When you apply a transparency to an object, you're creating a grayscale mask using the uniform, fountain, texture, or pattern fill type, which is applied on top of the object. By positioning a transparent object on top of another object, you simulate a lens.
A Uniform transparency is filled with a solid color. The color is consistent throughout the object to which it's applied.
A Fountain transparency flows smoothly from one color to another. The transparency can flow in a straight line across the object (linear), in concentric circles from the center of the object out (radial), in rays from the center of the object out (conical), or in concentric squares from the center of the object out (square).
A Texture transparency is a random, fractally generated transparency that you can use to give your objects a natural appearance. Transparency handles let you control the block of fractal texture that controls the transparency of the object.
A Pattern transparency is a pregenerated, symmetrical image that is repeated over and over, making it extremely useful for creating tiles. You can fill an object completely with one image, but you would more often use a series of repeated images to form a tiled fill. The effect is similar to applying wallpaper to a wall.
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