Gradient Tool

The Gradient tool can be used to manually draw gradients on a layer. To access the Gradient tool, select it from the toolbar, or press ©. The Paint Bucket shares the same well as the Gradient tool, so if you can't find the Gradient tool, press S+g to cycle through your tools.

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The Gradient tool can use any gradient created from the gradient editor or from the Presets menu. To select a gradient, choose from the available ones in the Options bar. You can also load preset libraries or manually load gradients by accessing the palette's submenu. To access the gradient editor, double-click a Gradient icon.

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You now must choose between five options to build your gradient:

Linear gradient (A). Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a straight line.

Radial gradient (B). Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a circular pattern.

Angle gradient (C). Draws the gradient in a counterclockwise sweep from the starting point.

Reflected gradient (D). Draws a linear gradient symmetrically on both sides of the starting point.

Diamond gradient (E). Draws the gradient in a diamond-shaped pattern outward from the starting point.

You have a few available options to further modify the gradient. You can specify a blend mode to affect how the gradient is applied to the layer. (For more on the versatile blend modes, see Chapter 3, "Why Layers?")

• To swap the direction of colors in the gradient, select Reverse.

• To create a smoother blend by adding noise, choose Dither.

• To use a gradient's built-in transparency, check the Transparency box. If a preset gradient does not contain transparency, edit it and add opacity stops.

• To draw the gradient, click to set the starting point. Continue to hold the mouse button down and draw to the endpoint.

To constrain the angle to multiples of 45°, hold down the ^S key as you drag.

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