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I like thinking of Generators like a kind of synthesizer for graphics, as opposed to audio. Just like a synthesizer, a Generator will create something basically out of nothing. Let's look at a couple. Open your Library tab and come down to Generators. Now the first thing you will notice and you might find it a little confusing is the fact that the Generators icon is the same as this one called Image Units here. And the reason this has been created is Apple, when they came out with operation system 10.4, they wrote a new render engine into the operating system called Image Units.
And the reason that's important if you use Image Unit Generators, these are still Generators, even though they are called Image Units. If you use an Image Unit Generator it will be faster than using a Generator from the Generator's tab. It's just these Generators don't take advantage of the Core Image technology. So click on the Gradient Generator and you know this just creates a multicolor Gradient, click apply and let's look at the Options. Hit your Inspector and you'll notice we can adjust things like the Width or the Height, so rather than having to draw a shape, we can use a Generator and if you open a Gradient Options here, you'll notice we have a graph.
Now let's look at the way this works. On the left hand side, if you click on this little Color Well here, you can adjust this color, and that's the starting color of the Gradient. Same thing with Blue over here if you click on it, you can go ahead and adjust that. If you like to add another color, go ahead and click in this line and that will add another color. If you don't want to add one, or if you want to delete one, go ahead and drag that out to the right. Now it's hard to see exactly where on here these colors are falling and there's a tool to help with that.
If you click on your selection and go down to the bottom here, you can go ahead and adjust things now using the Adjust Item tool. If you go ahead and drag here, you'll notice I have a direct graphic representation of exactly what's going on with my Gradient over here. So you might be asking, well what's this little white thing. This white well right here, is standing for the Opacity. So let me show you what I am talking about. If you click in here you can add another one just the same way the Gradient works.
But with this selected you notice now I can adjust the Opacity, so if I turn that down, you notice I have Red fading into absolutely nothing, and here's the Black color and here it is on this one. And I can adjust visually over here or I can adjust it in my palette. And you'll see these options throughout this application, like in particles and when you apply gradients to shapes. So let's go ahead and delete this. Hit F5, open up your Layer tab, select your gradient and hit Delete.
There are some other generators that can generate all kinds of different effects and that's what we are going to explore in the rest of this chapter. So if you ever need to create anything from scratch whether it's basic or advanced, go check out your Generators.
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