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My thought was that you wanted the edges blurred and I used two opacity masks on on a rectangle with no feather I used a feather and offset the path to expand the area. I made the opacity mask with a copy of the path and filled it with a gradient. I did the same to a path with a feather and an offset setting as well and made an opacity mask with a gradient fill of a copy of that path but the gradient went in the opposite direction.
You have to adjust the white markers position on both gradients so the color is consistent.
It looks like this you will have to experiment if this is what you are looking for s to how quickly the blur or feather fades.
If you have Photoshop at hand, simply do it there using the Lensblur. Of course if you're stuck with AI, follow Wade's and Scott's advise.
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If you wish to keep the appearance of a rectangle, thus avoiding its seemingly becoming narrower and shorter in the blurred end, you may:
1) Copy the rectangle to the front and lock the original;
2) Move the leftmost Anchor Points up/down and outwards (identical vertical/horizontal move) to increase the height/length of the copy in the left side and apply a feather with a radius twice the vertical/horizontal move, or as appropriate;
3) Lock the copy, unlock the original, and move leftmost Anchor Points reversely the same amount(s), or as appropriate.
This should give the appearance of a rectangle, the viewer averaging/weighing the outer and inner borders of the blur.
A better, but more laborious, way is to:
1) Shorten the rectangle, removing a part to the left, copy to the front, and hide the copy;
2) Create a rounded rectangle with corner radii corresponding to the largest blur width, with an overlap, the total width corresponding to the original, and Pathfinder>Merge;
3) Move the Anchor Points at the rounded corners by half the blur in both directions to increase the height/length in the left side;
4) Reduce the opacity to an appropriate value, maybe 10%;
5) Hide/show to work with the copy, and repeat 2) - 4), only with corner radius 0 and inward movement of Anchor Points;
6) With all shown and selected, Object>Blend>Make, smooth/sufficient number of steps.
Wade - You are correct. Ok, so I'm finding this to be trickier than I thought it would be, in fact I'm not sure how to start...I assume I was to create a duplicate image, but I'm not sure what/how to do next....do you have a moment to give me like the next 2 or 3 steps?
Hi Jacob, thanks for the reply.....your first solution I was able to duplicate, but probably won't work. What I'm attempting to do has become a little more complicated.....I'm going to have a striped ribbon......about 8 different colors.........I'm using the mesh tool to combine and reshape the ribbon.....I wanted one end blurry, the other end sharp.....trying to do that with such a shape seems very difficult (it's obviously not easy with just one rectangle that is straight!). Anyway, I wasn't clear on your second explanation...specifically steps 2 and 3......can you break that down a little more (i.e. specifying how to do those steps?)
I made one rectangle and gave it a blur or feather if you prefer as an effect.
Then i duplicated by copying and pasting in front and I removed the effect for the blur or feather.
then you lock the bottom rectangle that still has the blur effect and make it not visible and then you duplicate the rectangle without the effect by copying and pasting in front.
Then you fill that copy with a gradient and select both rectangles with out the effect and make an opacity mask.
Now you lock and make it not visible that and unlock the blurred effect rectangle and duplicated by copy and paste in front and fill the copy with a graient going in the opposite direction of the first gradient for which you made the opacity mask.
And you make an opacity mask of these two rectangles as well.
You have two opacity mask now you make both visible. The tricky part is getting the gradients to work the way you want so you might have t release the opacity mask and adjust the white or black markers in both cases so you get an even colored background.
This is in fact easier to do in Photoshop though it is done the same way.
I hope this helps.
Thanks guys - all your advice has definitely helped. I've made quite a bit of progress today. Some of your techniques are of course different from each other, but I'll be able to use all of them at some point - gonna bookmark this page and save all your instructions. Thanks again!