This tutorial will go over the use of the Gradient Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS3. This is a short and focused tutorial on the capabilities of the gradient tool. Many different things can be constructed from such simple features. Many new web 2.0 buttons, headers and images are using finely tuned gradients to give off a smooth effect. I personally like this look and feel, and will be developing it into some of my new tutorials. If you are looking for a more defined tutorial on how to use this feature, you can check out of the links to the side or a webpage from the resource site link. Also there is the full package of teaching tutorials that you will find summarized at the end of this tutorial. Enough of the idle talk lets continue with the tutorial.
Let's start by opening up Adobe Photoshop CS Extended and making a document of a large square shape (500 pixels x 500 pixels). Then you can select the Gradient Tool.
Now drag a line from the top left portion to the bottom right portion like shown in the image below.
Now you will see what happens with the color patterns from blue to brown. You can see the color pattern at the top left of the program. That is the way it is shown for a gradient.
Now select that gradient box and you will see the default option within it. There are a variety of pre-made color patterns.
Let's take a look at one in use. Pick the transparent rainbow.
Now drag a line from the top right to the bottom left.
Now you will get an opposing gradient image from another corner of the document. You could do with different layers and make all kinds of cool contrasting stuff.
Now lets get a fresh document and select the Linear Gradient located at the top of the screen as shown in the image below.
Now drag a line from the left to the right.
Now you will get a linear gradient with the transparent rainbow. The transparent rainbow is nothing more than a few blending changes. You blur the rain colors and then you set the opacity to about 50% and there you go.
Let's make another clean document and select the Angle Gradient.
Select the option Foreground to Background, which will take your personally made background and foreground colors and make an angled gradient with them. You can do this with any of the gradients.
Now drag a line from left to right.
Now you will have an angled gradient. My gradient is from blue to white so it looks like it takes up only half the screen. You can make yours look like whatever you want.
Now make a new document and select the Reflected Gradient.
Drag a line from the bottom left to the top right.
Now you will see the image below.
Now select the Diamond Gradient from the top. I am sorry for not having the proper caption for this. Now select the black and white color option.
Now drag a line from the top left to the bottom right.
Now you will have an odd looking diamond speared gradient object. I probably should have demonstrated this in another color pattern.
The rest of the options are pretty self-explanatory. Next to the gradient types are the modes you can run them in. I kept it on normal for simplicity sake. They are shown below.
The gradient is a great tool that has many useful possibilities. It has been used since digital graphic editing started and it will continue on with these brilliant programs. Nothing catches the eye more than a well used gradient in an image. It mimics the changing faces of the sky that we see everyday. Some people would state that they have never seen anything more beautiful than a colorful sky. I believe they may be on to something. I hope this tutorial has taught you a few features that Adobe Photoshop CS3 has to offer with gradients.
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