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Hour 4. Applied Advanced Drawing Techniq... > Task: Transforming Attributes of Gra...

Task: Transforming Attributes of Gradients Used in Your Movie

In this task you'll explore Lock Fill and the Fill Transform tool to gain full control of gradients. Follow these steps:

Select a solid fill color and draw two squares close together.

Select the Paint Bucket tool and a radial gradient from the fill color swatches (the white-to-black default is fine).

Make sure the Lock Fill option is not selected, as shown in Figure 4.6. Click once in each square to fill it with the radial fill. Both squares have the entire radial effect—from white to black. This is the normal mode. Notice that the radial gradient centers around where you clicked. Click in different locations within each circle to move the center of the gradient.

Figure 4.6. Lock Fill is not selected.

Now click once near the edge of a square that borders the other square. Click Lock Fill. The last fill you made will define the start of all subsequent fills because Lock Fill has been turned on. (While it's not required, I suggest always filling one shape and then turning on Lock Fill before you continue.)

Click the other square, and you should notice that the gradient continues from where it started in the first square (that's the effect of Lock Fill). Also, if you click the first square again, the center point of the gradient remains locked.

Now select the Fill Transform tool to edit the fills you've made. With this tool selected, you'll be able to edit only fills already onscreen.

Click the fill of one of the squares, and several handles will appear, as shown in Figure 4.7. You can now move the gradient's center. The handles on the edge let you change the shape of the radial gradient, the falloff rate, and the rotation.

Figure 4.7. You can use the Fill Transform tool on this gradient (which happens to span multiple shapes because Lock Fill was selected).

You'll probably find these handles to be very intuitive, but let's experiment with them a little bit.

Click and drag the Move Handle to change the center point of the fill. (Notice that in Figure 4.8 there are four handles that all change your cursor.)

Figure 4.8. Cursors for the different features of the Fill Transform tool.

Click and drag the Reshape handle to make the gradient an ellipse rather than a perfect circle. You'll notice in Figure 4.8 the reshape cursor is similar to the cursor when you scale an object.

Use the Falloff handle to change the rate that the gradient changes from white to black. You'll see a custom cursor for the falloff feature in Figure 4.8.

Now, adjust the rotation of the reshaped gradient. You'll see the same rotation cursor that you saw from the traditional rotation tool in Figure 4.8. Also, realize that with radial gradients you'll have to first reshape the fill before the rotation handle will provide any results.



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