Mike Rankin shows what you should know about creating and customizing gradients in Photoshop for the ACA exam. He demonstrates the use of Gradient controls for color and opacity, and how to create and apply new gradients.
- [Instructor] Let's take a look at what you should know about creating and customizing gradients in Photoshop for the ACA exam. And what we're going to do is create a metallic chrome effect on this type with a gradient. So to start, in the layers panel, let's activate the chrome layer as a selection by holding the command or control key and clicking on the layer thumbnail. And with that active selection, let's take the gradient tool from the toolbar and now in the Options bar at the top of the window we see the gradient options. There's a menu for picking a preset gradient and note, in addition to what we have here, you can load other gradients by clicking this gear button and choosing one of these options down here, and there are buttons for choosing the shape of the gradient, like linear, radial and so on. You can apply a blend mode and opacity values and note this button to reverse the direction of colors in the gradient. So from the preset menu let's pick the chrome gradient and it creates the look of chrome by changing the color from blue to white and then abruptly changing to brown and then gradually back to white. Now to use it, put your cursor just above the top of the letters and drag down to just past the bottom of the letters. And if it didn't come out quite straight, try it again but this time hold the shift key to constrain the gradient so it's perfectly vertical. And you can keep tweaking it. Each time you drag over the new gradient paints over the old one. I might start a little bit lower, just to get some more of that nice blue coloring inside the lettering. Again I'll hold shift and that looks pretty good. So that's how easy it is to apply a preset gradient. Now let's make sure we have nothing selected by choosing Select, Deselect, and let's make our own custom gradient and apply it to the background. First in the Layers panel I'll target the background layer. And click on the gradient menu in the Options bar to open the Gradient Editor. And I'll click on the orange, yellow orange gradient. We'll use this one as the basis for our custom gradient. Now to edit this gradient, we can change the position and values applied to the stops which are these little squares around the slider. On the top are the opacity stops. Click one of these and you can change the opacity value. So you can make a gradient fade to transparent and you can also change it's position, either by dragging it, or changing the location value right here. Notice as soon as I made a change, I'm no longer working with he orange, yellow orange gradient. This is now a separate custom gradient. If you drag any stops, be careful not to drag them off the slider which will remove them. If you accidentally drag one off, don't release your mouse button. Just move your cursor back to the slide and the stop will come back, or you could just click to add a new stop. Now in this case, I don't want to change opacity but I do want to change the colors, so I'll put this opacity stop back where it was and reset the opacity to 100 and I'll double click on the bottom left stop to open the color picker and I'll choose a dark red color. 150 red, zero green and zero blue, and click OK. And I'll apply that same color to the right stop. Double click to open the color picker, and that color is 150 red, zero green, zero blue. And I'll apply a lighter red to the middle stop. 255 red, zero green, zero blue. And to duplicate the middle stop, I'll hold the option key or the alt key and drag the stop. Now I can position them so the middle of the gradient will be a solid area of the lighter red color and with a stop selected I can drag the adjacent midpoint to make the color transition happen slowly or abruptly. And I'll do the same on the other side. Drag this about here and that looks pretty good for what I'm after, so I'll give my new gradient a name. I'll just call it background, and click New and it's added to our gradient choices. And then I'll click okay to close the gradient editor. Now I'll drag with the gradient tool on the background layer while holding the shift key from the top of the canvas to the bottom to apply our red gradient behind the title. And there you go. We were able to use both a preset gradient and a custom gradient to make this cool chrome effect and in doing so we got a great start for preparing for questions about gradients that might come up on the ACA exam.
- Benefits of ACA certification
- Creating a study plan
- Planning a project
- Identifying design elements such as typography
- Using layers and masks
- Using brushes, shapes, and patterns
- Drawing and painting
- Transforming graphical elements
- Preparing images for print and web