Adding a gradient to a layer

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Next you'll create a new layer with no artwork on it. (Adding empty layers to a file is comparable to adding blank sheets of acetate to a stack of images.) Then you'll add a semi-transparent gradient effect to the new layer, which influences the layers stacked behind it.

In ImageReady, which does not have a gradient tool, you can apply a Gradient/Pattern layer effect from the Layers palette.

1 In the Layers palette, click Background to make it active.

2 Click the New Layer button (j) at the bottom of the Layers palette. A new layer, named Layer 1, appears between the Background and the Doorway layer.

Note: You can also create a new layer by choosing New Layer on the Layers palette menu.

3 Double-click the name Layer 1, and type Gradient to rename the layer.

You can now apply a gradient to the new layer. A gradient is a gradual transition between two or more colors. You control the type of transition using the gradient tool.

4 In the toolbox, select the gradient tool (_i).

5 In the tool options bar, make sure that the Linear Gradient button (_i) is selected and then click to expand the gradient picker. Select Foreground to Transparent and then click on the image window to close the gradient picker.

To identify the different types of gradients, let the pointer hover over a thumbnail in the gradient picker until a tooltip appears, showing the name of the gradient. Or, open the palette menu for the gradient picker and select either Small List or Large List.

6 Click the Swatches palette tab to bring it to the front of its palette group, and select any shade of purple that appeals to you.

7 With the Gradient layer active in the Layers palette, drag the gradient tool from the right margin of the image to the left margin. (You can hold down Shift as you drag to constrain the gradient horizontally.)

The gradient extends over the width of the layer, starting with purple and gradually blending to transparent, and affects the look of the garden on the layer below it. Because the gradient partially obscures the garden, you'll now lighten the effect by changing the Gradient layer's opacity.

8 In the Layers palette, change the opacity for the Gradient layer to 60%. The full garden shows through the gradient.

Note: If you try this procedure in ImageReady, be aware that any Gradient/Pattern effects that you apply in ImageReady do not appear onscreen when you view the file in Photoshop. However, the effects are preserved in the image. An alert icon in Photoshop indicates that the effects are present on the layer. The pattern and gradient effects are not altered in Photoshop unless you rasterize the layer on which the effects are applied.

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