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Gradient Editor Tutorial
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Gradient Editor Tutorial
Created by: Yvonne

Open a new image, 300 x 300, white background, 16 mil colors. Make 3 or 4 copies of this image for experimental purposes (Shift+D will make duplicates of your image).
Select a light foreground color and a dark background color.
Click on the Flood Fill tool. You may use whichever Gradient Fill Style you like, it works the same on all of them.
In the Tool Options palette, click on the Flood Fill Options tab (the second tab that looks like white, gray and black diagonal lines). Set the Gradient to Foreground-Background and the Repeats to 0.

You can adjust the angle of the fill either by dragging the pointer or by directly typing the numbers in. The direction of the angle can be reversed by right-clicking instead of left-clicking.

Click into your image to fill with the gradient (right-clicking will invert the gradient). This is the gradient that we had in PSP 5.

Changing the Repeats settings will change the result:

Switch to your next image, change the Repeats to 1 and floodfill (image top left). Switch again to your next image, change the Repeats to 2 and floodfill this one, too (image top right). Try out a Repeat of 3 and 4 as well (bottom images).

This is a new feature of the gradient floodfill that we hadn't got in PSP 5. Experiment also with other gradient types!

Now click on the "Edit" button in your Tool Options palette. First, a short explanation of the buttons in the Gradient Editor:

We will be using the "New" and "Copy" buttons. The "Delete" and "Rename" buttons are self-explanatory. The "Import" button allows you to import Adobe Photoshop gradients (GRD file extension). You will need to put those in the "Paint Shop Pro\gradients" folder. The "Export" button allows you to export gradients for use in Photoshop. So you are able to share gradients and may find many on the web.

Now to save our gradient under a different name, click on the "Copy" button and type in another name for your gradient.

Note: When you edit a gradient and click OK, the gradient will be permanently changed, so unless you want to lose the original, always work on a copy and rename it.

Now let's create a new gradient: Click on the "New" button and enter a name for it.
Your foreground and background colors are taken over. You will be able to add a custom color but the foreground and background colors remain the same.
The colored bars are used to edit the gradient: The Gradient bar (on top) is used to set the colors and the blending, the Transparency bar (middle) is used to set the opacity, and the Result bar (bottom) allows you to preview the gradient as you are editing it.

Below the Gradient and Transparency bars there are two pointed controls (thumbs). Each one controls the color/opacity for that end of the gradient.

Above the bars is a little diamond (midpoint). This diamond is located between any two thumbs and controls the blending of the two colors between them. Dragging the midpoint in either direction blends the colors closest to that thumb. i.e. dragging to the right the color blends 50/50 closer to the right thumb.

Let's add a new thumb to the Gradient bar: click anywhere below the bar where there isn't a thumb. Now you've got a third thumb, it is active (its pointer is black) and can be edited, i.e. moved to another location and get another (custom) color.

Well, we don't really need that third thumb for our gradient, so let's remove it: take it with your mouse and drag it downwards, away from the Gradient bar.

For our gradient, drag the midpoint to a location of 75%, then click on the left thumb to make it active and change it to another (custom) color: click into the color box and take a lighter shade.
And this would be our gradient as it is now, with a Repeat of 4.
To adjust the transparency of your gradient, click on the thumb in the area you wish to adjust in the Transparency bar, and set the Opacity in the box on the left. For the next gradient example I've set the Opacity of the right thumb to 25.

Here you can also drag the diamond above the bar to blend the transparency.

And this is how our gradient looks now, with the changed Transparency.
The thumbs can also be adjusted. For the next example, I dragged the left thumb to 13%. All the area to the left of the thumb will be 100% opaque like the thumb.
And this is how it looks! The foreground-colored stripes are a little bit brighter.

Now just one more example:

This example shows the right thumb on the Transparency bar dragged away from the 100%, to 35%.

All the area to the right of the thumb will be 25% opaque like the thumb.

And this is the finished gradient from the last example above, this time as a Sunburst Gradient (top image) and a Radial Gradient (bottom image). Settings for both:

Blend Mode: Normal
Paper Texture: None
Match Mode: None
Opacity: 100%
Repeats: 3
Angle: 50/50