I've tried to make a filter in Illustrator so that it looks like the filter used in the Yosemite menu-bar. I can't seem to get it quite right. Here's an image showing the menu-bar:

Here's an image of the menu-bar, for those of you not familiar with Yosemite.

Any suggestions on how to proceed would be highly appreciated.

  • 3
    Post what you've done as well. It's like asking for directions, we can't tell you how to get to Point B if we don't know where Point A is at.
    – Ryan
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:11
  • It's just a simple gradient. If "reduce transparency" is not checked in Yosemite, then it's at about 90% opacity. You'll need to explain in greater detail where you are having difficulty.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:59
  • In Sketch you can just blur layer background. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


Like the other posters said above it can be as easy as just a simple gradient. You can kind of see that the gradient is based on the colors of the photo behind it to try to make it look like a subtle transparency with a copy of that part of the image behind it blurred.

You could do the same thing in illustrator but it would be easier to do this in Photoshop by stacking a second photo on top of the other. Between the two photos make a white bar the size of the bar you need. Blur the photo with Gaussian Blur use the blurred piece and the bar and make a clipping mask so that you now have what looks like a blurred bar of the image below and you should be able to play with the transparency of the blurred image and the bar to get close.

Photshops gradient options are also easier to use than Illustrators so you could probably get that effect with Photoshop much quicker if you wanted it to be an exact replica of what is in the pic you posted.


I don't think it can be done in a single layer, but I got a decent result by:

  • Copy the image layer and Gaussian Blur it with a large value (I used 120px)
  • Create your menu bar shape and copy it once. Use one copy to create a clipping mask with the blurred image
  • Bring the second menu bar shape to Front, set the fill to white and fill opacity to 10-20% Hard Light. Add a small drop shadow

You asked for a way to do this in Illustrator, but I would suggest using Photoshop if you can. Layer effects like this generally come out better looking.


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