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Controlling a gradient

Oct 15, 2013 6:46 AM

Tags: #illustrator #stroke #gradient

I don't know if this is even possible, but here is what I am trying to do.


I have the numbers 5 & 0 typed using the font "HaloHandletter" that have been converted to outlines.  (This font has an open top on the "0".)  I have stretched the top bar of the 5 and the top of the 0 toward an airplane icon.  The goal is to create the look that they are formed by the airplane as contrails.


What I would like to do is have the gradient fade from lightest gray at the stroke edge nearest the airplane to black at the far point of the stroke - FOLLOWING THE SHAPE OF THE LINE.  Below is an image of I'm working with.



Any suggestions, ideas, or assistance would be GREATLY appreciated!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 15, 2013 7:05 AM   in reply to SusanSherman

    Which version?


    What you can do is create a thick stroke with a gradient and use the letters as a mask on it.


    For the gradient use either the gradient-on-a-stroke-option or use brushes (simulate the gradient with a blend for the brush)

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    Oct 15, 2013 7:06 AM   in reply to SusanSherman

    i think you could make more satisfactory forms without using the typeface, in which case you could use open paths and run a gradient along them, or make an art brush that incorporates a gradient.

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    Oct 15, 2013 7:08 AM   in reply to SusanSherman

    In CS6 you can put a gradient on stroke. Set align stroke as I have. You would have to retrace this as a stroke rather than a filled shape.


    The use the width tool to make fine adjsutemtn to maek the tip more pointier.


    Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 9.07.33 AM.png

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    Oct 15, 2013 7:20 AM   in reply to SusanSherman

    Neither did I. That profile is created after using the width tool.


    Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 9.20.40 AM.png

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 15, 2013 7:39 AM   in reply to SusanSherman



    To create a stroke/nofill path following the shape of each letter without having to redraw, you may, working on a copy while locking the original (Smart Guides are your friends):


    1) With the Scissors Tool cut the lettershape at both ends, there may be an Anchor Point there (Smart Guides will say anchor when you are there);

    2) Change both new paths from fill to stroke only;

    3) Make sure they have matching Anchor Points, you may need to insert one or more;

    4) Object>Blend>Blend Options, set Spacing to Specified Steps = 1 and set Orientation to Align to Path;

    5) Select both paths and Object>Blend>Make, then Object>Blend>Expand, then Object>Ungroup and delete the two paths.


    This should give you a midline path.


    You may then:


    6) Increase the Stroke Weight so that it is wider than the (widest part of the) original lettershape.


    You may then:


    7) Apply the gradient along the stroke as already suggested by Monika, Doug, and Mike, or create an Artbrush based upon a blend and apply that to the midline path; this may be described further if you need it.


    Finally, you may then:


    8) Unlock the original lettershape and bring it to the top of the stacking order, then select both original lettershape and midline path and Object>Clipping Mask>Make, to mask as suggested by Monika.

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