I am wanting to erase the edges of a rectangular object so that it blends better with the background, and am wondering if there is a way of doing this using the eraser tool with soft edges?
Here is a snapshot to illustrate further what I mean:
You should be able to see that above the curve on the left there is a gradient which extends to the top of the image. This is the rectangle which I have applied a gradient to. At the top of the rectangle the colour is the same as the background. What I am trying to do is to blend the left edge of the rectangle in with the background above the curve (below the curve there is a line so no blending is needed). The way I thought of doing this is using the eraser tool with a soft edge. I can do this in Photoshop, but I'm not sure if this is possible or the best approach in Illustrator.
Since illustrator is vector based and not pixel based, you can't have soft edges on any tool, however you can either use a blend mode or past your illustrator content on a photoshop document as a smart object, that way you can still keep vector features and go back to illustrator as needed, but can hide the contents using masks with soft edges.