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Custom Photoshop Gradients for shapes and text

Step By Step to apply the gradient tool, to add custom gradients from Layer Styles and to understand the Gradient Overlay, Color Stop and Opacity Stop.

In this tutorial we are going to learn about Gradients:

  • How to use the gradient tool with standard gradients?
  • The Gradient Overlay for Shapes and Texts
  • How to create a custom Gradient
  • Color Stop and color Opacity Marks
  • How to store our styling effect to reuse it again?
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In this video you can see the steps in live action:

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How to use the gradient tool with standard gradients?
  • You can find the Gradient Tool Gradient Tool in the side panel with the filling bucket tool
  • You select the standard gradient you want from the top tools menu as in ScreenShot-1 to the right
  • There are almost 25 sub-menu of different color shades
Screenshot-1, Gradient selection menu
  • To apply a gradient tool, you need to make a selection, otherwise, it is applied to the complete layer
  • So we shall add an O (Whole Note) shape from the custom shapes menu and select it using the object selection tool object-selection-tool
  • The selected gradient has a start color and an end color as Screenshot-2 to the right
  • Click on a start point to apply the gradient and drag in the direction you want to apply it for.
  • The selection will be filled with the gradient where the starting color is at the start point you clicked at and it progresses in the direction you dragged the mouse to
  • See screenshot 3 & 4

Screenshot-2, gradient start-end
Screenshot-3, direction
Screenshot-4, result

Gradient Styles

Selected from top tools menu gradient=tppls-select The 2nd to 5th gradient styles need to be dragged from the center out to get the shape below

Gradient Styles
2. Gradient overlay from Layers Styles for Shapes and Text
  • After Selecting the shape you want to create a gradient overlay for it, select menu>Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay
    • Blend Mode Normal, covers the selected area with the selected colors as seen on the screen
    • Opacity 100%,
    • Style, are same as the 5 styles demonstrated above
    • Angle is the direction of the gradient as seen in this menu relative to a horizontal line when it is applied on the selected area
    • The scale 100 % represents the full gradient as seen in the menu beside the word Gradient
    • Example 1, shows a reflected Gradient which starts from the center of the selected area with angle 30% and scale 100%

Gradient Overlay Options menu
Example 1
Apply a custom Gradient
  • To apply a custom gradient click on the colored bar in the gradient menu that you reach from menu>Layer>Layer Style >Gradient OverLay
  • When clicking the colored bar you open a new menu called Gradient Editor as in Screenshot-1
  • The black squares above the colored bar represent the opacity stop or the opacity as this point
  • The colored squares under the bar represent the color stops or the color at this point of the gradient

Color Stop and color Opacity Marks in action

  • To change the Opacity
    1. Click on the Opacity Stop
    2. Enter a value of opacity here we used 0%
    3. You can see the location is turned to transparent on the gradient bar
    4. You can see on the shape it self the locations of the green color is now transparent and the original blue color appears
    5. It appeared in 2 locations as we selected the reflected style gradient from the step before

  • Change a color on the gradient
    1. Click on the Color Stop
    2. Select a new color, here we selected Yellow
    3. You can see the location is turned to Yellow on the gradient bar
    4. You can see on the shape it self the locations of the green color is now Yellow
    5. It appeared in 2 locations as we selected the reflected style gradient from the step before
  • Add a new Opacity or color stop
    1. Click over the bar to add a new opacity stop and below the bar to add a new color stop
    2. Click on the new Color Stop
    3. Select the color
    4. It appears on the Gradient and on the shape

Apply Gradient colors in discrete overlays

  • Enter any text using the text tool
  • then menu>Layer>Layer Styles>Gradient Overlay
    1. using the fx icon at the bottom you can add multiple overlays and set each one for one color
    2. When you click on the Gradient bar, yo open the Gradient Editor
    3. Adjust Opacity mark and Color positions
    4. Add Opacity mark with zero % to denote transparent so the color fades from 100 % opacity to 0 %
    5. between the 2 opacity marks, there is a small diamond called Opacity Midpoint. Drag to the left to increase the color spread.

How to store our styling effect to reuse it again?

  1. To save the complete layer style with multiple gradients and contour and whatever you added, click on New Style. Give your style a name
  2. You can find it in the libraries panel. You can reach it from menu>windows>libraries. Any future layer that needs the same effect, just click on it in the library panel
You can find more tutorials in the Photoshop Tutorial posts by clicking here
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