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Using the Gradient palette

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Using the Gradient palette

I'm still working inside the Ping-pong paddle.ai file that I opened a couple of exercises ago. The only change I've made to this illustration is to add the red color that was already assigned to this ping-pong paddle cushion right here. I added it to the default White to Black gradient, in order to produce this monstrosity that you see before you right now. Now, bear in mind, we're going toward this final effect, so things are going to look much better than they do right now. In the meantime, we're learning. In this exercise, I want to show you how to work with the options inside of the Gradient palette. Now, we've already seen these guys right here. You can click this down pointing arrowhead to choose from the gradients that you've saved to the Swatches palette for this particular illustration.

Using the Gradient palette

I'm still working inside the Ping-pong paddle.ai file that I opened a couple of exercises ago. The only change I've made to this illustration is to add the red color that was already assigned to this ping-pong paddle cushion right here. I added it to the default White to Black gradient, in order to produce this monstrosity that you see before you right now. Now, bear in mind, we're going toward this final effect, so things are going to look much better than they do right now. In the meantime, we're learning. In this exercise, I want to show you how to work with the options inside of the Gradient palette. Now, we've already seen these guys right here. You can click this down pointing arrowhead to choose from the gradients that you've saved to the Swatches palette for this particular illustration.

Next door to that option is an option called Type, and you can select between two types of gradients. This has not changed since Illustrator 5, which is when gradients were first introduced into the program. We only have two types of gradients. One is Linear, in which the colors go in a linear order, that is to say you're going to fade from white to red, and then to black in our case, either horizontally or vertically, or at some other linear angle inside of the selected object. Or you can fade in concentric circle or concentric ellipses now inside of Illustrator CS4 by selecting Radial.

So notice these are our concentric circles right there. We start with the color on the left hand side of the gradient bar, which in our case is white. That's the color that's right there at the center of the gradient. Then we create these rings going outward until we get to red, at this location right about there, and then we keep going outward, all the way to the color on the far right side of the gradient bar, which is black in our case, which appears by default along the perimeter of the selected object. Now, as I say, we have concentric circles right here, they could be concentric ellipses inside of Illustrator CS4. You can change this circle to an ellipse by changing this value right there, the Aspect Ratio value.

So let's say I change it to 25% and then press the Tab key, you're going to get this effect right here. Now, it looks terrible right now, we'll see how this can be a terribly useful function in later exercises when we take a closer look at Radial gradients here inside Illustrator CS4. But for now I'll tell you what, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo those last couple of modifications. Actually, you know what? I'll press Ctrl +Shift+C or Command+Shift+C on the Mac in order to step forward to my Radial gradient. I do want you to see one other thing. If the colors appear in the wrong order, in other words, you want black on the inside and white on the outside of this gradient, then you have this new options right there, Reverse Gradient, here inside Illustrator CS4. One of the more humble new options inside of the program, but still you can reverse a gradient just by clicking on it, like so.

Pretty darn useful. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac a couple of times to restore that original Linear gradient there, which is what I want. You can change the angle of the gradient if you want to, by clicking on this option. You can enter a value of course if you know what value you want to enter, or you can click this little right pointing arrowhead and then you can adjust the slider, like so, and that's going to change the angle of the gradient inside of the object. Now, this isn't the only way to work, everything that we've seen so far, except for the switch between Linear and Radial, you can also accomplish using the Gradient tool, which we'll investigate in more detail in a later exercise.

Right now I just want to tour you through the palette here. All right. Let's restore this value to 0, and let's take a look at these guys, these are the gradient stops right there. So you can click on the white stop in order to change its color, here inside the Color palette if you want to, and also to change its position. So you can drag this color stop to a different position, like so, in order to make it occupy more of the object, as we're seeing here. You can change that Location value. So you could say, you know what? I want it to appear 20% the way into the gradient, like so. Then I could click on this red stop and say you want to be not 50 .9% but exactly 50%, something along those lines and so on.

You have control over the Opacity. So you can create gradients with translucency. Something we've never seen before inside of Illustrator, now available to us inside of Illustrator CS4. I'm going to restore this white color stop to the far left side, to this Location of 0.455, apparently that's as far over to the left as I can go. Now, we have these little diamond icons right there, notice that they appear midway between each pair of color stops, between the white and the red and the red and black. What they do is allow you to control the drop off of colors.

For example, if I drag this diamond over to the left, then I'm going to quickly transition from white to midway between white and red, and then slowly transition from midway between white and red to red. So in other words, it ramps up very quickly at first and then very slowly later on down the line, so that you can emphasize one color over another using what is known by the way as the Midpoint Skew. Now, if at anytime after fooling around with it, you decide you want restore the Midpoint Skew to exactly in the middle of the two color stops, then you would change that Location value back to 50%, like so. Those are the options that are available to you.

Now, a couple of other things that I want you to know. You can select a gradient stop, like this one, in the center, and you can click on the Trashcan icon to delete it. So that's an option. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that. I could even click on this black stop by the way and delete it. But once you're down to two color stops, you can't delete them anymore, so you can't have any fewer than two color stops, you can have many more if you want. I'll go ahead and undo the deletion of that guy as well. Another way to get rid of a color stop is to drag it down like that, which is perhaps an easier way to work. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z.

You can add a color stop at any location just by clicking like that and then you can define what that color is here inside the Color palette, or in a variety of other ways, as we'll see in the next exercise. You can even clone a color stop. Check this out. If I want to create a copy of this red color stop right there, I would Alt+Drag it or Option+Drag it on the Macintosh side of things. So there you have it, a variety of different ways to work inside of the Gradient palette. In the next exercise we are going to establish the gradient as we really want it to appear inside of the Ping-pong paddle cushion.

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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 · 21601 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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