Illustrator Gradient Mask | How To Make A Gradient Opacity Mask In Adobe Illustrator

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How To Make A Gradient Opacity Mask In Adobe Illustrator


hi this is anne with graphic design how-to and today i’m going to show you how to make a gradient opacity mask in adobe illustrator all right let’s get started all right i’m here in adobe illustrator and i’m just going to create a new document so we’ll come over here to create new i’ll come up here to print and then letter and then we’ll create now i’m going to paste in a group of objects so i’ll hit command v and i’ll make this a little bit bigger you can see we’ve got a lot of different pieces here and the nice thing about having a gradient opacity mask is that all of this can just fade away into nothingness and that’s exactly what i’m going to do now and there are really two ways to do this first we can select all of the pieces that we want to fade and group them these are already grouped but you can do that with command g or ctrl g then i’m going to draw a rectangle over the top of everything so i’ll hit m on my keyboard to get to my rectangle tool and i’ll just click and drag i’ll bring my fill to the front and then i’m going to get my gradient window up and that is under window right here now all these other palettes that you see can also be found under window now make sure you have the fill in front and we’ll just click the gradient slider and i’m going to get rid of that stroke and now i’m going to cut this and to do that i’ll just select it and hit command x or control x on a pc i’ll click on my group of objects and i’ll open the transparency palette and then i’ll choose make mask and that makes it just kind of disappear and it’ll make a black mask everything that’s black will go to transparent so all the vector parts that you see are now transparent and now i’m going to click on that black part and then paste in front with command f or ctrl f on a pc and now you can see that gradient over here in the mask area so as you can see on the white side the white side of the gradient all of our stuff is showing up pretty well but on the black side of the gradient everything is kind of fading out and we can also adjust our rectangle and move it in like this to have it line up and be really light over here and dark over here and now we can get our gradient tool we’ll click that and usually you’ll get a slider across here i don’t have one right now and that’s because my fill is on front so you’ll see the slider when you move the fill in front if you still don’t see that make sure you’ve got rectangle up here in the upper corner if you have any kind of group here you won’t see the slider so now we can really fine tune our gradient and how it’s going to look we can even come over here and rotate it if we want to and now to get back out of that editing mode i’m going to click over here on the little hourglass and now we can see those pieces now i’m going to paste in another graphic and this one is kind of a moon shape and i want to show you how you can just fade one part of this so to do this i’m going to hit l on my keyboard to get my circle tool i want to make a circle right about right in here so or so so this is probably about the center i’ll click and then hold shift and option that shift and alt on a pc i’ll just move it down a little bit to get right over that and now i’m going to hold shift and option and make it completely enclose that moon area then we’ll go to our gradient window and click the gradient bar i’m going to go ahead and choose radial this time but this time i want the white on the outside and the black in the middle so i’m just going to flip these and then i’m going to bring the black in a lot i’ll bring the white in too so it’s got a really hard edge right there okay now i’m going to do the same thing i’ll command x or control x on a pc click on this one and then make mask then i’ll click on the black area and paste in front and you can kind of see we’re getting the effect that we want now i’ll go ahead and get my gradient slider i’m going to move my gradient around the other way so i can have a little bit of control with it and i’ll zoom in really close then get back on the gradient tool and i’m just going to bring this out like this maybe this one in and now we can kind of fine tune how much of it we want to fade you’ll probably notice in this mode you can only move the circle or the mask around so you definitely need to click back on this square to get back out of that mode well command minus now these actually do fade into a background so if we add a background to this i’ll hit m on my keyboard and then i’ll just draw a rectangle i’ll hit d on my keyboard to make it a white fill and a black outline and then i’ll hit shift x to switch these two so i’ve got a black fill and a white outline and why don’t we just change this to a different color we’ll say okay and then we’ll hit shift command left bracket or shift ctrl left bracket on a pc and as you can see these actually do just fade out straight to red now i’m just going to draw kind of a random shape so that we can work with a different way of making the mask and i’ll color this one green okay we’ll make it a little bit bigger and now i’m going to come over to transparency and just click make mask right off the bat and now we have the black mask but we don’t have anything to go inside it yet then i’m going to draw a rectangle around that area and the reason i like to do it the other way is because i don’t know exactly where the edge of that is if i can’t see it that’s why i like to draw the rectangle first and now we can draw with the brush tool and you can see it show up on your mask and you can use any of your tools to modify this mask you can even take a screenshot let’s take a screenshot of this up here and then paste it in and resize it of course the mask will only work with black and white so that’s why we’re seeing it like that so you can get pretty crazy with what can be done here in this mask i’m going to use my width tool and make my pencil tool that i just used in there which is also a gradient a lot wider so you can get really creative with it then when you’re all done editing your mask you can just go ahead and click back on your main object and now when you go to your layers palette if we hit f7 that’ll bring up the layers palette and we click the little drop down you can see that path right here and it does not have any layers underneath it but it is underlined kind of in a strange way and what that means is there’s something in the transparency window so whenever you see a dotted line underneath your layer go ahead and go to your transparency window and see if there’s an opacity mask in there and if you want to get rid of it you can just release it and it’ll show you everything that’s inside and then you can just delete the pieces that you don’t want now the cool thing about this too is that we can export with the transparency so i’m going to get rid of this red background and i’m going to move my artboard up so it only includes these two objects and now we’ll export as a transparent png i’ll go ahead and make them 300 a nice high resolution and then we can come out here and see how they turned out and they look great if we pull them onto our chrome window you can see that they actually do fade into transparency so those are the ins and outs of opacity masks in illustrator they can be really handy all right if you like the way i teach i have a few full courses out on skillshare and i also have a link in the description below that will give you two free weeks it’s a trial for skillshare and if you can watch all my classes in that amount of time you’ll get them all for free all right i’ll see you in the next video thank you