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Gradient Mask in Illustrator
One of the handy little things you can do with your vector graphics in Illustrator, is create areas of transparency, just like in Photoshop, using a mask. Illustrator lets you add opacity masks where you can use one shape to mask another. If the masking shape is filled with a gradient, white to black, the white areas will be 100% opaque and the black areas will be 100% transparent. All the shades in between will give you the smooth fade effect.
You need to make sure you have 2 objects for this:
Your target object and your mask shape.
The mask needs to be directly above your target layer in the layers palette.
Select both objects by either shift + clicking on them or dragging a selection to cover them both.
Open your Transparency Palette (Window > Transparency) and click the disclosure triangle to reveal a drop-menu.
Select Make Opacity Mask and voila!other page