Make Opacity Mask with a Gradient in Adobe Illustrator CS6
Edited by Freya, VisiHow, Eng
You're watching VisiHow. In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to create an opacity mask with a gradient in Adobe Illustrator CS6 in Windows 7.
To begin, open Illustrator on your desktop by clicking it or by clicking the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of your screen.
This will reveal a list of your recently used programs where you may find Illustrator. It has a brown-and-orange icon with the letters "Ai".
If you still can't find Illustrator, use your search bar along the bottom and start typing "Adobe Illustrator".
Click "Adobe Illustrator CS6".
It will immediately start loading and will take you directly to your workspace.
From the workspace, create a document by clicking "New...".
You can also open an existing document in the menu as well.
There are other VisiHow tutorials on how to open and create documents.
Place an image by clicking "File".
There is another VisiHow tutorial on how to place images in a document.
The size of the image can be reduced to fit on the canvas.
Add a filled background layer.
If you need help completing these steps in Adobe Illustrator, please view our other Illustrator tutorials.
Then, click "Rectangle Tool".
Click the fill color box.
This will add a filling.
Click and drag the cursor over the canvas to create a shape.
It will go over the image.
Click the "Layers" icon.
"Layer 1" is in front.
Click and drag the rectangle off the image a bit.
Click the background image.
Right-click the background image.
Move the cursor to "Arrange".
Click and drag the rectangle behind the image.
There are other VisiHow tutorials on how to arrange layers.
Next, create another shape.
Click "Rectangle Tool".
Click and drag the cursor over the image.
Click the "Gradient" icon.
Click the "Gradient" tab.
Click "Gradient Slider".
The gradient will be applied. Experiment with the "Gradient" settings.
Click the black arrow icon at the top-left side of the vertical toolbar.
Click the gradient object.
This will highlight the top layer that you want to be the transparency mask. A blue frame and corners will appear around the shape, letting you know it is selected and ready for editing.
Press and hold "Shift" and click the background image.
Click the "Transparency" tab in the expanded "Gradient" menu.
Within the "Transparency" tab, click the small icon with a plus sign.
It is in the upper-right corner. A new drop-down menu will appear.
Click "Make Opacity Mask".
You can see that where the gradient box was white, you are able to see the image. The mask fades in the black area of the gradient.
You can click and drag the gradient layer around.
Click the mask in the "Transparency" tab.
Now, you can begin to edit the mask.
You can adjust the image size, rotation, etc.
Let's rotate it by clicking and dragging the blue frame corner. You will notice that rotating the mask will reveal different sections of the image.
You can edit other settings in the horizontal toolbar along the top.
You can apply a blur, adjust the opacity, etc., by clicking the various drop-down menus.
You can also click "Effect" and apply various filters.
There other VisiHow videos on that.
If you want to edit the whole selection, click the left thumbnail in "Transparency".
You can check "Invert Mask".
It is recommended to experiment with the settings.
This was a VisiHow tutorial on how to create an opacity mask with a gradient in Adobe Illustrator CS6 in Windows 7. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you for watching VisiHow!
Video: Make Opacity Mask with a Gradient in Adobe Illustrator CS6
Recent edits by: VisiHow, Freya