Gradient

Understanding Gradients

A gradient fill, or simply gradient, is a blend of colors used to fill a selection of a layer or an entire layer. A gradient's appearance is determined by its beginning and ending points, and its length, direction, and angle. Gradients allow you to create dramatic effects, using existing color combinations or your own colors. The Gradient picker, as shown in Figure 18, offers multicolor gradient fills and a few that use the current foreground or background colors on the toolbox.

FIGURE 18

Gradient picker

FIGURE 18

Gradient picker

Gradient fills that use current foreground or background colors

Using the Gradient Tool

You use the Gradient Tool to create gradients in images. When you choose the Gradient Tool, five gradient styles become available on the options bar. These styles—Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, and Diamond—are shown in Figure 19. In each example, the gradient was drawn from 50 X/50 Y to 100 X/100 Y.

Customizing Gradients

Using the gradient presets—predesigned gradient fills that are displayed in the Gradient picker—is a great way to learn

FIGURE 19

Sample gradients how to use gradients. But as you become more familiar with Photoshop, you might want to venture into the world of the unknown and create your own gradient designs. You can create your own designs by modifying an existing gradient using the Gradient Editor. You can open the Gradient Editor, shown in Figure 20, by clicking the selected gradient pattern that appears on the options bar. After it's open, you can use it to make the following modifications:

FIGURE 19

Sample gradients

Drag slider to adjust opacity

Drag slider to adjust color

■ Create a new gradient from an existing gradient.

■ Modify an existing gradient.

■ Add intermediate colors to a gradient.

■ Create a blend between more than two colors.

■ Adjust the opacity values.

■ Determine the placement of the midpoint.

FIGURE 20

Gradient Editor dialog box

FIGURE 20

Gradient Editor dialog box

Drag slider to adjust opacity

Drag slider to adjust color

Adjust or delete colors and opacity values

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