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Chapter 15. Fills, Multi-Fills, and Fab Fills > Gradients in the Key of Life

Gradients in the Key of Life

Flat fills such as gray values, process colors, and spot colors—all covered in the previous chapter—are all very well and good. But if you're serious about imitating real life or giving your illustration a sense of depth, you'll appreciate Illustrator's unparalleled gradations. A gradation (or gradient fill) is a fill pattern that fades from one color into another. Illustrator lets you assign many colors to a single gradation—the number of colors that you can use is limited only by the amount of RAM you have in your machine. You can even fade between spot colors.

Figure 15.14 demonstrates the power of gradations. I drew these relatively simple structured paths to represent RCA cables. The left pair of cables shows the paths filled with flat gray values; the right pair is filled with gradations. As you can see, the gradations make all the difference in the world, single-handedly transforming the paths from cardboard cutouts into credible representations of three-dimensional objects.


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