A gradient is a gradual blending of colors. A gradient ink can blend two or more colors in a variety of styles. Like other inks, gradient inks can be applied as fill inks or pen inks to vector and text objects.
The appearance of a gradient ink depends on several factors. Gradients appear smooth on monitors that display millions of colors, but can appear coarse and dithered on monitors that display only 256 colors. The more extreme the difference in colors, the coarser a gradient can appear. When a gradient has large color transitions, it appears smoother in an object that is large enough to show all the transitions.
Canvas X Draw gives you the option of applying gradients directly from the Presets palette or using the Vector Gradient tool. When a gradient ink is applied via the Presets palette, the gradient effect is centered within the object. If you want non-centered effects, use the Vector Gradient tool.
Select the Pen or Fill ink icon on the Presets palette.
See Applying Preset Inks for complete steps about applying inks.
Appearance and edit controls
Colors sweep in a circle around the center. To move the center point, drag the open dot. To set the starting angle, drag the solid dot or enter the angle (0 to 360°) in the text box.
Linear gradient in which colors blend in the direction you specify. To set the gradient orientation, drag the solid dot, or enter an angle from 0 to 360° in the text box.
Gradient conforms to basic object shapes. To move the gradient center, drag the rectangle. To resize the center area that contains the end color, drag the solid handle and resize the rectangle.
Rectangular-shaped gradient. To move the gradient center, drag the rectangle. To resize the center area that contains the end color, drag the solid handle and resize the rectangle.
Elliptical-shaped gradient. To move the gradient center, drag the oval. To resize the center area that contains the end color, drag the solid dot and resize the oval.
The Vector Gradient tool applies the gradient ink that was used last or that has been defined as the default ink. The ink is applied either as a fill or pen ink according to the icon selected in the Presets palette.
There are two factors that affect the appearance of the object after using the Vector Gradient tool:
When using this tool, you’re not limited to dragging directly inside the object. Drag inside or outside selected objects to achieve different effects; e.g., if you’re applying a directional gradient, “stretch” the gradient by dragging across the object, starting and finishing outside the object. This technique places the start and end colors farther apart than if you drag a shorter distance within the object only.
If the object already contains a gradient ink, the gradient ink will enter Edit mode when you click the object with the Vector Gradient tool.
If using the tool on a single object, the object does not have to be selected before using the tool. For multiple objects, select all the objects before selecting the Vector Gradient tool. The gradient flows across the selected objects as if they were one object.
Vector gradient styles
A line that sets the center and angle of the gradient. The place where you begin to drag is the center point of the gradient. The vector extends from and rotates around the center point. The angle of the line establishes the angle of the gradient. The length of the line does not effect the gradient.
A line that sets the angle and length of the gradient. The place where you begin to drag has the start color of the gradient. The vector line extends from and rotates around the start point as you drag away from it. The angle of the line establishes the angle. The place where you stop dragging sets the end color of the gradient.
A rectangle that sets the size and location of the end color of the gradient. The rectangle contains the end color. Drag diagonally from one corner of the rectangle to another. The rectangle expands or contracts as you drag away from or toward the starting point. When you finish dragging, the gradient conforms to the object’s shape.
A rectangle that sets the size and shape of the gradient. The rectangle contains the end color of the gradient. Drag diagonally from one corner of the rectangle to another. The rectangle expands or contracts as you drag away from or toward the starting point.
An ellipse that sets the size and shape of the gradient. The ellipse contains the end color of the gradient. Drag diagonally from one corner of the ellipse’s bounding box to another. The ellipse expands or contracts as you drag away from or toward the starting point.
Use the Gradient manager to create gradient inks and then add them to the Presets palette.
The gradient color sequence appears in the bar. Each pointer below the bar represents a color and shows the color’s relative position in the gradient. One pointer is always selected, and the pointer’s color appears in the color icon.
The pointers at the ends of the bar represent the gradient start and end colors. These pointers can’t be moved or deleted, but you can change their colors. Click a pointer to select it; a selected pointer appears highlighted.
To add an intermediate color, double-click in the bar and a new pointer appears that represents the color of the gradient where you clicked. You can drag intermediate pointers to adjust the color spacing, or delete a color by dragging its pointer to either end of the bar.
Choose a color for a selected pointer from the pop-up palette or use the Color Dropper. To select a custom color, use The Color Editor.
Choose a gradient style from the menu.
Drag handles in the box to adjust settings such as gradient shape, angle and center.
Shows the current gradient. The preview changes as you edit the gradient.
Click the Color Dropper, then choose colors from any pixels within the document area. Continue these steps, selecting pointers on the Color bar to assign custom colors to specific parts of the gradient. To finish selecting colors, click the Color Dropper icon again, or press ESC.
For Radial and Directional styles, enter the angle of the gradient axis, or drag the solid dot in the edit box to set the angle.
When Radial is selected, select this checkbox to blend the gradient through 360° around the center. If this option isn’t selected, the blend runs through 180° in both directions, creating a mirror image around the blend axis.
In addition, when 360° is selected, a button appears. Click the button to reverse the gradient direction.
Select this to add all hues on the color wheel between the colors you set in the gradient. Click a direction button to select a clockwise or counterclockwise path around the HSL color wheel, which sets the sequence of hues.
Click this button to place a gradient into Edit mode.
Click this button to add a new ink to the Presets palette.
There are various ways of modifying gradient inks.