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I have a water droplet I've designed using a mesh and a gradient for a glare spot. However, I need to make it as easy as possible to swap the base color of the droplet.

enter image description here

I need to export for versions in dozens of colors - but I'm not clear on the best way to do this. Rather than duplicating the layer and editing all colors of the mesh (error prone too, I need each image to represent specific colors).

Is there a way I can turn the mesh into a mask of some sort, and then provide a flat, single-color version in the background?

If not, what's an easier way to change the base color?

  • Does it have to be in Illustrator? Otherwise you can open up the image in Photoshop and add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. – Saaru Lindestøkke Oct 26 '14 at 12:49
  • Illustrator > CS4 supports Transparency in Gradient Meshes. Unfortunately you can’t just select »None« as Fill Color like you normally would, but you have to use the »Transparency«-Window. I suggest you create a layer with your base-color duplicate it a few times and apply the shadows and the highlights layer-by-layer with a combination of transparency and blend modes. Another thing you could look into is Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork … Link Harmony Colors in the Edit panel and change your base-color. Doesn’t always work well, but definitely better than changing everything by hand. – mnxd Oct 26 '14 at 16:04
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The easiest way to do this is to either recolor what you already have via Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork or....

Create your mesh without any color. Using simple opacity options in the mesh to add shadows and highlight. Then add a new fill via the Appearance Panel and move that fill below the "Mesh" object in the Appearance Panel.

enter image description here

This is just a quick example. You could certainly refine the appearance a great deal.

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