Friday, June 29, 2007

Gradients

Mastering this tool will help to ensure that you have continuous tones in your images



Below: A few examples of the different types of gradients you can apply to an image. You can see that gradients can be simple or they can feature complex shapes with varying hardnesses based on the needs of the underlying photograph.

Gradients

Gradients

Below: Examples of yet more shapes that a gradient can take. Notice the far right image, where you can see a completely random shape.

Gradients

You can combine multiple gradients with one another in a variety of ways. Here are two: Start with one gradient and use the Foreground to Transparent option to add a second; start with one gradient and change the Gradient tool's Blend mode to Darken or Lighten to add a second. The two methods yield slightly different results.

Blend modes can be used to modify how a gradient interacts with the image on which it's drawn in a variety of ways. For the most control, don't use the Blend mode with the brush; instead, draw the gradient on a separate layer and use the Blend mode of the layer to achieve the same effect with more flexibility and control.

You can reposition any gradient using the Move tool. Moving a gradient mask on an adjustment layer presents few problems. You can easily tell if you're working on the image or the mask—its icon will be highlighted. Because an image layer and its mask are linked, to move a mask separately you must first unlink the two by unchecking the link icon between them and then targeting the mask to move it separately. It's likely you'll want to relink the two when you're done.



 

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