Learn about the tools and tool options in Paint Shop Pro 8, including, how to select colors, gradients and patterns. Reuse of materials is also covered. (From the book, Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893.)
Working with Tools in Paint Shop Pro 8 - Gradients (Page 11 of 16 )
Select a Gradient to Work With
In images whose color palettes are 24 bits (16 million colors) or grayscale, you can create gradients. A gradient is a gradual transition between one color and another, and can be used to fill the interior of objects, selections, or layers. You can even paint with gradients if you like, or use them in text. Another reason for using gradients is to create a mask, which is used with a layer to block or filter the effect of that layer on the layers below it. Where a mask is black, the effect is totally blocked; where it is gray, the effect is partially blocked; where it is white, the effect is not blocked at all. For example, you might use a mask to block the effect of the Blur filter. Imagine this: If you copied an image to a layer, completely blurred the copy, and then added a mask with a black center gradually fading to white at the edges, the resulting image would show a clear picture in the center with blurred edges. That's because the black part of the mask would block the blurred image layer, allowing the blurred image to show through only at the edges where the mask is white. To create a mask with a black center gradually fading to white, you use a gradient fill.
Tip - Use gradients to give your shapes a three-dimensional look. For example, you might design a button for your Web page and use a gradient to make the button appear raised toward you. To make it appear pushed down, simply reverse the gradient colors.
You can choose from several different predefined gradient types. Three use either or both of the foreground and background colors, and all the others use preselected colors. The easiest way to use your own specific colors for a gradient is to change the foreground and background colors as desired and then follow the steps given here to select the gradient.
Tip - To change back to the previously used gradient, click the Style button in the Materials palette and click the Gradient icon. To select from recently used materials, right-click the Foreground Material or Background Material box.
Click a Material Box
Click the Foreground Material or the Background Material box in the Materials palette. The Material dialog box appears.
Click the Gradient Tab
The Gradient tab might already be displayed in the Material dialog box; if not, click it.
Select a Gradient Type
Click the down arrow next to the sample box and choose a gradient from the Gradient Type list that opens.
Tip - You can customize the selected gradient type, adding or changing colors, changing the points of transition, and adding transparency. Just select a gradient and click Edit. Make changes in the Gradient Editor and click OK.
Select a Style
Click one of the Style buttons to choose the gradient style you want: Linear, Rectangular, Sunburst, or Radial.
If you selected a linear, rectangular, or radial gradient, you can change the angle at which the gradation occurs. Enter the angle you want to use in the Angle box.
Note - Instead of typing an angle value, drag the control needle in the large gradient sample box to change the angle of the gradient.
If desired, in the Repeats box, enter the number of times you want the gradient to repeat. A repeated gradient transitions back and forth between its start and end colors; if your gradient progresses between red and orange, with Repeats set to 1, the gradient will transition from red to orange and then from orange back to red.
Invert Gradient if Desired
To reverse the colors in the gradient, enable the Invert check box.
On a rectangular, sunburst, or radial gradient, you can adjust the location of the central point from which the gradient begins. Simply drag the center point in the large sample box and drop it where you like, or enter coordinates in the Center Point Horizontal and Center Point Vertical boxes.
Adjust Focal Point and Click OK
On a rectangular or sunburst gradient, you can change the point toward which the gradient gravitates, thus making one side more weighted than another, or giving the gradient a certain slant. Disable the Link center and focal points check box, drag the focal point in the large sample box, and drop it where you like. Alternatively, enter coordinates in the Focal Point Horizontal and Focal Point Vertical boxes. Click OK to create the gradient.
This chapter is from Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.