top-ai.png

… and make a shape like this:

It doesn't have to be perfect. The curve can go outside file boundaries, if you'd like. Just do your best with the Pen Tool …

shapes


Step #8: Mesh Tool ~

With your closed shape completed, get the Mesh Tool

mesh tool

… click somewhere inside the shape with the Mesh Tool

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… now change the color …

… select new points and change them all along.

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Make a second row of colors if you want …

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Step #9: Peaks and Valleys ~

Get the Direct Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …

direct selection tool

Raise and lower some of the mesh points to create peaks and valleys.

 

 

 

 

This is completely random and it’s up to you how many and how far.

 


Step #10: Envelope Distort ~

With your mesh object selected, go to: Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp. There are several ways to manipulate an object Envelope Distort, just look through the options and see which one you like best.

warp options flag


Step #11: Blur ~

Then go to: Effects > Blur > Gausian Blur and choose the amount of blur that looks good.


Step #12: Transparency and Position ~

Click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and change the Blending Mode until you get something you like.

Also, experiment with lowering the Transparency (if necessary …)

Lighten will hopefully cause any areas which are darker than what’s underneath to disappear, but pick any blending mode you wish …


Step #13: Feather ~

Lastly go to: Effect > Stylize > Feather and feather the selection as much as you want …


Last Step: Save Your Project & Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save the file as YOUR NAME! so we know whose it is.

 

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

 

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.


Other Resources: http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/make-an-aurora-borealis-design-in-illustrator/

http://www.eyesontutorials.com/articles/5294/1/Design-a-colorful-Northern-Lights-landscape/Page1.html

http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tutorials-effects/create-a-wavy-blackberry-style-wallpaper-design

http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/effects/create-a-dazzling-aurora-borealis-screencast/