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Friday, December 28, 2012

Photoshop Tip: Enhance Images with the Gradient Tool

The gradient tool is very useful in creating backgrounds and patterns and also enhancing text and images. It creates a gradual blend between multiple colors. Persons can choose from preset gradient fills or create their own. Each gradient fill contains settings that control the opacity and transparency of the fill at different locations on the gradient. A noise gradient is also available. It contains randomly distributed colors within the range of colors that a person specifies.

If you do not know how to use gradients, how to adjust the settings, or how to create custom gradients, the following videos are worthwhile watching.

How to use and adjust gradients
• "Adobe Photoshop Tips and Tricks With The Gradient Tool"
Learn how to set your own colors and add some great colors with the noise randomize button.

• "Exploring Gradients 1 - Photoshop Tutorial"
Learn about options bar, the kinds of gradients that are available, how to click and drag to get the gradient exactly where you want it, and what the checkboxes do.

• "Exploring Gradients 2 - Photoshop Tutorial"
Editing a solid gradient; find out how to change the colors and transparency, how to move the midpoints, how to pick up colors from anywhere on your desktop, and how to put the Foreground and Background colors into a gradient so it will change as you change your colors.

• "Exploring Gradients 3 - Photoshop Tutorial"
Learn all about noise gradients.

• "Exploring Gradients 4 - Photoshop Tutorial"
Examples on using gradients - making a vignette using a radial gradient on a mask and showing several center points with radial gradients.

The following videos give useful ideas on how to use gradients for text, and special effects on images using the mask tool and gradient maps.

Gradient Examples
• "Photoshop Top 40 #21 - The Gradient Tool"
Using the gradient tool you can you paint a soft transition from black to white and soften the transition from one image to another. The gradient tool fades, swipes, and more.

• "Photoshop Tools: The Gradient Tool for Graphics"
Shows a couple examples of different ways that the gradient tool creates more interesting graphics.

• "Creating Collages with Adobe Photoshop CS3"
Shows how to create collages (images on top of one another) using layers, layer masks and the gradient tool.

• "Gradient Text Photoshop Tutorial"
Shows using gradients in text.

• "Photoshop Gradient Tool Techniques"
Shows how the gradient tool can be used to create the same effect as a polarize filter on a camera has on a washed out sky.

• "Photoshop: Using the Gradient Map adjustments | tutorial:"
Shows how to tint images with the gradient map.

• "Gradient Maps Photoshop Tutorial - HD"
Discusses how to use the gradient map and photographic toning adjustments to add tinting effects to an image.

Hint: Using the gradient tool for backgrounds is okay but to give the background some pizzazz it needs to be used with a textured or patterned layer. The background in the image (at the top of the article) was created with two gradient layers that were overlaid with a pattern. For information on creating textures, read "Photoshop Tip : Creating Textured Backgrounds with Filters." And, read "Photoshop Tutorial: Using Pattern Overlay, Pattern Stamp, & Pattern Maker to Create Backgrounds" for information on using patterns.

Your comments are welcome. Please click on the comments section (below) to write your comment.


  1. Very good tutorials! thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you, your posts are always such good help. I always get happy when I see an update from you in the inbox! Tina

  3. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, I learned a lot.