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Adding and adjusting radial gradients

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adding and adjusting radial gradients

All right, so far so good. I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Paddle gradients.ai, so named by the way because all of the gradients that are associated with the paddle are complete. In this exercise we're going to experiment a bit with a Radial Gradient and we're going to see how the Gradient tool works with Radial Gradients here inside of Illustrator CS4. We're going to assign a Radial Gradient to the background image, to this big green rectangle. I'll go ahead and zoom out so that we can see what I'm talking about. Right now the green rectangle has a Linear Gradient assigned to it.

Adding and adjusting radial gradients

All right, so far so good. I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Paddle gradients.ai, so named by the way because all of the gradients that are associated with the paddle are complete. In this exercise we're going to experiment a bit with a Radial Gradient and we're going to see how the Gradient tool works with Radial Gradients here inside of Illustrator CS4. We're going to assign a Radial Gradient to the background image, to this big green rectangle. I'll go ahead and zoom out so that we can see what I'm talking about. Right now the green rectangle has a Linear Gradient assigned to it.

We're going to add a Radial Gradient to that exact same shape and its going to include exactly the same colors, but its going to allow us to burn in the shadows that much more, so that we have a richer, darker scene at work here. So what I would like you to do is make sure that the big old rectangle is selected with the Black Arrow tool. Then switch over to the Appearance palette, and I'm going to go ahead and click on the Fill item to make sure its selected. We want to duplicate this Fill, because we want to create a copy of the very same gradient and just convert it from Linear to Radial as I say.

So go down to the Page icon and click on it to create that duplicate and then go to the Gradient palette and change it from Linear to Radial. Then the other thing that I want you to do, as long as we're here inside the Appearance palette, I want you to click on Opacity in order to bring up the Transparency palette and I want you to switch the blend mode from Normal to that mode I showed you a few exercises ago, Multiply, so that we're using one gradient to darken another. So again, Multiply is your shading agent inside of Illustrator and other Adobe applications, and we get this effect right here. Okay. Great.

Now, we need to modify that Radial Gradient and of course we could modify the settings here inside the Gradient palette. But they are so abstract, these values are. Don't you know, you really can't tell what difference the angle is making or what difference the aspect ratio is making. Whereas, if you modify the gradient using the Gradient tool, you can see everything right there inside the illustration window. So go ahead and select the Gradient tool, like so, and you'll once again get your little bar here that provides all the functionality it does with Linear Gradients and then some. Notice that we're seeing the perimeter of our gradient as long as we're inside of it. If I move outside, the perimeter goes away.

If I move inside, I can see it again. What this is telling me is from this border on we're going to have a flat color. This area right there is just a flat color, so that's where the final color in the gradient takes over and just fills in the remainder of the shape. So if we want the gradient to extend farther outward, we need to move it outward, like so. So make it nice and big like that. Then of course, you can move your cursor beyond that final color swatch right there in order to rotate the gradient. So drag to rotate it. We have gone ahead and rotated that circular gradient, which makes no difference whatsoever.

After all, if you rotate a circle, it's still a circle and it's still in exactly the same location, so what's the deal? Why did I even bother doing that? Because now I can go ahead and change the height of that gradient, which is going to squish the circle into an ellipse. So if I drag this point right here, you can see that I'm changing the shape of the gradient. This is something we couldn't do inside of Illustrator CS3 and before. Where Radial Gradients were concerned, you always had concentric circles. Now you can create concentric ellipses, which gives you a higher degree of control if nothing else.

Now I'm going to move this guy to a slightly different location. I actually don't want the ellipse to be squished quite that much. Let's say a little bit farther out to about there looks pretty good to me. I'm also going to adjust the angle little bit, move it up, like so. Oh, by the way, whether it's a diamond or a square, if you drag it you're going to change the size of the gradient right there. I want to rotate it just a little more to this position there. This looks pretty good to me and then I do want to make it bigger, because I want to make sure that the gradient is filling up the rectangular area quite nicely, which it is at this point.

Now, there is one other thing you can do when adjusting a Radial Gradient-- well, two other things actually. You can move the gradient if you want to and you do that by dragging this central circle right there. So drag the big circle and you will move the gradients around inside the shape, like so. You can of course also change the color of the color stops, if you want to, and the Midpoint Skew and all that jazz. I'm not interested in doing that. I am interested in showing you this extra circle right there. What in the world is up with this? That didn't appear when we were working with Linear Gradients.

Now it's here. What that allows you to do is move the center of the gradient without moving the perimeter. So the perimeter color stays at the exact same position, but the center color moves. So in other words, the first color in the gradient is not necessarily at the center of the gradient. It's offset, which means that we're going to get a very slow drop off this direction and a very fast drop off this direction. So this is great for creating things like Specular Highlights for example, where we have a nice flash located at some point inside of our gradient. I'm going to go ahead and move this guy up to about this location here.

Now, what you should note is if you decide later you want to take that first color in the gradient and move it back to the center of the gradient, which is about right here, that's a little problematic and I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to grab this second circle, the little circle, and I'm going to move it into the center location and notice as soon as I get close to that center location, tiny little movements start making a big difference and that's what you need to watch. So you have to be just really careful when you start moving that first color back to the center of the Radial Gradient.

My suggestion frankly to you is if you're going to move it away from the center, make sure you want to move it away. So that you don't have to later move it back, because then you're going to ruin the angle on everything. Anyway, I'm going to move it to about this location here and that looks quite good to me actually, so I'll go ahead and switch back to my Black Arrow tool, click off the shape in order to deselect it, let's go ahead and zoom back in, and this is the result of adding that additional Radial Fill right there. I'll show you the difference by turning of this eyeball. This is before.

Actually it's not before. Why is that? That's because I don't have the rectangle selected anymore. I just deselected it, so let me go back and select it and zoom back in so that we can see what in the world we're doing. I was seeing the default settings right there as opposed to the settings that are assigned to the rectangle. Now I'll go ahead and turn off the eyeball, new to Illustrator CS4 inside the Appearance palette, which is awesome. This is the original version of the background as it appeared when we first began this exercise and this is the version that we have now with more shading going on, a lot more drama I think as well, surrounding what I think we all have to acknowledge is an amazingly dramatic ping-pong paddle.

In the next exercise we are going to add a vignette that includes a translucent gradient. Stay tuned.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21604 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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