Photoshop gradients

by Design Workshop Sydney

Gradients are blends between two or more colours, and can be used in Photoshop either as backgrounds, or as part of a layer mask. The example here shows both uses and is something we cover in our Photoshop courses.  photoshop-gradients
Firstly, as a background, it’s a simple matter to select two colours initially at the bottom of your toolbox. Then go to your background layer, or create a new layer, select your Gradient tool, and click and drag from one side of the image to the other.
The appearance of the gradient will depend on several factors. First, how far you click & drag across the image – if you drag a short distance, as above to simulate a horizon line, you’ll get a small transition between the two colours. If you drag a large amount, say across the whole page, you’ll get a more gradual transition. Note in the Control panel, the type of gradient. The default is Linear, but the Radial gradient is also very useful – the others are not so, but try them out to see.
For further options, click on the top left gradient swatch to open the Gradient Editor – here  you can add more colours from your Swatches panel, or add transparency to the colour stops. Hit New to add it to your default set of gradient swatches, or Save to save it to a folder for file sharing.
The second use of gradients is as a layer mask. In the above example the layer with logo signage has been copied, inverted and distorted. Then a layer mask has been added, which is pure white initially, hiding nothing. A black to white gradient was added to the mask to partially hide the fake reflection. The procedure was repeated for the figure. Both reflection layers were then made semi-transparent. And finally Lens Flare and Lighting Effects filters were added.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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