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The Gradient Tool And The Gradient Picker In Adobe Photoshop CS

Project Information: Skill level: Basic AdobeR PhotoshopR CS General tips

Painting a gradient in Photoshop CS is as easy as using the Gradient tool and drawing a line with your mouse. You can paint a gradient on an entire layer or just part of a layer.


Gradient Tool - Options Bar

Step 1. Select an area. If you want to paint a gradient on only a section of a layer, you must first select that area with one of the selection tools.

Step 2. Click on the Gradient tool in the Toolbox. This will change the Options bar to reflect the Gradient tool. You will use the controls in the Options bar to create your gradient.

Step 3. The Gradient Picker. You will find the Gradient Picker on the left end of the Options bar. You can also open the Gradient Picker by right clicking on your image. In the Gradient Picker, you will find 15 preset gradients. Click on the gradient you wish to use.

If you want to create a gradient using the colors that you have set in the Foreground and Background Color Boxes, use the first preset gradient in the Gradient Picker.

Step 4. Select the gradient type. Photoshop has 5 preset gradient types; Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected and Diamond. Click on the icon for your choice.

Step 5. Blend mode. Next on the Options bar is the drop-down list of preset blend modes. Choose the one you want. The default is Normal.

Step 6. Opacity. You can set the opacity of your gradient anywhere between 0 and 100 percent. Use the Opacity slider on the Options bar to make fine adjustments.

Step 7. Reverse colors. You can quickly reverse the colors in your gradient by placing a check in the Reverse checkbox.

Step 8. Dither. If the transition between colors in your gradient is not as smooth as you would like, you can set the Dither on the Options bar.

Now you are ready to paint your gradient. On your image, click and drag your mouse pointer to draw a line in any direction. At the beginning of your gradient/line will be the Foreground color in your gradient. The Background color in the gradient will be at the end of your line. If you want your gradient to follow a horizontal, vertical or 45 degree angle; hold down the Shift key while you click and drag your mouse pointer.



AdobeR product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated. AdobeR, PhotoshopR and PhotoshopR AlbumTM are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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