I am not good at using a gradient mesh in illustrator or core draw (any vector program), it makes sense to create a non linear complex gradient in Photoshop. However when using tools like live trace I get a banding problem where each part of the gradient is split up into individual parts.

image shows the live trace result

this image shows the detail of what happens

How would I convert the bitmap into a one piece gradient vector mesh, I use Corel Draw and Illustrator. Would not be opposed to using a standalone tool.

  • Should really use Illustrator Mesh tool. If you're struggling with it then asking a question to help you get better with the correct tool would make more sense.
    – Ryan
    Aug 19, 2015 at 16:22
  • I feel the tool is counter intuitive. As I said it makes more sense to use Photoshop
    – Aasim Azam
    Aug 19, 2015 at 16:24
  • What tool are you using in Illustrator?
    – Ryan
    Aug 19, 2015 at 16:25
  • The mesh tool, the lines in the mesh are all wrong, you need to do too much to get the lines going in the right places and directions
    – Aasim Azam
    Aug 19, 2015 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


The problem is that you're trying to go from apples to oranges - the gradient in Corel Draw / Photoshop is a raster image, and you're trying to then bring it in and apply it as a vector gradient. A raster gradient has a defined size, and attempting to map it using the live trace tool causes Illustrator to try and find specific values at specific points within the gradient - thus the "stepped" result. If you're greatly expanding the raster shape you'll also be dealing with jaggies and aliasing artifacts from rescaling a raster gradient.

I'd recommend trying a couple of things:

  1. The gradient tool (shift + g) in Illustrator will allow you to fill a shape using the same types of controls as you'd see in Photoshop when building a gradient. I've used this very successfully as it's a lot simpler than the mesh tool (which is meant to provide precise gradient control over an irregular shape, not a nice gradual gradient). To use the regular gradient tool, create a shape and click on the little gradient under the foreground / background color swatches to fill the shape with the existing gradient. enter image description here

The existing gradient can then be manipulated in the Gradient flyout menu.enter image description here

  1. If that doesn't tickle your fancy you could always live trace the imported gradient and then use the mesh point removal tool (select the gradient tool and hold down option while clicking on a point) to delete most of the points in the mesh. It would still be a mesh but it would be a lot simpler and thus easier to deal with.
  • 1
    I think your mistaking something. The result from the live trace is that each iteration of the gradient is separate. The gradient I need is non linear, in fact it is much more complex than what illustrator can do. Except through a mesh gradient, which is counter intuitive to work with
    – Aasim Azam
    Aug 20, 2015 at 9:43
  • Right - you'd have to combine the individual elements using the pathfinder tool and that would give you flat color, not a gradient. You'd need to figure out a way to combine those while keeping the individual colors - in essence, a mesh gradient. In essence, it sounds like you need the control a mesh gradient delivers but aren't willing to use the mesh tool. Can you explain what you mean by "counter-intuitive"? What element(s) of the mesh tool are giving you problems? Aug 20, 2015 at 14:06

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