I'm looking to create an effect similar to the Photoshop "tilt-shift" blur in Illustrator. All the blur effects in Illustrator I could find only blur the whole element, without any "gradient" so to speak. Is it possible to achieve something like this in Illustrator? If so, will the paths of the object still be accessible?

I know I could potentially duplicate the text and put some alphamask gradient on the blurred element, but the effect is not quite the same.

Here's an image example of the effect, which I put together in Photshop. Photoshop requires to rasterize the image. This makes it kind of annoying to work with. Any help is greatly appreciated!

enter image description here

  • 1
    All I can think of is an Opacity Mask with a gradient. But you mention that specifically already. So....
    – Scott
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:36
  • Yeah, this partly works, but unfortunately the blur effect doesn't change in quality, but only in opacity, if you understand what I mean by that.
    – Maharkus
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:44
  • Yup. I do. I, myself, don't see the tilt-shift as a possibility in Illustrator. Well, at least not easily. Maybe with multiple masks on multiple objects, etc.
    – Scott
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:45
  • Yeah I think it'd be easier working with Photoshop for this specific case then (unfortunately). Never thought I'd find something that was NOT possible in Illustrator haha. Alright thank you anyways.
    – Maharkus
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:49
  • Maybe a combination of SVG filters could achieve this. I haven't used them in AI so far but I've seen some web examples like codepen.io/iamvdo/pen/xECmI
    – AAGD
    Oct 19, 2017 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


You need to duplicate the layers and apply different levels of blur to them. Then you mask each layer accordingly. It is not because there is no easy productivity tools that you can't achieve such a thing. I did not touch Illustrator for about a decade but I believe if Inkscape can afford to do such a thing, Illustrator does too.

Just as the image bellow shows, above a specific work on several layers. And bellow a gradient between a blurred and an un-blurred text. Which one works best for you?

Gradient Blur with Inkscape

  • I get what you mean, but obviously this is not a too very handy solution to work with. Like changing the text would be really annoying. Still alot better than a Photoshop png! Thank you.
    – Maharkus
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:07
  • Well I'm just proposing a solution. The rest is up to you guys. :) As per changing the text it is a few minutes job.
    – 猫IT
    Oct 23, 2017 at 10:56

It is not possible to do it to a text (character).

But we can do it after expand the text.

See my methot in the picture below:

enter image description here

  • Thank you for the detailed instructions! I don't think it's neccessary to expand the text, is it? AFAIK blur works on text objects.
    – Maharkus
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:10
  • It works in text but not in each character separately inside a word. You have to separate every character.
    – LeoNas
    Oct 22, 2017 at 22:47

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