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Free Illustrator Plug-in - Complete Guide of Mesh Tormentor

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Articles / Web Roundups/ Comments: 36

Today I’m publishing a complete guide to Mesh Tormentor plugin which caused a burst of enthusiastic feedbacks of illustrators from all over the world. This guide is written and illustrated by YemZ, the author of the plugin.



You can download the plugin by clicking the Download button on this page.


Installation of the plugin is conducted by copying a file to the directory YemZMeshTormentor.aip \ Plug-ins \ Extensions \, located as applicable by Adobe Illustrator (eg C: \ Program Files \ Adobe \ Adobe Illustrator CS2 \ Plug-ins \ Extensions \). At the same time Adobe Illustrator itself should not be running. Plug-in can work with most versions of Adobe Illustrator CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6.


You can read about work with Mesh Tormentor if you use the following links:


Contents



Show axis and / or corner nodes of the mesh

Move the corner node

Convert knots into vertexes

Convert vertexes into knots

Smooth mesh nodes

Mesh colors shift

Reflection of mesh colors

Mesh colors rotation

Color cloning into another mesh

Sew meshes together

Cut the mesh into two

Create a single-cell mesh based on the path

Create mesh grid for Brush

Get the mesh from brush grid

Convert mesh into a set of paths

Guides 1 / 3

Guides 0

The horizontal alignment of nodes and vertices

The vertical alignment of nodes and vertices

Some terminology to begin with.



  • Node – is the point of intersection of the grid lines that defines the color and shape of the cell. Nodes have handles that give the shape of the segment of the cell and the color transition between the neighboring nodes.


  • Vertex – is an additional point on the grid lines. It also has handles that define the shape of the segment and the color transition, but do not assign color.


  • Knot – is a kind of vertex, but it cannot be controlled directly, therefore it is impossible to achieve the desired result.



Now let's take a look at the commands from the Tormentor palette.









Show axis and / or corner nodes of the mesh


Selection: mesh or more meshes.


[] created two groups: "Coords" and "Corner Nodes".

Ctrl + [] group will be created: "Coords".

Alt + [] group will be created: "Corner Nodes".

"Coords" displays the axes mesh. Red line - axis I, blue - the axis J.

"Corner Nodes" shows the location of the corner nodes of the mesh.













"Move the corner node"


Selection: corner node and valid vertex.


[] Node takes the place of vertex and vertex takes the place of the node.



Valid vertex is a vertex that is located on one of the segments adjacent to the selected cornoer node.









"Convert knots into vertexes "



Selection:: mesh or a few meshes.


[] All knots convert into vertexes.

Ctrl + [] all knots deleted.

Alt + [] deletes all knots with the adjustment of the guides of the nodes and vertexes. Adjustment is done through the guides are adjusted to those which appear in the presence of knot.











"Convert vertexes into knots"



Selection: mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertexes).


[] Selected vertexes are converted into knots












"Smooth mesh nodes"


Selection: mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertexes).


[] Selected nodes and vertexes are smoothed. Corner nodes are ignored.

Ctrl + [] smooth just the selected corner nodes.

Alt + [] smooth all the selected nodes and vertexes.















"Mesh colors shift"


Selection: mesh or some of its nodes.


[] periodic shift of the colors of the selected rectangular area of the mesh nodes along the I-axis in the forward direction.

Ctrl + [] periodic shift of colors of the selected rectangular area of the mesh nodes along the J-axis in the forward direction.

Alt + [] periodic shift of the colors of the selected rectangular area of the mesh nodes along the I-axis in the opposite direction.

Ctrl + Alt + [] periodic shift of the colors of the selected rectangular area of mesh nodes along the J-axis in the opposite direction.


I.e. Alt is responsible for the shift in the opposite direction, and Ctrl is responsible for changing the axis into J.



Selected rectangular nodes area - it is the smallest regular rectangular (in terms of internal structure, rather than visual shape) fragment of the mesh grid, which contains all the selected nodes.












"Reflection of mesh colors"


Selection: mesh or some of its nodes.


[] colors reflection of the selected rectangular area of the mesh nodes along the axis I.


Ctrl + [] colors reflection of the selected rectangular area of mesh nodes along the axis J.












"Mesh colors rotation"


Selection: mesh or some of its nodes.


[] rotation of the colors of the selected rectangular area of mesh nodes to the right.

Alt + [] rotation of the colors of the selected rectangular area of mesh nodes to the left.

If the selected area has a square shape (in terms of internal structure, rather than visual shape), then the rotation is 45 degrees, otherwise - 90.




Directions to the right and left are relative and their true direction depends on the directions of the mesh axes. Right direction is the direction towards which you have to move around the primary node within a mesh from the axis J to the axis I.












"Color cloning into another mesh"


Selection:two meshes or some of their nodes.


[] colors copying of the selected rectangular area of the upper mesh nodes to the selected rectangular area of the lower mesh nodes.

Alt + [] colors copying of the selected rectangular area of the lower mesh nodes to the selected rectangular area of the upper mesh nodes.

Ctrl + [] colors copying of the selected rectangular area of the upper mesh nodes to the selected rectangular area of the lower mesh nodes with the change of axes I and J.

Ctrl + Alt + [] colors copying of the selected rectangular area of the lower mesh nodes to the selected rectangular area of the upper mesh nodes with the change of axis I and J.


I.e. Alt is responsible for changing the direction of cloning, and Ctrl is responsible for axes shift when cloning.


When cloning, the selected mesh nodes areas overlap taking into consideration the change of axes, and there is selected the area of their intersection which is involved in the cloning of colors.












"Automesh – being in development."










"Sew meshes together"


Selection:Two meshes or some of their nodes.


[] two meshes are sewn into one by bringing together nodes, vertexes and knots at the seamed up sides.

Ctrl + [] two meshes are sewn into one by adding an additional row of cells between the seamed up sides.

Alt + [] two meshes are sewn together by bringing together the nodes, vertexes and knots at the seamed up sides. At the same time the order of the elements pass of one of the sides is reversed.

Ctrl + Alt + [] two meshes are sewn into one by adding an additional row of cells between the seamed up sides. The order of the elements pass of one of the sides is reversed.


I.e. Ctrl is responsible for adding an additional row of cells between the seamed up sides, and Alt is responsible for changing the order of the elements pass of one of the seamed up sides.



For mandatory seamed up sides’ assignment, use partial selection of the corner nodes, which are located at the sides.




Following seam up occurs according to the following procedure:



  1. Top mesh in the layers palette is sewn to the second in a row.

  2. The resulting mesh is sewn to the third one.

  3. The resulting mesh is sewn to the fourth.



Selection: A few (more than two) meshes that contact each other with the corner mesh nodes forming the well-formed grid.











"Cut the mesh into two"


Selection:lateral mesh node.

[] Mesh is cut into two along the line passing through selected lateral node.



Selection:Two side vertexes located on opposite segments of a single cell.

[] Cell is divided into two along a straight line drawn between the selected nodes. In this case mesh remains intact.












"Create a single-cell mesh based on the path"


Selection: Path or some of its (their) anchor points. There should be at least 4 selected anchor points of each path.


[] The path is converted into a mesh. Mesh nodes are four of the most sharp anchor points among the selected ones. Mesh nodes are filled with gray.

Ctrl + [] path is converted to a mesh. In this case, the path itself is not deleted. Mesh nodes are four most acute among the selected control points. Mesh nodes are filled in gray.

Alt + [] path is converted into a mesh. Mesh nodes are four of the most sharp among the selected anchor points. Mesh nodes are filled with fill color of the path (if there is no fill, than with the color of the stroke, and if there is none – than fill with gray).

Ctrl + Alt + [] path is converted into a mesh. In this case, the path itself is not deleted. Mesh nodes become four most sharp anchor points among the selected ones. Mesh nodes are filled with the fill color of the path (if there is no fill, than with the color of the stroke, and if there is none – fill with gray).


I.e. Ctrl is responsible for saving the original path, and Alt is responsible for filling the mesh with color, taken from the path.













"Create mesh grid for Brush"


Selection:mesh or meshes.

[] The mesh is transformed into a special grid, resembling the original mesh, and comprising the pathes that allows you to use it as an element of the brush.












"Get the mesh from brush grid"


Selection:Special brush grid or a few grids.

[] Brush grid is transformed back into the mesh.











"Convert mesh into a set of paths "


Selection:mesh or a few meshes.

[] group of paths "MeshGridTL" is created, passing along the segments of the original mesh.

Alt + [] a group of paths "MeshGrid" is created, each of which corresponds to a particular segment of the mesh.

Ctrl + [] a group of paths (including singlepoints) "MeshPoints" is created, showing nodes, vertexes, knots, true and reflected guides.











"Guides 1 / 3 "


Selection:mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertexes).

[] In selected nodes (vertexes), all the guides change in size, the length of each becomes equal to 1 / 3 of the distance between node (vertexes) and the neighboring (to the side of the guide) node (vertexes).

Alt + [] the manner indicated above change only the guides, which are allocated between the neighboring nodes (vertexes).














"Guides 0"


Selection:mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertices).

[] In all the selected nodes (vertices), all the guides change in size, the length of each becomes equal to zero.

Alt + [] the procedure described above allow to change only the guides, which are allocated between the neighboring nodes (vertexes).











"The horizontal alignment of nodes and vertices"


Selection:mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertexes).

[] The selected nodes and vertexes are horizontally aligned.

Alt + [] Selected nodes and vertexes are horizontally right-aligned.

Ctrl + [] Selected nodes and vertexes are horizontally left-aligned.











"The vertical alignment of nodes and vertices"


Selection: mesh, a few meshes or some of their nodes (vertexes).

[] The selected nodes and vertexes are vertically center-aligned.

Alt + [] Selected nodes and vertices are vertically upper edge-aligned.

Ctrl + [] Selected nodes and vertices are vertically bottom edge-aligned.





Plugin installation is done by copying a YemZMeshTormentor.aip file to the directory \ Plug-ins \ Extensions \, located as installed by Adobe Illustrator (e.g. C: \ Program Files \ Adobe \ Adobe Illustrator CS2 \ Plug-ins \ Extensions \). In this case, Adobe Illustrator itself should not be running. Plugin can work with most versions of Adobe Illustrator CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6.


You can download the plugin by clicking the Download button on this page


You can meet with the plug-in developer in the article Interview with Iaroslav Tabachkovsky aka Yemz

Follow us if you want to be the first to know about the latest Adobe Illustrator tutorials and articles. Vectorboom team works for you!

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Total comments: 36 1 2 »
0  
1 mario   (2011 Jun 14 14:00)
Amazing... is it completly free? Are you thinking on make a mac version?

0  
2 jaroslav   (2011 Jun 14 14:04)
Yes, it is free, but a mac version doesn't exist.

0  
3 Steve   (2011 Jun 17 11:38)
A great download but had to experiment a lot by myself and still not understanding some options.

I personally found this guide too advanced & very hard to follow as were the videos especially with no audio.

I hope in time a tutorial based on a real life example will appear here that will easily explain the plugin smile

0  
4 jaroslav   (2011 Jun 17 12:32)
I'm writing a tutorial on this plugin, which will explain some of its functions.

0  
5 Steve   (2011 Jun 17 13:35)
Haha I knew you would smile

0  
6 jaroslav   (2011 Jun 17 13:40)
You can read the review, it is written more simply. http://vectorboom.com/load....-1-0-14 smile

0  
7 Steve   (2011 Jun 17 17:03)
Thanks, that review was very informative and much easier to understand

Looking forward to your future tutorial

0  
8 jaroslav   (2011 Jun 17 22:07)
It will be a snake.

0  
9 TheGreatESCape   (2011 Aug 11 07:48)
I wish there was a way to clone the color from a reference layer for when it's necessary to convert an image into a photo-realistic vector version. Coloring meshes is about the most tedious thing possible in AI... select node select color... over and over and over again and again... having that one process automated just sampling the color under or very near each node and applying it would save people doing that kind of work hours of mind numbing repetition.

0  
10 star   (2011 Sep 05 11:01)
This is amazing!!
Huge thanks to YemZ for this brilliant plug-in and the tutorials!
And to jaroslav for his kindness interpreting the tutorials so we
who are not lucky enough to know russian can understand! biggrin

0  
11 Irina   (2011 Sep 21 07:34)
@ 9 TheGreatESCape
Hi. There is a way. Just put your reference photo on a separate layer underneath your mesh. Ctrl+ Click the eye icon on your mesh layer to see it in outline mode then with the direct selection tool select the mesh point you want to color hold ctrl to pick the color from the reference photo. Hope this helps.

0  
12 pandamonkey   (2011 Sep 21 08:37)
This a mac version as far as I can tell. Works great on both. Amazing plug in!

0  
13 Shane   (2011 Sep 28 12:27)
How do I install on mac?

0  
14 jaroslav   (2011 Sep 29 01:47)
Unzip the aip file and move it into the directory / Applications / Adobe Illustrator CSX / Plug-ins / Extentions

0  
15 Shane   (2011 Sep 29 16:49)
thanks jaroslav it worked perfect, much appreciated! biggrin

0  
16 Zugi   (2011 Oct 04 06:48)
Thanks, great stuff.

0  
17 cp10000   (2011 Dec 09 14:04)
Hi Iaroslav! Congradulation for your tool! I want to suggest a new functionality that many artists are looking for. I do gradient-mesh capture of photos of human faces and bodies and that takes a lot of time.

I am confident that you can add one functionality that can speed up the process of doing complex images like photos of people.

I suggest that you create this simple functionality where

1) the user selects a set of mesh anchors (either with selection tool or lasso tool)
2) the user presses a button that you provide

And following that your tool would read and assign the color right underneath each mesh anchor. Each mesh anchor will have the color of the pixel from the template layer photo underneath it.

You might have to ask the user to type the name of the template layer in the tool or you can establish a standard where you read the bottom most layer.

This functionality alone would really speed things up.

0  
18 djy   (2012 Apr 12 11:23)
Thank you, software is very good biggrin

0  
19 hektorJ   (2012 Jun 25 21:08)
When will CS6 version be available?

0  
20 jaroslav   (2012 Jun 26 00:22)
You can ask the developer here https://www.facebook.com/MeshTormentor?ref=ts

0  
21 natarajan   (2012 Jul 26 04:06)
it will work for windows also?

0  
22 jaroslav   (2012 Jul 26 11:10)
Yes, it is

0  
23 Alberan   (2012 Oct 18 00:26)
"Sew meshes together" Button is not avaliable on version 0.38, what happened?

0  
24 jaroslav   (2012 Oct 18 00:58)
Now it's three buttons at the bottom of the panel.

0  
25 fastshark   (2012 Nov 11 16:01)
Hi ! I've just found this very useful plugin to help me in picking colors from the picture under but, i don't know the reason why, the monalisa button do not work for me ! I am using AI CS6 and I think I do it right ! I first select the mesh and the picture and when I press the mona lisa button it does nothing wacko ! Can anyone give me a hand with this ? I really need this function so helpful for my work you know ... happy

0  
26 jaroslav   (2012 Nov 12 02:17)
Hi there!
Probably you used a linked image. Bitmap images must be embedded. (Select the image, and then click Embed button on the Control panel)

0  
27 8601610   (2012 Nov 21 06:18)
привет!Установила себе Mesh Tormentor в Ai CS5 в окне не хватает кнопки sew together,, как это устранить?

0  
28 jaroslav   (2012 Nov 21 06:26)
Посмотрите на комментарий №24 выше, теперь эта функция представлена тремя кнопками

0  
29 Fernando   (2013 Sep 14 12:50)
I've already downloaded the plugin, but cannot install it sad

0  
30 jaroslav   (2013 Sep 18 09:18)
What release of Adobe Illustrator do you use?

0  
31 Marco Almeida   (2013 Oct 09 04:02)
I also can't install it on my Mac. I have Ilustrator CC.

0  
32 jaroslav   (2013 Oct 09 15:45)
Please, try last version from this site http://www.meshtormentor.com/

1-30 31-32
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