Very often you might need to use the gradient tool to create a gradation from one color to another color. Especially, when I'm working with masks I use the gradient tool. This is the gradient tool, and its default setting is to choose the foreground and background color. And I'm just going to use the default colors, black and white, to talk about how the gradient tool works. Notice some of the options that we have in the options palette at the top of the screen. And these options relate to essentially what types of gradients and effects using the gradient tools we can create. The first button here is a linear gradient; second button will create a radial gradient. Then we can create this angled sweeped gradient or a reflected gradient or this diamond gradient. And very often I'm just simply using a linear type of gradient. Now the basic way the gradient tool works, is you click and drag across your image. So the starting point in this case will be my foreground color, and wherever I let go will be my background color. So you can see that it is gradated from black here transitioning to white right here, so I'll undo that. So in this way we can create a very short gradation if we click and drag a little bit (I'll undo that), or a very long gradation if we drag all the way across a particular image. Some other features of the gradient tool and the options' palette for the gradient tool. If we click on the popup palette icon right here, that is this still triangle, it will show me various preset gradients set I can choose from. The first gradient is the foreground to background color gradient, so will always be determined based on whichever your foreground and background color are here. Or we could just choose from any of these other presets. I'll just click back up on my options palette to get rid of that, and drag across to fill with this very colorful gradient. I'm going to undo that, and show you that if you click right on this gradient preview thumbnail here, it will bring up the gradient editor. Which I'll talk about in a later lesson. Like many of the other tools, we can choose from various modes or blending modes we want to apply our gradient colors over the background image. Of course the normal one simply replaces the background pixels with our selected gradient. But we could choose from any of these others, such as I'm just going to try hue and replace the hue of my image with the hue of the gradient. And we also have basic controls for setting the opacity of our gradient effect. Notice when we change the opacity, that the thumbnail ends up showing me that the gradient updates to show me the checker board transparency in the background. Giving me a basic preview of how this gradient will look when applied to an image at this level of opacity. I want to go back to the popup palette and choose the foreground and background, and increase the opacity. And one of my options is to choose the reverse button here. So I'll simply reverse the gradient from background to foreground color. Generally, you want to leave dithered enabled - it will create a smoother effect. Sometimes you can see banding, and if you are seeing banding make sure that your dither is enabled, and try to create the gradient again. If your gradient has transparency effect in it, you might choose to enable that transparency effect by making sure a check is next to transparency. So I'm going to create a transparency effect by clicking on my thumbnail here, and clicking on this color stop and making it somewhat transparent. And I'll click ok. And now notice since transparency is not enabled, how my gradient thumbnail looks. It looks completely solid. If I enable transparency, you can see that where I made the white area transparent to black opaque, it will now be effected in this manner. So transparency relates to enabling a transparency feature in the built-in gradient. And lastly, let's just look at these other types of gradients, such as the circular gradient, I use this one a lot, and it gradates out in a circular manner. This angled sweep gradient. And the reflected gradient, and lastly this diamond type of gradient. So there is a lot you can do with the gradient tool and I use this one a whole lot.
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