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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Filling Areas with a Gradient

Filling Areas with a Gradient

The Gradient tool fills any layer or selection with smooth transitions of color, one blending gradually into the next. They can be rendered as opaque fills or seamlessly incorporated into a layered project using any of Photoshop Elements’ blending modes and opacity settings. You can use a gradient to create an effective background image for a photo; to screen back just a portion of an image; to create an area on which to place type; or you can apply it to any shape or object to simulate the surface texture of metal or glass.

To apply a gradient fill:

Using any of the selection or marquee tools, select the area of your image where you want to apply the gradient.

If you want to fill an entire layer, you don’t need to make a selection.

Select the Gradient tool from the toolbox (G) (Figure 8.13).

Figure 8.13. The Gradient tool.

On the options bar, click to open the gradient picker (Figure 8.14).

Figure 8.14. Open the gradient picker to select from sets of gradient thumbnails.

Click to choose from the list of default gradients, or if you want to view additional gradient sets, click the More button (the triangle to the right of the thumbnail images) to open the Gradient palette menu (Figure 8.15).

Figure 8.15. The gradient picker’s menu offers several picker display options plus access to a variety of gradient sets.

Select from the list of gradient sets in the bottom section of the menu.

The gradient picker displays the new gradient set.

On the options bar, click to choose a gradient type (Figure 8.16).

Figure 8.16. Click a gradient type button on the options bar to draw one of five gradient types.

You can choose from among five gradient types: Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, and Diamond

In the image window, click and drag in the area where you want to apply the gradient (Figure 8.17).

Figure 8.17. Drag from the center to the edge to create a halo effect with the Radial gradient.

The selection or layer is filled with the gradient.



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