I'm trying to apply a gradient mesh to a photo in illustrator to create a blurred vector background. It limits me to using 50 x 50 columns and the results are very blocky. I had downloaded a vector from iStock for work purposes and noticed that the blurred background had much more than a 50 x 50 grid and it was very smooth lake a gaussian blur effect. I can't find anything about how to achieve this. I'm using CS4 if that makes a difference.

Here is the image I want to emulate: enter image description here

Here is my attempt: enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Illustrator is not the only app that does gradient meshes. The original image could have been generated in another app.

However, I suspect something like this is most often created by using the Mesh Tormentor plug in for Illustrator. Or rather, if I were creating something similar that's certainly what I'd use.

enter image description here

  • Embed Raster image
  • Create mesh object
  • increase mesh density (Mesh Tormentor)
  • select mesh and embedded raster image
  • pick up colors from underlying raster for mesh points (Mesh Tormentor)
  • delete raster

This is a CS6 animated GIF, but Mesh Tormentor is available for all AI versions from CS4 onward (with improvements in newer versions).

The built in Convert to Gradient Mesh menu item in Illustrator is really only sufficient for small bits of artwork, not really full photos.

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