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Mixing gradients with blend modes

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Mixing gradients with blend modes

All right, one gradient out of the way, two more to go inside of this eye shape here. Each one of the gradients is going to cover up the gradient below it, so we need to create some kind of interaction between the gradients and we are going to do so using a Blend mode. I've saved my progress as First eye gradient.ai. I have the right-hand eye shape selected with my Black Arrow tool. I am going to move over to the Appearance panel, and if you can't see it onscreen, go to the Window menu and choose Appearance or press Shift+F6, and then I want you to go ahead and click on the existing Gradient Fill, notice that we have one fill, which is Radial gradient; we don't have any stroke, and the Radial gradient is covering up the Drop Shadow below it.

Mixing gradients with blend modes

All right, one gradient out of the way, two more to go inside of this eye shape here. Each one of the gradients is going to cover up the gradient below it, so we need to create some kind of interaction between the gradients and we are going to do so using a Blend mode. I've saved my progress as First eye gradient.ai. I have the right-hand eye shape selected with my Black Arrow tool. I am going to move over to the Appearance panel, and if you can't see it onscreen, go to the Window menu and choose Appearance or press Shift+F6, and then I want you to go ahead and click on the existing Gradient Fill, notice that we have one fill, which is Radial gradient; we don't have any stroke, and the Radial gradient is covering up the Drop Shadow below it.

Now we want to add yet another radial gradient and I am going to do that by dropping down to the Add New Fill icon. I can click on that icon or I can press its keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Slash, or Cmd+Slash on the Mac, in order to create a duplicate of the existing fill. So, we should see two identical radial gradients on top of each other. Now, I want to reverse the order of this gradient. The reason being, if you take a look at a cat's eye, and we are not going to exactly match a cat's iris, but the way it basically works is that it starts dark right on the outside of the pupil, and then it lightens up in the middle of the iris, and then it grows dark again as it's shaded by the eyelids.

So that's the effect we are trying to mimic. So I am going to create that darkness in the center by reversing the order of this gradient. So I'll click the Reverse Gradient button so that the dark point's in the inside and the light point's at the outside. I am going to click on that midpoint skew right there and reset it to 50%, so that the speed of the gradient is uniform throughout. And then I am going to double- click on that final color stop, the one that's currently white, and I'm going to click on the flyout menu icon, switch it to CMYK, and I am going to dial in 50% yellow, that's it. Everything else stays 0, and we end up getting this affect right here.

Now, I need to adjust the speed of the gradients and so forth. So I am going to press the G key to get my Gradient tool. That center point should still be right there at the center of the pupil. However, I want to go ahead and drag this guy down a little bit in this direction here, and I am going to move it in as well to about this location, because I want a short amount of darkness there, maybe a little more than that. And then finally, I am going to change that angle value, just so that you and I are getting the same results. I am going to change it to -35 degrees, like so. Then finally, we need to create the interaction, because notice, this Fill, if I turn off its eyeball, it's just totally covering up the fill below it.

So, we have two opaque gradients sitting on top of each other, that's not going to do any good. So, I will turn the Fill back on once again by clicking in that eyeball column, and then I'll switch over to the Transparency panel, and you can also get to it by choosing Transparency from the Window menu. It's going to be down toward the bottom, of course, because these guys are in alphabetical order, and then finally, I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply. We'll be learning a lot more about blend modes in a future chapter, but for now, what they do is they allow you to create complex interactions between objects, so you can blend different objects together with each other or different attributes in this case because we are working with Fills. And when I set this Fill to Multiply, it burns in to the gradient below it, so that one gradient is darkening the other gradient.

So as a result, we get this darkness on the inside that fades toward lightness in the middle right there, and then fades toward darkness again. Now, the great thing about expressing these two pieces as separate fills, because you might figure, well gosh, couldn't we have used one gradient that started dark, got light, and then got darker again? Yes, we could have, but we wouldn't have the same degree of freedom. For example, I can move this guy up or I can move it down so I can change its position where the gradient begins independently of the other gradient. So this guy I definitely want to have it begin right there at the center of the pupil, but then I may turn around and decide, you know this outside gradient, it doesn't need to begin at the inside of the pupil.

It can shift up a little bit and move out a little bit as well, just so that it's covering up the entire portion of this eye, that is it's better matching the eye path. So it's really up to you how you decide to work but I often find that working with independent Fill attributes set to different blend modes gives me a lot more freedom. All right! Now, I am going to add one more gradient and this one is going to be a totally different gradient. So there is no way I could simulate it by adding another color stop to one of these gradients because it's going to be a Linear Gradient that starts dark at the top and gets lighter.

Currently, we have a little bit of darkness at the top, thanks to the Drop Shadow that's being cast by the brow, but that's also a black drop shadow. So it's producing a slightly muddy effect. We can essentially add a little bit of vibrance here by throwing in another gradient. So that's what I am going to do. I will drop down to the bottom of the Appearance panel once again, and click on Add New Fill, or press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Slash, Cmd+Slash on the Mac, and then this happens to be the very gradient that I want to create. That is, it has exactly the colors I want to use, but it's the wrong kind of gradient.

So, I am going to switch to the Gradient panel and I am going to change the Type from Radial to Linear. Now, it runs in the right order. It starts dark and it ends light, but it's the wrong direction. So, still armed with my Gradient tool, I am going to go ahead and drag that end point down, that terminus point right there, like so, and the ultimate angle I want is -60 degrees. So I am just going to go ahead and dial that in. Again, I am working numerically just so that you can follow along. But if you were really crafting this file on your own, you'd be more likely to drag that terminus manually.

Anyway, I am going to go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept that angle value, and then, I am going to move the top point, the origin point, down just a little away from that eyebrow, and then I am going to drag the terminus quite high, actually to about here, so that we are casting just a little bit of the shadow as you can see. Now, it's not a shadow, because this is an opaque gradient, it's covering up everything below it. In order to make it a shadow, we need to apply that very same Blend mode we applied a moment ago. So you go over to the Transparency panel, click on Normal, and then switch it to Multiply, which again goes ahead and burns the active gradient into the ones below, and we end up achieving this affect here.

So I will go ahead and switch back to the Black Arrow tool, click off the shape to deselect it, and there you have it, one shape filled with three gradients interacting with each other to create the effect of a shaded eye.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

153 video lessons · 28223 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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