Mastering Gradients in Illustrator | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare
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38 Lessons (3h 48m)
    • 1. Introduction & Class Overview

    • 2. Your Class Project & 2021 Giveaway

    • 3. What Makes Good Gradients

    • 4. Recommended Document Settings

    • 5. Approaches to Creating Colours for Your Gradients

    • 6. Creating Global Colour Swatches

    • 7. Setting Up Gradients Using the Gradient Panel

    • 8. Adjusting Gradients Using the Gradient Tool

    • 9. Creating Freeform Gradients

    • 10. Creating Multiple Gradients Within One Object

    • 11. Applying Gradients to Editable Type

    • 12. Applying Gradients Across Multiple Objects

    • 13. Applying Gradients to Strokes: Introduction

    • 14. Using Gradients Within Strokes

    • 15. Using Gradients Along Strokes

    • 16. Using Gradients Across Strokes

    • 17. Shading Strokes with Gradients

    • 18. Creating Gradients Using the Gradient Mesh Tool

    • 19. Distorting Gradient Meshes to Create Experimental Designs

    • 20. Creating Gradients Using the Blend Tool

    • 21. Using Gradients in Opacity Masks

    • 22. Recolouring Gradients & Designs

    • 23. Modifying Colours Using Blending Modes

    • 24. Adding Selective Colouring Effects

    • 25. Creating Complex Colouring Effects

    • 26. Blurring Gradients

    • 27. Texturing Gradients & Designs

    • 28. Gradient Assets: Introduction

    • 29. Creating & Managing Gradient Swatches

    • 30. Creating Graphic Styles

    • 31. Creating Gradient Brushes

    • 32. Preparing Your Work for Output

    • 33. Saving Your Work in RGB

    • 34. Converting to CMYK & Saving Your Work for Print

    • 35. Final Thoughts & Conclusion

    • 36. Bonus: Making of Layered Organic Design

    • 37. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Gradient Brushes

    • 38. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Fill & Stroke Gradients

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About This Class

Level up your gradient skills with our special tips, tricks & techniques ranging from beginner to advanced Illustrator levels!


I'm Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and with this class I invite you to master gradients in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you’re going for a vibrant and dramatic look, or something more subtle and dreamy, something minimalistic or elaborate and experimental, gradients create a sense of depth, allowing you to change the feel of any design, object and environment!

This class is suitable for anyone who loves gradients, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make awesome gradient-based designs suitable for both digital and print projects. 

In this in-depth class you’ll learn: 

  • How to choose the right colours to create beautiful smooth transitions and avoid murky gradients and colour banding;
  • How to unlock the full potential of Linear, Radial & Freeform Fill Gradient, including how to use multiple gradient fills and how to apply gradients to editable type;
  • How to make the most out of different types of Stroke Gradients;
  • Experimental techniques for creating gradients by using Gradient Meshes, Blends and Opacity Masks;
  • Techniques for taking your gradient designs a step further to get a perfect colouring, silky smooth transitions & a beautiful textured look;
  • How to create and use gradient assets, such as Gradient Swatches, Graphic Styles & Gradient Brushes to speed up your workflow or to sell as digital assets;
  • How to prepare your work for print & digital use.

I’m super excited to see your gradient experiments! Join now and let’s make something awesome!

This class was recorded in Illustrator CC 2020, but most of the covered tools and techniques can be used in older versions of Illustrator just as well, and so far there has been no significant changes to the tools used in this class in newer Illustrator versions.

Giveaway 2021:

To celebrate this massive class update we will be hosting a giveaway in which you can win 1 out of 5 Gradient Design Kits which include gradient swatches, graphic styles and gradient brushes and one lucky winner will also receive 1 year of Skillshare Premium Membership!

To participate:

  • watch the updated class;
  • leave a review for this class or update your previous review;
  • post a project in this class or update your old project with some new experiments;
  • and follow us here on Skillshare.

If you have participated in our original contest back in 2017 when we published the first edition of this class, you are more than welcome to enter this giveaway as well! 

Entry deadline is at noon EST on Monday, March 29th 2021. The winners will be drawn at random and announced the following day!

I cannot wait to see your entries, and good luck!


Gradients — research & inspiration board on Pinterest

Recommended classes:

Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator — a foundation class about using various tools in Illustrator and creating vector patterns, which would also look awesome if coloured in gradients.

Creating & Using Custom 3D Objects in Illustrator — learn how to make a range of exciting 3D objects in Illustrator which you can then art-map using the gradients to make them even more awesome.

Creating Trendy Designs with Abstract Patterns in Illustrator — learn about design composition and different approaches to designing and illustrating with patterns, mix it with gradients and you'll get something super cool;)

Meet Your Teacher

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Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography

Top Teacher

NEW CLASS — Designs Dissected: Gradient Studies | Advanced Graphic Effects in Adobe Illustrator

Get an insight into how I create my gradient designs & learn how to smartly combine familiar tools in Adobe Illustrator to create exciting complex illustrations, artworks and designs more efficiently.

I am often asked how I have created certain pieces in my Gradient Studies series, and in this class I am excited to dissect for you a selection of designs which feature some of my favourite tricks and techniques, and share a few tips and ideas for how you can use a combination of Illustrator’s tools in your future projects to create some exciting works easier and faster.

Whether you are an illustrator, graphic artist or designer who needs to quickly ... See full profile

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1. Introduction & Class Overview: Trends might change but gradients are so natural and diverse, so they are here to stay. Hey, guys. I'm Evgeniya from Attitude Creative. With this class, I invite you to master gradients in Adobe Illustrator. Whether subtle or dramatic, complex or minimalistic, gradients create a sense of depth and dynamics and allow you to change the fill of any design, illustration, artwork, or environment. I love experimenting with different ways of creating gradient-based designs in Illustrator, and in this class, I'm excited to show you how to make the most out of a range of Illustrator told and techniques for creating vector gradient artworks, and to share with you a whole load of my special tips and tricks, which I use when creating my gradient designs. This class is designed for everyone who loves gradients, and I will walk you through everything you need to know to create awesome gradients, suitable for both digital and print projects. In this class, you will learn everything from choosing the right colors to create beautiful smooth transitions and avoid rocky gradients and color blending to unlocking the full potential of the core gradient related tools, as well as my favorite experimental techniques for creating gradients, and for taking gradient designs a step further to get a perfect coloring, silky smooth transitions, and a beautiful textured look. Towards the end of the class, I will also share with you how to create and use gradient assets to speed up your workflow, and how to export your gradient designs for print and digital use. To make sure you get the most out of this class, I have created a number of downloadable resources for you to play around with, and I have also provided a detailed table of contents to make it easier for you to navigate through this class. I cannot wait to share with you what I have learned over the years experimenting with gradients in Adobe Illustrator, to help you create exciting, vibrant, and dynamic gradient-based designs, illustrations, and artworks. Join me in this class, and let's make something awesome. 2. Your Class Project & 2021 Giveaway: Hey, guys, welcome to the 2021 edition of this class. Since first published in this class in the beginning of 2017, I have created a ton of new gradient-based designs and learned so many things along the way. In this edition of this class, I'm excited to share with you even more tips, tricks, and techniques which I use in my work to empower you to create exciting and experimental gradients with ease and confidence. To celebrate this massive class update, we will be hosting a giveaway and you can win one out of five gradient design kits containing gradient swatches, graphic styles, and gradient rushes. One lucky winner will also receive one year of Skillshare Premium membership. To participate, watch the updated class, leave a review for this class or update your previous review, post a project in this class, or update your old project with some new experiments, and follow us here on Skillshare. If you have participated in our original contest back in 2017 when we published the first edition of this class, you are more than welcome to enter this giveaway as well. Entry deadline is at noon Eastern Standard Time on Monday, 29th of March 2021. The winners will be drawn at random and announced the following day. I can't wait to see your entries and good luck. For your class project, create your own experimental gradient designs using any of the techniques shown in this class. Gradients offer so much room for experimentation and you can implement them in so many different ways. I am into abstract stuff, but you can take gradients in any direction you want. I cannot wait to see what you choose to create. Share your experiments in the project for this class, together with a few words about your work, and what tools and techniques you have used. Alternatively, if you want to methodically work through all of the techniques covered in this class, go for it and don't hesitate to use the assignment at the end of most videos as a guide to what to concentrate on experimenting with when exploring each of the tools and techniques. Don't hesitate to share your work in progress in your project for this class as you go and I will be happy to provide feedback along the way. Whichever way you decide to approach your project, I will be super excited to see your experiments. Be sure to share them as your project in the projects and resources tab for this class. Whilst working through this course, remember that there are a few downloads for you to use and you can find them in the projects and resources tab here. Also, don't hesitate to download and have ready the table of contents to make it easier to find exactly what you're looking for, what to note down, which parts you would want to revisit later. Now, let's get on with the class. 3. What Makes Good Gradients: As a designer, I believe that there are good and beautiful gradients, but there are also some bad and ugly ones. A good gradient is a natural, harmonious, clean, and smooth blend of colors, and this is what I always strive to create in my work and consider to be good practice as it helps to avoid technical issues when reproducing gradients in print, and it makes them so much more exciting to look at on screen. I have been creating gradient-based designs for quite a while and over the years I have accumulated a collection of beautiful inspiring gradients on my gradients board on Pinterest so don't hesitate to check it out. To avoid making murky gradients or gradients with visible color banding, you need to understand how gradients are created in Illustrator and have a basic grasp on color theory. Of course, you can get good results by experimenting, but keeping in mind the following principles and roles will save you time in the long run and it will enable you to create exciting gradients every time. Each color in a digital environment has a numeric value and for working with gradients in Illustrator, it is important to understand what RGB and CMYK color we'll use mean and do. In RGB, each primary color has an intensity setting from 0-255, from lack of color, which is black, to its full intensity. Mixing all three colors in their full intensity creates white. In CMYK, each color has an intensity setup in percentage, and mixing all components at 100 percent intensity creates the deepest registration, black. While mixing just cyan, magenta, and yellow at 100 percent creates this murky color which will look like dull and dirty but not rigid black when printed. In RGB, mixing all primary colors in equal amounts, will create a shade of gray. Mixing them in close but not exactly equal amounts will create all warm and cool grays and similar is true in CMYK, where you'll end up with dirty grayish colors. There is nothing wrong with gray as such, but it can be created in the midpoint of a gradient by mistake and make your gradient look dull and dirty. The midpoint is the point on the gradient where the two colors create a gradient and mixed in equal proportions. In Illustrator, it is calculated as an average between the numeric values of each color component in either RGB or CMYK used into colors blending into a gradient. These two colors are called color stops. It is important to remember that color values in the gradient are not calculated based on the hue values of the two colors or their position on the color wheel, so don't expect to have a gradient between two colors which are far away from each other on the color wheel to follow all the transitions that you see on the color wheel. Keeping this average and principle in mind, you can estimate the midpoints to avoid creating dirty colors, but it is probably easier to resort to using the basic principle on the color theory at this point and follow a more visual rule instead. We're finding great midpoints, and the color theory tells us that the colors which cancel each other out and create a chromatic or dirty colors when mixed together are complimentary colors. Complimentary colors are the colors which sit opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, blue and orange, and if you create a direct gradient in between these two colors, you will get a dirty transition. To avoid having a dirty midpoint when creating a gradient between complimentary colors, you need to manually add at least one new color stop in the middle of the gradient and set it to a color which is situated between these two complimentary colors on the color wheel. Even if you're not blending opposite colors, when you create gradients between cold and warm colors, or colors which are far away from each other on a color wheel more than 90 degrees apart, consider introducing additional color stops and setting them to colors which should naturally occur at those points in the gradients. This will allow you to create a harmonious transition between the colors. Since gradients in a digital environment are based on mathematical averages, it presents a few limitations in comparison to mixing physical colors. If you have two colors which are very similar to each other, you would think that you should have a very smooth subtle transition, but this is not always the case. If you have a gradient which covers a large surface and the colors you're using are pretty close to each other in terms of their numeric values, you might encounter an issue called color banding. Color banding occurs either when the number of color blends forming a gradient between the two colors is not enough to smoothly cover the whole gradient area, or when you create gradients in between the very dark colors and white. Watch out for it and make sure that you cannot see white color stripes in your gradients. If you do see color bands, consider adjusting the colors of the color stops or add more color stops to create a smooth transition. In those cases when the colors are too similar, it can be difficult or even impossible to completely avoid color banding as Illustrator cannot add any more colors to these transitions. You can conceal color banding a little using texturing techniques and we will get back to this later in this class. But in any case, it is always better to start with the colors which are optimally different from each other in the first place. This is particularly important for any work for print as CMYK supports less colors than RGB, so there are less variations and color banding is more likely. If you are creating a work for digital view and/or projection, set your document to the RGB color mode, and use either HSB or RGB color models for defining colors. If you're creating work solely for print using the CMYK process, set your document to CMYK and use CMYK sliders to define colors in the colors panel. If you want to present your work both digital and in print, I recommend starting with RGB, and if required by your printer, convert a copy of your document to CMYK and adjust the colors if necessary. Keep both files as masters and export work from RGB file for digital use and from CMYK for print only. CMYK being a print model, supports and reproduces a smaller range of colors than RGB, so watch out for color banding. Apart from all this color mixing nuances, alternately, what makes good gradients are the colors which you choose to blend together. There are no hard rules and the main point here is that the colors should feel right for the mood you want to create, and then you need to follow the aforementioned technical rules to create nice transitions. Keep all these rules in mind and we will look into a few approaches for choosing colors which make good gradients in a moment. But first, let me quickly share with you the recommended document settings for creating gradient designs. 4. Recommended Document Settings: To begin with, let's quickly create and set up a new document which we'll be using throughout the whole class. Set up your artwork size to whatever you wish. Though I recommend creating artwork which is at least 1200 pixels on the shorter side to be able to share it in a good-quality afterwards. I usually create my gradient designs, on 2,000 by 2,000 pixel artworks. In the advanced options, or by the "More Settings" button in older versions of Illustrator, set the color mode according to your intentions. It would be awesome to see you upload your experiments in your project for this class. I suggest working in RGB to enjoy vibrant colors and share your work with the World afterwards. Set raster effects to 300 dpi here. We will be texturing our gradient artworks later on in this class, and having high-resolution effects will be crucial. Let's create a new document. There will be a lot of stages in this class, so I recommend you get into a habit of saving your work every few minutes. Start now by saving your new document in your desired location under a descriptive name. Make sure you select AI format, then click "Save". Now let's get on with the colors. 5. Approaches to Creating Colours for Your Gradients: The beauty of working with colors digitally is that you don't need to be an expert in color theory. There are tools to help you create awesome color combinations based on color harmony rules. The first tool which we'll be using is the color guide. Open it up and if it is not in your workspace, activate it through the Window menu. To begin with, in the Tools Panel, setup a color which you want to use in your gradients. It can be as intense or as subtle as you want. I like using bright colors to begin with, so I will set brightness and saturation to 100 percent. In the color guide, you can now see other tints and shades of the same color. If you don't see tints and shades here in this menu, in the top right corner of the panel, make sure you have tints and shades selected. Also in the same menu, you can set up the number of color variations the color guide will create. Go to the color guide options and setup the number of tints and shades variants you want to be able to use. Four or five should be enough. Here you can also set up the variation percentage. I will keep it at 100 percent as it produces the best variety for what we are doing. Now we're all set here. Let's have a look at different harmony rules, which can help us to create these groups of colors for the gradients. You already know that complementary colors can be quite problematic for creating good gradients and require additional color stops to make them work. If you really want to have a gradient between two complementary colors, start by selecting the top complementary pair, harmony rule. Then in the Color Guide command click or Control click in the Windows onto active colors in the middle to select them and then click on the "Save Color Group" to swatches panel button in the bottom of the Color Guide Panel. This will add these two colors as a new group to your documents swatches. If the swatches panel is not open, open it for the Window menu. Now, go back to the Color Guide. In the harmony rules, go to the very bottom of the list and select Pentagram. Then click on this "Edit Colors" button and go to the Edit tab here. We will have a closer look at this window with all the super-useful settings with our own in this class. But for now, let's just use the color wheel here to see how the harmony rules create colors. The pentagram rule creates a set of colors which are equally distributed around the color wheel. These four new colors will allow you to create a smoother transition between your original color and its opposite color, which would be somewhere here. For some colors, the tetra harmony rule, which you can access here in this window, can also be used to create nice gradients. But having two color stops between the complimentary colors, it allows to create smoother transitions. We'll stick with the pentagram rule. Let's adjust these colors to have more even gaps if we imagine that the opposite color is here. Unlink harmony colors and move this colors so that the gaps between them are about 60 degrees like this. There's about 120 degrees between these two colors as the complementary color would be between them. When you're already with these colors, click on the new "Color Group" button here to add these colors to your swatches. Now, let's press "OK" to close this window and go to the swatches panel. Here, draw your complementary color from this group to your new group with five colors. I usually put the complementary swatch right where it belongs between the other ones, just to make it easier to see the order of the colors in terms of their hues. Now let's quickly delete this redundant group with just one color to keep our swatches tidy. Here's our first group of colors ready. Now let's select the color swatch of our initial color in the swatches pow and have a look at the analogous colors. There is a couple of analogous rules to choose from so you can pick one which looks best for you. Analogous colors are the colors which sit next to each other on the color wheel and share the same components. In the tints and shades color variations, you can pick as many colors as you want. I usually pick all of the active colors and then add quite a few tints and shades for the mix. If you want to select a few rows or columns of colors, you can shift click onto colors in the opposite corners of the desired selection, which is faster than command clicking. In this case, command clicking can be used to select a few colors you don't want to use. When you're happy with your selection of colors, add them in the new color group. The great thing about analogous colors is that whilst offering some hue variations their tints and shades easily blend together and you can use them to create some really complex gradient artworks. To create the most subtle type of gradients, you can use one of these two monochromatic rules here or the chain's rule. As with the analogous colors, these colors will also beautifully blend together because they are based around similar hues. The lightest tints and the darker shades are very useful for creating highlights and shadows respectively. They create more organic and smooth transitions than when you use pure white or pure black as color stops. Pick as many or as little variations here. Then create a new color group from them. These other color groups, based on the color harmony rules, which generally are a great starting point for creating gradient-based designs as well as for creating other color groups. But to have more options to explore and to be able to create smoother y-band gradients, let's create another different set of colors. Start by selecting your group of six colors, the one which features opposite colors and click on the "Edit Color Group" button in the swatches panel to open the Edit Colors window. Here unlink all colors and then drag them to be about 15-30 degrees apart on the color wheel, for example, like this. Then link them back together and if necessary, move the whole lot around the wheel to get the desired set of hues. After that, if you want to adjust the colors separately, unlink them yet again and set these sliders to HSB through this menu here. Then select the color you want to adjust and fine tune it using these sliders. I prefer working in HSB or other color modes because it makes it very easy to adjust saturation and brightness of each color without affecting the hue. Of course, it allows to make small adjustments to hue separately as well. If necessary, go through all the colors you are creating and tweak their properties. When ready, click on the "New Color Group button" here. After this is done, you can very quickly create more groups with different sets of hues. To do this, link the colors back together and drag them around the wheel until you have a new set which you like. Then define a new color group, and repeat the process to create a few more groups the same way. When you're done, hit "OK" and make sure not to save changes to your original color group. Now you have a few more groups with more subtle gradiation of colors, which can be used to create exciting vibrant gradients. Now if you want, you can select one of your new color groups and go to the color guide panel. Here, you can pick some shades or tints of your new colors to have a more extensive range of colors to play around with. Then add them to your swatches together with the original set of colors you have used to have your swatches neatly organized in order. Now you can either delete this group of the original colors as you have them here, or keep it as a separate group to have a more condensed color selection as an option. Next, let's quickly prepare all our swatches for use by converting them into global colors. 6. Creating Global Colour Swatches: After you have created your color groups, but before you start applying your colors to your artwork, it is a good idea to convert each color into a global color. Start by double-clicking on the thumbnail of your first color swatch in the swatch's panel to open this window. Global colors are very useful when it comes to coloring your work or making minor adjustments to colors. Because when you adjust any global color swatch for this window, the change will be automatically applied to all objects which use this color. Take global color here and apply changes. Global color swatches have a right triangle in the corner of their thumbnails, so you can easily see which colors are global and which are not. Now either go through all of the colors you have created and convert them to global one by one. We'll select multiple swatches within one group, then click on the swatch's options button, and check Global here. If your groups feature copies of the same colors or some colors which were already converted to global, you'll get an error message like this. Make sure you deselect the repeat colors before you try converting a number of colors to global. Then just hold and drag a global color which you want to be in your group from another group, and place it over the original swatch, which is not a global, like this. You can find all of these color groups I have created as a swatch file in the class resources. Feel free to download it, but I would also highly recommend creating your own color groups to reflect your personal color preferences and to have more colors to play around with. When you are done with the colors, now, we can start creating some gradients. 7. Setting Up Gradients Using the Gradient Panel: Illustrator offers a number of different tools which can be used to create gradients in the work for them in a straight forward or an experimental manner. Each of them can be used to create designs and artworks on different types and levels of complexity. It is important to understand the capabilities, advantages, and limitations of each of these tools, and utilizes the most appropriate tool for each specific task. Let's start with the basics. For the first example, I'm going to quickly create a square using the rectangle tool. But you can use any shape or closed path you want. Then I will switch to the selection tool, and set the stroke color to none, and set the field type to gradient by clicking here on the tools panel. You can also use these shortcuts for assigning different types of fill and stroke attributes to your selected objects, which are super useful and save a lot of time. When you apply a gradient, the gradient panel should open automatically. If not, it can be opened through the Window menu. If you cannot see all of these settings here, go to this menu in the top right corner of the gradient panel and select show options. The gradient which you assigned to your work for the tools panel is either the last gradient you have used or selected. Or if it is the first gradient you are creating in the document, it is going to be set to the default black and white gradient, or the first gradients watch from the gradient watches which are listed here. Is where we're going to be creating gradients from our new color groups to default gradients watches are irrelevant. Make sure that at this point, the gradient is applied to the field and not to the stroke which is a different story, and I will go for it separately later on in this class. In Illustrator, there are two basic types of gradients linear, and radial, and there are slightly more complex free-form gradients which were introduced in the defaultant and 19 version of illustrator. In a way, free-form gradients are a totally different tool which just happens to be in the same panel as these two. I will be covering free-form gradient separately later. Now let's concentrate on the basics. When you have a linear gradient selected, you can set up its angle here. If you select a radial gradient, you will also be able to set the aspect ratio of the ellipse. If you set it to 100 percent, you will create a circle, and at this point, the angle is not going to make any difference. But if your gradient is anything else rather than a circle, then modifying the angle will change its orientation. Then we'll go to gradients slider, which shows the color transition. On this slider, there are at least two toggles below which represent our color stops, and for each pair of the color stops, there will be one toggle above for the mid point on this particular transition. As I've already mentioned in the previous videos, color stops, are base colors between which the gradient transition happens. The mid point is the point where the two end colors are mixed in equal proportions. By default, each mid point is placed at 50 percent in the middle of the transition between the two color stops. You can move it if necessary by dragging it sideways or by inputting a precise value here. This way, you will be able to control the transition in between the two colors and it can make one of the colors more dominant if required. Colors stops also have allocation attribute and you can move them around the same way. Here, you can also set the capacity of the color stops, and this is a very useful feature. For a radial gradient, the left color stop represents the color in the middle of a circle or ellipse. For a linear gradient, left is left and right is right, unless you have changed the angle here. Clicking on the reverse button will reflect the gradient and swap the color stops around. You can add new color stops by clicking Just build a gradient slider, this will automatically add new stops with the correct settings for that particular location on the gradient to keep the transition smooth. You'll see new midpoints appear above the slider between each pair of the color stops. You can also duplicate the color stop by dragging it sideways, while it's holding down the Alt key. This will make the same color and capacity settings as the original one. To delete a color stop, simply drag it away from the gradient slider. To change the color of the color stop, double-click on it. This will open the color picker, which will allow you to select your desired color. Since we have our colors saved as switches, click on the switches icon here and select the color you want to use. I will pick this color from this group here. Now, let's select the red color stop and set it to a complementary color to the first one. You can see that the midpoint here is dull. This finally got more colors to put between the end colors for this gradient. Let's create two new color stops in-between and send them to the colors which should be in between these two complementary colors on the color roll. When you assign your colors make sure the color stops go in the order and then adjust their locations and the mid points to create the desired look of your gradient. One of the recent editions to the gradient power is the color picker here which allows you to pick colors for your color stops from any existing vector artwork. Or you can import a raster image and quickly grab colors from it. This way, you don't need to create color switches to begin with. It is a slightly different workflow, but if you're working off a reference image or to add a gradient to an existing artwork, it can make the process faster. If you want to create a reflected, symmetrical linear gradient, you will need to repeat the same color stops starting from the center to the edge like this. This are the basic gradient settings, play around with them and check out how different colors work together, and add as many color stops as you need to create good gradients. You can create the most basic linear and radial gradients just by using the gradient panel. But to be able to adjust the way these types of gradients are fill in the objects they reply to, you will need to use the gradient tool. Next, let's have a look at what extra options it offers. 8. Adjusting Gradients Using the Gradient Tool: To have more control over how the gradient is applied to an object, you need to use the gradient tool located in the tools panel. When your object is selected and the gradient tool is active, you should see a gradient annotator. If you have everything selected and the gradient tool is active, but you still cannot see the gradient annotator, go to the menu view and click on the ''Show gradient annotator''. Now, you can adjust the gradient using this slider. It works absolutely the same way as the gradient slider in the gradient panel. You can change the colors here by double-clicking on them and choosing the colors from this window. Here you can also set the opacity of the selected colors stops. Of course, you can move color stops and midpoints around. Whilst you can do this things for the gradient panel, using the gradient annotator is super useful when you're working with a gradient which features in number of colors stops, and it makes it easier to adjust the location of the color stops and the midpoints in relation to the actual object the gradient is applied to. But what makes the gradient tool different is that it allows you to move, rotate, and scale the gradient in relation to the object it is applied to. For example, if you drag the slider by this circle in the beginning of the linear gradient, you'll move the gradient in relation to the object it is filling. On the other hand, if you drag the endpoint on the other side of the gradient slider, which is square, you will resize the gradient instead. If you move your mouse just outside the square endpoint, you will see the rotation cursor. Now, you can hold down the mouse button and rotate the gradient. To change the type of gradient, you will still need to go to the gradient panel insert it there. When you are using a radial gradient. Gradient annotator will also allow you to change the aspect ratio of the gradient by dragging this point on the outer ellipse, marking the boundaries of the gradient. To resize a radial gradient, use either the square point on the slider or the point on the outer ellipse opposite it. Dragging the slider will allow you to move the gradient. You can rotate it by placing the cursor anywhere around the dashed line around your gradient. Here you also have the circle in the beginning of the gradient slider moving which will allow you to ascend the origin point of the gradient in relation to its overall shape. As the gradient is created between the origin point and the outer ellipse, marking the spread of the gradient. Of setting the origin point, will make a longer gradient on one side and the shorter one on the other. When you work as the gradient using the gradient tool, the objects contains the gradient within it. Even if you increase the gradient size, or in other words, it's spread, you will only affect what is inside the object and the rest of the gradient outside of the object's boundaries won't be visible. Ability to control gradients, angle and position within the shape is super useful when coloring or shading illustrations and designs. Sometimes you don't need more than that to add an exciting field fill to your work. For example, this geometric design has exactly the same linear gradient applied to each shape at a different angle using the gradient tool. As you can see from all the gradients sliders here. Well creating linear and radial fill gradients using the gradient panel and gradient tool is pretty straightforward. There is a lot of room for experimentation. If you're into simple stuff, try creating gradient backgrounds or create compositions from sample of gradient-filled shapes. You can also flow some transparent color stops into the mix and explore how you can blend your gradient-filled shapes as the background. When experimenting new transparent color stops, check out different colors how they stops. As this will allow you to create different effects. Linear and radial fill gradients can be also used as a opacity masks or as a basis for creating exciting dynamic frigid looking designs using the blend tool, but more about it later. Next, let's have a look at how you can create and use the freeform gradients. 9. Creating Freeform Gradients: Freeform gradients were introduced in the 2019 version of Illustrator, and they are pretty fun to use once you learn all of the different features and get used to their kirks. You can apply freeform gradients as a fill attribute to individual objects excluding editable type, and you cannot apply them to stroke. For the next example, I'm going to switch to the ellipse tool and draw a circle. Now, let's apply a gradient filter and set its type to freeform in the gradient panel. When you first apply a freeform gradient to an object, you will see some random freeform gradient or not even a gradient but just one color stop. Unlike linear and radial gradients [inaudible] basics, you can control for the gradient panel without touching the objects they fill in, reform gradients rely on working with the actual objects they're applied to and add in color stops to the desired locations manually. You can specify whether you want to create individual points or lines here. Since we already have a few points, let's start with the points mode and go and add a few more color stops. You can change the color of each color stop after you have created them by double-clicking on them and choosing a new color from your swatches. Or you can select a color stop and pick a color from the actual swatches panel which is more convenient because it doesn't get in the way of the shape. Alternatively, you can select a color stop, then activate the color picker tool in the gradient panel, and sample color from any object in your document. If you want to quickly add a new color stop in the same color which is already used in your freeform gradient, select the colors stop in the desired color, and then click somewhere else to add a new point in this color. To adjust a gradient, you can move the color stops around. When you select a color stop, you will see a dashed line circle around it which indicates the spread of each color. You can adjust it by dragging this black circle here. You can also control spread of a selected stop for the gradient panel or from the control panel here. These are points. If you select lines here, you will be able to create a gradient between the color stops which follows a line. To make a gradient in a curve, you can either carry all creating more color stops, and the curve between them will be created automatically. Or you can add another color stop to the line like this, and then drag it to create the desired look. Then you can add even more points if you want. You can also convert curves to corners by hold clicking on the color stops like this, and convert them back to curves the same way. If you start with these points, you can connect them with these lines like this. If you want to create a separate new line, just press escape or command click or control click in Windows somewhere to deselect the previous line and start a new one elsewhere. If you use lines, you can create equal shape by going to the starting point, the same way as you would create equal path with the pen tool. I am not sure whether there's a way to disconnect points with the current freeform gradients to functionality, so keep it in mind before you commit to connecting points and closing loops. If you want to move points in a line gradient, press escape to deselect the last line, and remember to press escape every time you move any of the endpoints around. This can be a little fiddling. I usually just switch to the points mode when I want to move the points, and only use the lines mode when I need to create more lines or connect points together. If you ever need to delete a stop from your freeform gradient, either select it and hit delete or simply drag it outside your object boundaries like this. Probably, the best bit about freeform gradients is that they make it very easy to create multicolor non-linear transitions without resorting to using gradient meshes. But that said, gradient meshes still have their uses and their own unique advantages, which we will look at later on in this class. But what's particularly great about the freeform gradients is that you can easily move the color stops around and see how it changes your gradient. You can end up with some unpredictable cool effects by almost squashing color stops together. For example, like this. On the other hand, if you're after creating a smooth freeform gradients, moving points and lines a little further apart can help to create smoother transitions. Another great thing about the freeform gradients is that you can control the opacity of each color stop individually. You can create non-uniform fields with some more and some less opaque areas which can be useful for layering them over other elements. For example, like this. Being able to use a combination of points and lines in freeform gradients is super useful as lines serve as a barrier and stop points from spreading further. This allows to create some fun effects and add more volume to your work. There are a lot of things to play around with by moving the color stops around, changing spread of colors stops, and length and curvature of lines is, of course, the colorless. Freeform gradients are super useful for creating colorful backgrounds and coloring elements in your work with multiple colors and not in a linear fashion. I love to use them in combination with other elements. One of my favorite tricks is to use them to add a fun coloring effect to frigid looking elements like this, and I will share techniques for creating these elements and for coloring them this way later in this class. In a way, freeform gradients allow you to combine multiple fill in all the gradients within one object. Whilst there are a few things you can adjust, color stops still blend in a mesh-like way and cannot overlap in any way, and you cannot control the blending mode of different color stops. If you're after a little bit more fun experimentation and flexibility or if you simply have an older version of Illustrator which doesn't support freeform gradients, you can use the multiple gradient fills instead. That's what we are going to look at next. 10. Creating Multiple Gradients Within One Object: Before the introduction of reform gradients using multiple gradient fields within one object was mainly a technique for creating complex gradient coloring and keeping all the appearance attributes within one object, which made them reusable, biographic styles. Whilst now, you can create some similar effects using free form gradients, using multiple gradient fields has a few unique advantages as it allows you to experiment with how gradient blends with each other by utilizing different colors. Positive values, blending mode, and different types of gradients. Using this technique, you can create something very different from what can be achieved using the free form gradients. To be able to work with multiple gradient fields, you will need to have the appearance panel in front of it. If you don't have it in your workspace, go to the Window menu and select Appearance. Again, I'm going to use a circle here. Let us start by assigning a solid fill color to it, so we have some sort of background color. Then we need to add a new fill by clicking on this button. Now, select this new field in the Appearance panel and set it to gradient. Appearance panel lists all of the attributes which are applied to the object and it can include fill, stroke, effects, and opacity settings. Notice for this panel, you can control the opacity and the blending mode or the object overall, as well as of its separate fill and stroke attributes. Now, let's set up our gradient using the gradient tool and the gradient panel. To be able to blend gradient fills with each other or with the object's background color, you can either use the opacity settings for the gradient color stops or the blending modes of the separate fields, or a combination of both. As this technique is about blending multiple things together, I usually start with creating a fading out, disappearing gradient. For this, I set both color stops to the same color and then set the capacity of one of them to zero. This creates a smooth transition of this color into transparency. You can also use different color stops. But in this case, you will have a gradient transition of the color, as well as all the opacity. If you have a more complex gradient, which has a number of different colors, you will need to care for the workout the capacity you want to have throughout it. But my advice still is to smoothly fade the colors out into transparency at the edge. When you set up your fading out gradient, select the gradient tool and adjust its size and position. Then let's create another fading out gradient. I will set it to some other color here. Then to be able to create an effect I'm after, I need to move this gradient to a different position and rotate it like this. If you want to reset the alignment of the gradient to the default center position, the easiest way to do this is by changing the gradient type in the gradient panel to another one and then changing it back to what it is supposed to be. This already looks quite exciting, even though it is pretty subtle. If you carry on adding more gradients, changing the colors, and moving them around, you can make a lot of awesome effects. Make sure to select the gradient film you want to modify using the Appearance panel. Also, use this panel and drag the fields around if you need to change the order in which they are applied to the object. The bottom fill is applied first and the one on top is applied last. When you have set up your multiple gradient fills within an object, you can also experiment with changing their blending modes in the Appearance panel. Make sure to open the gradient field if you want to adjust, click on the opacity right under it and check out different blending modes from the list. Blending modes are quite complex and the effects they create heavily depend on the colors of the gradient the blending mode is applied to and the background below it. To get the result you want, you need to look for different modes in each particular case. There are no shortcuts here and the beauty is in the unexpected. If you want to integrate your gradient field object like this whose all this fade in colors was the background, you can also dispense all the background fill and have a partially translucent object like this. There are tons of opportunities for experimentation, so play around with adding multiple gradient fields to different objects and see what you come up with. 11. Applying Gradients to Editable Type: Applying gradients to editable type objects is super useful, though it is not as straightforward as one might expect. Let's start by selecting the Type tool. Type something, then quickly typeset it using the Character panel. This will do. If we select this text using the Selection tool and set the Shield type to gradient, nothing will happen. Apparently, the gradient has been applied, but you cannot see any changes. If we select text using the Type tool, and if my gradient fill, nothing will happen either. But there is a way, select your type object with the Selection tool and go to the Appearance panel. Guess what? There is no fill attribute applied to the type. But when you select your text with the Type tool, there is a fill attribute here, but it cannot interpret gradients. So to apply gradient to your type, firstly, you need to select it with the Selection tool and set its fill to none. This will ensure that you won't have a background color coming from the type settings. This is very important. So make sure that you set fill to none here for the whole object. Now, whilst having your type object selected with the Selection tool, go to the Appearance panel and click on "Add New Fill" button here. This will add both fill and stroke attributes to the type object, which you can now set up. Select this fill then set its type to the gradient in the tools panel. Now, you can apply linear or radial gradients to your type and set it up the usual way using the gradient panel and the gradient tool as if it was any other object. Since we have outlined this type, you can now edit the text for the type style as much as you want. Remember not to edit the color of your text both having selected or highlighted using the type tool as this will add an extra color underneath the gradient. Instead, only edit your text field for the appearance panel both having selected with the Selection tool. If you want to add another gradient field to your title or a color field to use as a background, you can do it here and then explore using multiple fields as we've done in the previous part. Know the text within one type of object will have a continuous gradient applied to it as the Illustrator sees it as one object and not as separate characters. To play gradients to separate characters or words, you will need to either create them as separate type objects, meaning that you need to type them separately and see them as separate objects in the Layers panel. Alternatively, you can create outlines, but this will stop your text from being editable and Illustrator will treat it as any other vector shape instead. If you create outlines from a type that has a continuous gradient applied to it, it will stay applied as a group of objects and you will see the gradient attribute in the Appearance panel when you have the group selected. If you ungroup it by pressing Command Shift G or Control Shift G in windows, the Gradient attribute will disappear. If you apply gradient for these objects now, it will be applied to each object individually. If you group them back together and apply gradient by clicking on the Tools panel, the gradient will be applied within a group to each individual object and not to the group overall. So when it comes to applying a continuous gradient to text, it is better done to the editable type object, mostly because it is editable. But there are a few different ways to apply continuous gradients to separate objects, and this is what we're going to look at next. 12. Applying Gradients Across Multiple Objects: Applying ingredients to multiple objects, might seem like a very obvious thing. But in Illustrator, there are a few different ways of doing this and each of them allows you to create different effects. Let's go back to this outline type we have created before. Since it is a group, you can apply if you attribute to the whole group. But before we do this, we need to make sure that each individual object has a fill color set to none. Select the group and set the fill color to none in the Tools Panel. Pay attention to what you see in the appearance panel. At this point, there shouldn't be any fill attribute applied to the group. The changes you've made were applied to the individual objects within the group. Now, having this group selected in the Appearance panel, click on add new fill and set it to gradient. Now you can adjust it any way you want using the Gradient panel and the Gradient tool. Add as many gradient fields as you wish the same way as I've shown you earlier in this class. Remember that this technique will work with any field vector objects and not just outlined type. If you double-click on any object within a group, you will enter the isolation mode where you can only work through the contents of the group. If you start moving the objects within a group around, you will see the main benefit of applying gradients to groups of objects. When you change the position of any object within a group, the gradient field applied to it will automatically update according to what it should be in this particular location. So you can easily rearrange the elements, both having the gradient cover them continuously. To exit the isolation we'll click on this arrow button in the document window, or double-click anywhere away from the objects in the group. Both having objects in a group can be beneficial. In some cases, in Illustrator, you actually don't need to have object group to be able to play continuous gradient across all of them. Let's say you want to apply a gradient across all of these shapes. To do this, we need to select them all using the selection tool and then set their fill to gradient. This will apply a gradient to every object within your selection. This is useful if you want to apply the same non-continuous gradient to a number of objects, but this is not what we want to do here. Whilst having the objects selected, pick the Gradient tool in the Tools Panel. Go to the point where you want your gradient to start and create a gradient by dragging your mouse to the point where you want it to end, like this. The gradient will continuously fill your selected objects. The result will be more predictable when the individual gradients filling all of the selected objects are the same to start with. Whilst having everything selected and with the Gradient tool still active, you can edit your gradient using the Gradient panel. After releasing the selection, to edit the gradient applied to the object later on, you will need to draw a new gradient once again. After applying the original gradient all objects will now have individual gradients, sliders. So you can easily rearrange the elements to create different effects. If you want to include an editable type object into the same selection and apply a continuous gradient to it. As a part of a bigger composition, make sure you have assigned a gradient to it using the technique I've shown in the previous part. Make sure that the gradient is the same as the one applied to other objects within the selection. If everything is okay, you will be able to apply a gradient to a mix of objects like this. That's it for techniques for creating and applying field gradients using the Gradient tool and the Gradient panel. Next, let's have a look at adding gradients to strokes in different fun ways, you can use them in your work. 13. Applying Gradients to Strokes: Introduction: Gradients provide a ton of different creative possibilities, both on their own and in combination with other elements and techniques. They make it super quick and easy to create a lot of awesome effects, which otherwise would take some time and effort. The stroke gradients feature is available in Illustrator CS6 and Creative Cloud versions. If you have an older version of Illustrator, you will need to use a work-around, which I will show you a bit later in the part about creating ingredient brushes. In any case, there are certain concepts which are the same regardless of whether you are using the Stroke Gradient tool or applying gradients to strokes using brushes. I will color them in this in the next few parts. To see how different stroke gradient settings work, let's use the circle, the semicircle, this organically shaped closed path, and the straight line segment. Now we need to select them and set the fill color to none, and stroke to gradient. At the moment, we cannot see much here as the straw is quite thin. Let's go to the Stroke panel. Increase the stroke weight here. I will also set caps to round just because I like things to be round. You can use most of different settings on this panel, including caps, corners, dashed lines, and stroke profiles. Combined with stroke gradients, they will allow you to create some cool stuff. Keep these options in mind when you start experimenting. If you want to learn about different possibilities of styling strokes using the Stroke panel, don't hesitate to check out my class, creating trendy abstract patterns in Illustrator, which has a separate part dedicated to stroke settings. Now, let's go back to the Gradient panel and have a look at what options we have available here. Unlike when using field gradients, with stroke gradients, you cannot use the gradient tool to adjust opposition the gradient. On the other hand, there are three different options which allow you to choose the way the gradient is applied to your strokes. You can also choose between linear and radial stroke gradients, which will look slightly different for all of these three options here. Let's stick with the linear gradient type for now as it is the most straightforward one of the two, and then we'll have a look at the radial type in relation to each of these options below separately. Here we have three different ways of applying gradient to strokes, including applying a gradient within stroke, along stroke, and across stroke. While they all appear to be quite straightforward, there are a few tricks and techniques which you can use to make the most out of each of these gradient types. Let's check them out. 14. Using Gradients Within Strokes: The first option for applying gradient to stroke is, within the stroke is if it is a shape in the gradient is filling it. When the Gradient Type above is set to linear, the spread of the gradient is from one side to another and you can control the angle of the gradient from the gradient panel. But you cannot change the gradients position or size because the gradient tool does not work with stroke gradients as I have already mentioned. If you change the Gradient Type to radial, the center of the gradient will be in the center of the bounding box around the path. The way the gradient fills the stroke will be different depending on the shape of your path and where the center of the bounding box falls. When working with oddly shaped box, this can make use in this type of gradients a little less intuitive. I usually use the linear ones instead just for the sake of heaven and easily predictable spread of the colors within the stroke. On the other hand, if you choose to use radial gradients within strokes, you can play around with the aspect ratio and the rotation angle to create some fun effect. But again, you cannot edit the position or size of the gradient within the stroke or the position of the origin point. Also, gradients are applied dynamically. So if you make any changes to your path or stroke settings, the gradient will be updated to fully cover the strokes. One thing to keep in mind is that if you rotate an object with a stroke gradient applied to it, the gradient will be rotated the same way. If you want to keep the original angle of the gradient, but change the rotation of the object, you will need to reset the gradients angle separately. If you apply a stroke gradient to a number of strokes, the same gradient will be applied within each of them individually, taking into account their respective paths. If you want to apply a continuous stroke gradient within multiple paths, you can use a similar technique to the one we've used early in this class when applying a continuous gradient fill to multiple grouped objects. For example, to apply one gradient within all of these strokes. So it starts on this side. Here, firstly, you need to set stroke to non or all of them. This is very important. Then group all of these strokes. With group selected, go to the appearance panel. Here, it should say group and not path or anything else. Now click on the Add New Stroke button here to add a stroke attribute to this group. Increase its weigh so you can see it. Then set the stroke to gradient. Now you can edit the gradient the usual way. You can edit the stroke settings through this stroke attribute applied to all paths in the group. You can edit the paths within the group, move them around, scale, or rotate them. The gradient will fill them according to their new position within the group the, same way as we have seen with the fill gradients. Gradient within stroke is the only stroke Gradient Type which allows you to choose between different stroke to path alignments in the Stroke panel if you're working with closed paths. You can take advantage of this feature and very easily create an effect like this. Start by selecting a closed path, with a linear gradient within stroke applied to it and go to the Appearance panel. Here, select the stroke attribute and click on Duplicate Selected Item button here. Now open the stroke settings for the top stroke and set the stroke to path alignment to outside. Then go to the second stroke, attribute and set the stroke alignment to the inside instead. After this is done, go and edit the gradient settings for your strokes. For example, change the angle of one of the gradient. Here you have a fun looking object. I usually stop here. But if you want, you can change other gradients settings for one or both of the stroke gradients, experiment with different stroke rates and see what you can create. Since we have applied two stroke attributes to one path, it is still just one object in the layers panel. So you can easily move it around and not worry about misaligning your strokes. But if you want to edit your strokes, you will need to do it with the appearance panel, just as we have done with the multiple fills. Let's hit for the gradients within stroke. Next, let's move on to even more exciting things which you can create using gradients along stroke. 15. Using Gradients Along Strokes: The second option for applying gradient to stroke is along the stroke, and this is a super useful feature. With this setting, you can very nicely color mono line lettering or drawings. Use it in infographics or in any other types of designs or illustrations which require this sort of playful or a dynamic coloring and transition of colors following along with the direction of the paths. This type of stroke gradient only works with the strokes aligned centrally to the paths. So if you are trying to apply it to your path but nothing happens, make sure to send the stroke alignment to center and everything will work just fine. If you're working with an open path and creating a linear gradient along stroke, the transition will go from the starting point of the path to the end point and will directly correspond to your gradient slider here. If you set the gradient type to radio, together these two settings will create a reflected gradient instead. With the color on the left of the slider being in the center of the path, and the color on the right being at the ends. And as usual, you can swap them around using this button. The beginning and end points are obvious when you're working with open paths. But in a closed path also has a point which acts as the beginning and the end at once. When working with gradients along stroke, it determines where your gradient starts and ends. It is most obvious when you are using a linear gradient along stroke, for example, like here. Unless you're working with a circle, which you can simply rotate to change the way the gradient looks, if you want to change the location of the point on the path where the gradient starts, you will need to do it in a couple of steps. Firstly, decide where you want this point to be and then if the path doesn't have an anchor point in this spot, switch to the pen tool and add a point to the path like this. Then switch to the direct selection tool, select just this one point and then go to the control panel and click on the cut path at selected anchor points button here. Your gradient should change the way it goes around your path. Now, deselect all, then switch to the selection tool, select your path and press Command + J or Control + J in Window to join the end points. Here you have a closed path with a new beginning and end point. If you're working with a closed path, you might want to loop your gradient to have a smooth transition of colors all the way around. There are two ways of doing so. The fastest and easiest way is by setting the gradient type to radio here, and voila. You don't really need to do anything else. So if you want to have exactly the same color stops on both sides of your looped gradient, this is the technique to use. On the other hand, if you want to have different colors around the loop, you will need to use a linear gradient type instead and set up your looped gradient manually. Start by hold dragging one of the end color stops to copy it and place it on the other end of the gradient. Then adjust other color stops in-between and add more color stops to create a clean, beautiful transition all the way around. For example, I am going to use all of the colors from this group we have created in the beginning of the class. So these are a couple of super easy tricks for creating looped gradients, which look great, with all sorts of closed paths. Using gradients along strokes. You can also create fun circular gradients, for example, like this or this. All you need to do is create a circle. Note down it's diameter, which you can see in the transform panel. Then set it's stroke weight to exactly the same value as the diameter. And finally, set your gradient along stroke, the way you like. If you need to scale this circle up or down, make sure you go to the transform panel and check scale strokes and effects to scale the stroke weight proportionally with the circle to keep it intact. Since creating these kind of gradients relies on using a circle as a basis, to apply it to any other shape you will need to create a clipping mask out of the shape you want to fill with a circular gradient. For example, like this. Apart from having some fun color transitions along the strokes you can also create some fading out strokes. If you set the opacity of one of the color stops to zero percent. Or you can have an opaque color stroke or a few of them in the middle of your gradient and use transparent color stops at both ends, for example, like this. This is one of my favorite tricks and there is a lot of room for experimentation. For example, you can use different colors for your opaque and transparent color stops and create not just a simple opacity gradient, but also an interesting color transition into transparency. Particularly if you're working with open paths, you can have a lot of fun with the cap settings and stroke profiles. You can also experiment with using transparent or not 100% opaque color stops within your gradient to add some transparency to your work, which can be useful for layering your gradient strokes over a background, over some other elements in your design, or over each other. So gradients along strokes are pretty awesome and there are so many exciting ways you can use them in your work. So experiment and see what you come up with. And next, let's have a look at the remaining type of stroke gradients and a few ways of using them. 16. Using Gradients Across Strokes: The first row gradient option here allows you to apply gradient across the stroke, and it can be handy for color and align lettering or illustrations. But probably the most exciting and useful thing about it is that you can use it to add volume, both to the linear elements and creating new shapes in your work. Creating a sense of volume within the strokes usually relies on using multiple stroke attributes. In the following part is it is a slightly more complex technique. On the other hand, using gradients across strokes to add an inner or outer shadow or glow to all sorts of shapes, regardless of how old they are is rather simple and it offers a lot of creative possibilities. Gradients across strokes can be applied only to strokes centrally aligned to paths. You can use this technique with any kinds of open or closed paths. I am going to use this organic shape here. Let's start by applying a linear gradient across stroke and setup a gradient with two stops set to the same color, and one One them set to zero percent opacity like this. Since it is a stroke, the spread of this gradient can be controlled using the stroke weight setting. Let's go and increase it to have more of a shadow. Because the stroke is aligned to the path centrally, you can see that this gradient starts not at the path, but in this case, within the shape. In some situations, this might not be a problem for example, if you are just creating shapes without any fills and you're not really fast about where the paths actually are. But more often, ideally, you would want your gradient to start from the path itself. The easiest way of doing so is by moving this up a color stop to the center and set this location to precisely 50 percent. They have all dragged a transparent color stop across to the other side of your gradient to create a copy like this. Then select this new transparent stop, and also set its location to precisely 50 percent. Here you have it. Now you can reflect the whole gradient by clicking on this button and easily go between having inner and outer shadow, or glow if you used light or bright colors instead. Then you can fill your shape as a color or a gradient, or place it on some background and experiment with different blending options, for example, darken, or multiply if you are creating a shadow effect, or overlay, or soft light to have more color to it, or screen if you're creating a glow. Of course, you can also add these kinds of effects using the actual Illustrator effects which can be found in the stylized section of the Effect menu. But there are quite a few benefits or features of stroke gradients instead of the effects. Whenever I can, I use stroke gradients instead of the outer or inner low effects. Firstly, because usually, Illustrator works quite a bit faster when you are not using this kind of effects. Secondly, because you can apply stroke gradients to shapes which do not have any fill. You can have some fun here. Thirdly, because you can easily access and play around with the stroke settings, including the most obvious stroke rate. But also different stroke profiles, or if you don't have any custom font profiles, you can also use the width tool to play around with the shape of your stroke, enhance your gradient. Finally, because you can use multiple different colors in your fading all the gradients, and create some interesting color transitions into transparency. My favorite way of using this type of gradients is by placing them on some other gradient film backgrounds, and creating this kind of liquid effect. This is a pretty simple but fun technique. Next, let's have a look at a different way of using gradients across stroke and layering multiple strokes to create an effect of volume, and shading within the actual strokes. 17. Shading Strokes with Gradients: The same way as we have added multiple fills to the objects, you can add multiple strokes. This provides a ton of new creative possibilities or aid in volume to store waste elements in your work, and it can be particularly useful for shading monoline lettering or monoline drawings with overlapping areas. As an example, I am going to use this path here which already has a gradient element stroke applied to it. Let's start with the shading technique. Select a stroke you want to shade and go to the appearance panel. Select the stroke attribute which is already applied to it and click on the "Duplicate Selected Item" button here. Make sure that your new stroke is above the one which is used to color the stroke, and that its settings are absolutely the same, and they should be since we have duplicated the previous one. Now, select the top stroke attribute and go to the gradient panel. Here, we need to apply a gradient across stroke, set it to linear, and set it up so it shades our stroke. For this, we will need three color stops. Set the opacity of the middle one to zero, and then go and play around with the colors of the color stops. I prefer setting all of the color stops to the same color just to have an opacity gradient. But you can play around with the colors as it can allow you to create an interesting coloring effect. When shading use darker colors, the transparent color stop in the middle will be the lightest area of the path. Move it around if you want to have a different lighting effect. Also, you can move the midpoints around to control the spread of the gradient. The shading areas might look a bit harsh, especially if you're using very dark colors. So you might be tempted to change the opacity of the color stops at the edge. Better leave them alone and go back to the appearance panel and choose the opacity of this whole gradient stroke instead. This looks much better already. But don't forget that here, you can also set the blending mode for this gradient stroke. Darken, multiply, overlay, or soft light can be quite good for different levels of shading. Experiment with different colors, opacity, and blending modes, and see what you can create. If you're after an inner glow effect rather than shading, use the same kind of three stop gradient with a transparent stop in the middle, and simply set the color stops for some light color. For example, like this, then set the blending mode of this stroke gradient to screen, and adjust its opacity. Then go and adjust the locations of the middle color stop and midpoints to create the desired effect. Using a similar approach, you can also create a highlight which will run along your path. For example, like this. For this, let's copy this shading gradient, then select the one on top, and set its blending mode to screen, and opacity to 100 percent, and then go and adjust the gradient. In this case, you will need an opaque color stop in the middle and transparent ones at the ends. Set the colors to any light color or even white, and then adjust the positions of the color stops and midpoints. Since this gradient has transparent stops at the edges, you can even pull these end stops inwards if you want to have a shorter gradient. For example, like this. Now, you can go and adjust the opacity of this highlight gradient and also explore other blending modes, depending on the colors of your stroke and the colors used in the highlight. Apart from the screen mode, consider checking out lighten, overlay, and soft light to create different effects. If you're after a very simple reflected gradient for shading, inner glow, or highlights and don't mind it being symmetrical, you can also use just two color stops and set the gradient type to radial here. It can be quite quick to use but I prefer using linear gradients instead, because being able to adjust the position of the middle color stop in the gradient makes all the difference and makes it much more fun to experiment with. Here's how you can add shading, inner glow, and highlight within your strokes. Experiment combining these effects with different kinds of strokes, including gradient strokes but also with solid color strokes and even strokes filled with patterns. Let's hit for my favorite tips, tricks and techniques for using stroke gradients. Next, let's move on to more experimental ways of creating gradients using a few other tools. 18. Creating Gradients Using the Gradient Mesh Tool: Another great tool for creating gradients in Illustrator is the Gradient Mesh tool. It is designed for making photorealistic illustrations. But when it gets into their own hands, exciting experimental abstract designs can be created instead. That's what we will be concentrating on in this class. To create a gradient mesh, you need to start with an object. I'm going to use this new square for it. There are two ways to create a mesh dependent on how precise you want it to be. If you want to set mesh points manually, you can use the Mesh tool. Because this square has a fill color assigned to it, I can click anywhere inside of it and create mesh points this way. If you have an object which has a fill color set to none, you will only be able to add mesh points either on the outline of the object or on the mesh lines when they are created. If you want to create an even mesh, you can do it automatically. To do this, select your object with the Selection tool, go to the menu Object, and select Create Gradient Mesh. In this window, tick Preview to see the changes, and set the number of rows and columns. Then select "Appearance". I will pick Flat because I don't want to have any automatic highlights which are created using the other two options here. But these options can be useful, so remember that they exist. When you're happy with the settings, click "Okay" to generate your gradient mesh. Gradient meshes can be created within most field paths apart from compound paths. Keep in mind that you are not limited to basic geometric shapes. Either way, any gradient mesh splits an object into a number of cells, and each point where the mesh lines intersect can have a different color assigned to it. You can select mesh points either with the Mesh tool or with a direct Selection tool, and then pick a color in the Colors panel or from these swatches you have created. This way, you can color an object into a number of colors, which transitions smoothly into one another. Each point in the mesh is a color store, so transitions happen between the points and within every cell. The Mesh tool allows you to select and work with only one point at a time. If you want to select and work with a number of mesh points, you should use the Direct Selection tool instead and Shift click to select multiple points. This will allow you to color a number of selected points in your mesh in the same color, then move them together. You can also adjust the mesh lines using either the direct Selection tool or the Mesh tool. When you select a point with either of these tools, the handles will appear, which will allow you to control the curves and keep them smooth by rotating pairs of opposite handles which form a straight line. Apart from the Direct Selection and the Mesh tools, you can use the Anchor Points tool. It will allow you to adjust the individual curve handles like this. But the best thing about the Anchor Point tool is that if you hold and drag the mouse away from the selected point, you can reset the handles in the default cross position in the four directions. This makes it very easy to adjust curves and handles if you mess something up. If your mesh lines overlap or the handles controlling different points cross, you might create these fringes. They look cool. But if you push it too far and create loops and strong overlapping in the mesh, it can cause some undesirable defects. Some things here might be just illustrating an anti-arising issues, which you won't see after everything is exported correctly. But places like these are not, so you will need to adjust them and move mesh points and lines apart if you want everything to be smooth. Usually, I use the Direct Selection tool as it allows to move a number of points at the same time. But the Mesh tool has its own unique feature. If you hold down Shift while dragging a mesh point with the Mesh tool, it will follow one of the mesh lines it sits on, which can be super useful if you don't want to move one of the mesh lines. You will also need to use the Mesh tool to add new color stops to your mesh. In some cases, when you add a new color stop, the color will be set to the color which appears in this particular spot in this transition. Sometimes you might want to adjust your new color stops to make your gradient more refined, and to avoid murky or dull desaturated colors, which can be created in your mesh automatically. To delete the mesh point, hold click on it using the Mesh tool or select it with the Direct Selection tool and press Delete. If you need to change the opacity of a mesh point, select it and then set the opacity to your desired value using the Control panel, Transparency panel, or Appearance panel. Using gradient meshes and keeping all of this in mind, you can create a lot of different things from something really minimalistic to something more experimental. If you really like the idea of using gradient meshes within some more complex shapes which actually do not support meshes, you can always fake it by masking a larger gradient mesh within your complex shape or compound path, for example, like I have done here. You can find the complete time lapse process video of me creating this design as a bonus at the end of this class. Unlike when you're using the free form gradients, when using the gradient meshes, it is not that quick or easy to move the color stops around. But on the other hand, because the mesh is based on points and lines or curves, and the colors are distributed between them, this offers quite a few different options for creating experimental artwork by distorting the structure of the mesh as the colors will follow. Next, let's throw a few Distortion tools into the mix and see how they can be used to create even more experimental designs. 19. Distorting Gradient Meshes to Create Experimental Designs: Apart from menu and removing the mesh points around and creating some exciting stuff this way, you can also use some other tools with the Gradient Meshes to distort them and create experimental artworks. Before you start distorting your Gradient Mesh, it is a good idea to create a copy of it and keep it as a backup just in case. Then select the Gradient Mesh you want to distort with the Selection Tool. Having your object selected, go to this bottom, and pick one of the tools here. You can use any of these tools apart from the Width tool, and it only works with strokes. All of these tools distort objects in different ways and my favorite tools here are Warp, Twirl, Crystallize, and Wrinkle. But the other tools here are cool too, so be sure to check them all out. Each of these tools can be set up by pressing "Enter" to access this Setup Window. There are some settings which are shared by these tools, and also, there are some settings which are unique to specific tools. But generally, they control the size, intensity, and level or distortion. So experiment with all these settings and see how they affect your Gradient Meshes. Here are a few tips to help you stay out of trouble. Firstly, use a low detail value, such as one or two. It determines the number of points which will be created in your distorted mesh, and it is best to avoid creating a lot of them because a lot of points can make your mesh very rough and messy, and they will make your graphic very complex, which can cause your Illustrator to freeze or crash, as there is a lot of data to process. If you want the distortion to be more complex, better control it with the complexity setting where it is available, but try not to go too far here either. If you want to have more controllable and subtle distortions, turn down the intensity value. The lower the number, the smaller the distortion will be when you start using your selected tool. The size of each tool determines the shape within which the points will be moved, and it can be manually set to any value, even though it only allows to set it to a maximum of 400 pixels for this drop-down menu. You can have some fun, this create an elliptical brushes and playing around with different angle here. Please note that they edited this separate Setup Menu short into this video, so you can see what settings I'm using. You only have to apply changes and close the Setup Menu before you can start using any of the Distortion Tools. When you close the Setup Window, you can also change the size of the Distortion Tools by holding down the Alt key in your left mouse button and dragging your mouse like this. When you do so, hold down Shift if you want to constrain proportions of your original Distortion Tool Brush. For example, this is what the Warp Tool can do, here is Crystallized, in here is Wrinkle. When you use the Wrinkle Tool, you can set how much distortion is created vertically and horizontally using these attributes. If you use the Twirl Tool, you can control how fast it is applied using the Twirl Rate setting, which goes between minus 180 degrees and 180 degrees. The closer it is to zero, the slower it will be. The Twirl Rate setting also allows to switch between twirl and clockwise if you are using negative values and counterclockwise if you are using positive ones. Experiment with these tools and depending on how much distortion you want to add to your mesh, either use each of them on their own or combine them with each other in different order and see what you can create. The results of using some of these tools can be quite rough, and if you create vertical distortions, it might affect Illustrator's performance. So keep it in mind if we go wild with your experiments. One more thing to keep in mind before you start using these tools is whether you want to distort the whole mesh and its edges or just some points within it. Of course, you can pick the points you want to distort using the smaller brush sizes for example, like this, but it can have some limitations. So if you want to distort only certain points in your mesh, you can select them with the direct Selection Tool before you start using any of the Distortion Tools. After distorting your mesh, remember that you can adjust points in curves using the Direct Selection Mesh or Anchor Point Tools to adjust the shapes and transitions in your artwork and eliminate any defects and the tangled length to create smooth gradients and clean ridges if that's what you're after. While you can use Gradient Meshes within different kinds of shapes, it is best to start with whatever is closest to the final object you want to create. For example, if I want to create a background or a mesh-based design, which should fully cover the format of my artboard, I would start with a rectangle in the size of the artboard, create a mesh inside of it, and then distort it. If I end up distorting the edges, I would either go and adjust the points and the curves to fully cover the artboard, or even simply scale the whole mesh for the same purpose. In some cases, I also might like just a fragment of the distorted mesh. In this situation, I would simply put it within a Clipping Mask in the size of my artboard, and then scale and position the mesh within it. Surely, this is a lot of extra data, but because the distortion process can be great experimental, this allows you to create some fun artwork without torturing yourself by trying to recreate a desired distortion within a specific object. Pretty much all of my image-based designs are created from fragments of much larger distorted meshes. For example, like this or this. On the other hand, when I want to create a separate object and I want to be able to mold it into an organic shape or distort its edges, we usually start with a circle. This makes it super easy to maintain a smooth age if I want to and just massage it into the desired shape using the Warp Tool, for example, like this. The workflow in this case is awesome because you can just go around the shape like this, where you can pull the points out or push them inward. If you use the Wrinkle Tool and distort some parts of the edges of a circle, you can create some fun effects too. For example, this looks almost like an abstract landscape, but of course, you can just distort the contents and the edges of any Gradient Mesh object. So there are plenty of options. This is how you can make some experimental designs based on Gradient Meshes. Play around with all of these tools and their settings and have fun. Next, let's have a look at another technique for creating experimental gradients. 20. Creating Gradients Using the Blend Tool: Another tool for creating experimental gradients in Illustrator is the Blend tool. It is a super versatile tool, and when it comes to gradients, it allows you to easily make certain effects which are either not possible or not very easy to create otherwise. It also makes it possible to create gradient brushes. The Blend tool creates a transition between two or more objects. To have a predictable result, it is a good idea to start with the objects which are the same in terms of the attributes applied to them. For example, to filled objects, to closed puffs with a stroke or to open puffs with a stroke. To blend objects together, select the "Blend tool", and then click on the object one after another. If you want to blend a number of objects into separate blends after you have created the first blend, Command click or Control click in the Windows away from the objects to reset the selection. Then proceed with creating the next blend. If you blend an object with a stroke or open box, click on the puffs and not on the anchor points to blend objects together without any issues. If you want to blend more than two objects together, click on all of them in order you want them to be blended in. You can also create a blend by selecting the objects you want to blend with the Selection tool in using the shortcut, which is Command hold B or Control hold B in the Windows. In this case, the order of objects in the Layers panel will determine in which order they blend with each other, and you can change the order of layers here to control which object is on top. You can also get into the Isolation Mode by double-clicking on the blend and edit the objects here, the usual way. For example, change their colors, resize them, move them around, or rotate them. When you're done editing them, remember to exit the Isolation Mode to be able to work with anything else you have in your document. If you will to release your blend, you can either select your blend and go to the Menu Object, Blend, and select "Release" or use this shortcut or drag that object out of the blend group in the Layers panel. By default, Illustrator creates smooth color blends, and this works well with any objects with a solid fill color. But when you try to blend gradient filled with stroke object, it might not work as well as we need it to. If you don't want this effect, which by the way, is also quite cool, you will need to select the blend you want to edit, switch to the Blend tool, and press "Enter". In this Dialog Window take preview. To see the changes, change the space and the method to Specified Steps, and bump the number up. The maximum number here is 1000, but don't go crazy as this is a lot of data for Illustrator to process. So adjust everything you want here, and click "Okay". If you're blending strokes together, you can also increase stroke weight to avoid having gaps between the blend steps. It might not be possible to completely avoid the gaps or color blending, so you will need to decide yourself whether you can live with it, or carry on adjusting the blend settings and stroke rate until you get a smooth transition. The super cool thing, which is not that obvious about the Blend tool is that you can control the path the blend follows. This path is called a blend spine. You should be able to see it on top inside the blend group. To change the way you blend is formed, you can edit it as you would edit any other puff using the Direct Selection or Pen tool, but that's not all. You can also create your blend spine separately and then replace the existence spine of any blend group. To do this, select the blend group and the new puff, and go to the Menu Object, Blend, and select "Replace Spine". This can allow you to create a lot of interesting designs. But, generally, I advise you to stick to not very long open puffs. If you're dealing with some elaborate puff for your spine, you can also play around with the Orientation settings here, which allows you to either alignment blended objects to page which keeps them as they are, or align them to puff, which rotates them to be perpendicular to the puff every step of the way. If you go to the Blend Menu again, you will find a couple more useful functions. One of them is Reverse Spine, which reverses the order of the objects along the spine. Then there's another option called Reverse Front to Back, which controls which end of the blend is on top. When blending gradient-based objects, be sure to experiment with changing the angle of the gradient in the fills or strokes. Even if you're using just two objects and blending them in a straight line, this will allow you to create different effects. You can create some very cool blends from solid colors from gradient-filled or even gradient-stroked objects like this. Experiment with different shapes and overlapping elements to create some interesting [inaudible] designs. Next, let's check out how you can create opacity masks and use them with gradients to create some interesting effect. 21. Using Gradients in Opacity Masks: Apart from using gradients to create vibrant and colorful things, you can also use them as a opacity masks to create smooth transitions of masked elements in the transparency as opposed to clipping masks which work rip offs, and hence create hard edge masks. Working with opacity masks is a little fiddling. It helps if you have the transparency panel in front of you, as well as the layers, appearance and gradient panels. To create an opacity mask, you need an object you want to put inside the mask and the object which you want to use as a mask. For example, I want to mask this circle filled with free-form gradient and use this other circle filled with the black and white radial gradient as a mask. The same as when we create an irregular clipping mask, the object which you want to use as an opacity mask must be on top of whatever you want to mask. To apply this black and white gradient as a mask to the circle below, let's select both objects and then go to the transparency panel and click on the make mask button here. As soon as you create an opacity mask in the layers panel, two objects will become one. In the transparency panel, you will see the object and the mask thumbnails and you will be able to select one of them at a time. If you don't see these thumbnails, go to the menu in the top right corner of the transparency panel and select show thumbnails. When the objects thumbnail is selected here, you will see its appearance attributes in the appearance panel and you can go and make any adjustments to the usual rate. For example, I can move the points in my free-form gradient like this. On the other hand, if you click on the mask here, you will launch the opacity mask editing mode and will be able to adjust the mask instead. For example, you can switch between different types of your gradients or adjust the gradient properties using the gradient panel or the gradient tool and see how it affects the opacity mask in real time. When you're editing the opacity mask, your layers panel will only shoulder mask object. When you are done editing the mask, you need to click on the object thumbnail in the transparency panel to exit the opacity mask editing mode, and then go back to all layers in the layers panel. The gradient which you use as a mask does not have to be in shades of gray, but it does help to make things clear. Black, little bit transparent. White, will be opaque. The shades of gray in-between will correspond to different levels of transparency. If you use some colors instead, level of transparency will be determined by their intensity in the equivalent shade in gray scale. But my advice is to stick with shades of gray to be able to predictably adjust your masks. Transparency panel bell allows you to invert your mask by checking this box, which can be really cool if you want to quickly try the inverting look. But if you invert your mask, keep in mind that this thumbnail doesn't update. So now everything is in reverse. White is transparent and black is opaque. This can make it a little confusing when you start editing your mask. If the mask you're using doesn't fully cover the elements you're masking, keep clip check here to hide what falls outside the mask. In a way, way is similar to what the clipping mask do. Just in this case, you can also control the actual opacity gradation within the mask. If you want to take your objects out of the mask, click on the release button here and your objects will appear as separate elements. These are the basics of opacity masks. But the fun starts when you begin to experiment with different gradients within your masks and try applying them to different gradient objects. You can also create an opacity mask out of a number of objects. For example, like these gradients strokes puffs. To make it work properly, before you apply the mask, makes sure to group all of the elements you want to use as your opacity mask and then proceed as usual. Sometimes when you apply an opacity mask, we feel attributes of the masked object will disappear, which is incredibly annoying and I'm not sure what causes it. In these situations before you create a mask, I recommend putting the object you want to mask in a group, even if it is just on its own and everything should work just fine. If you want to use overlap and gradient objects as a mask, you will need to use transparent color stops to make these objects blend together. For example, like this. Generally, opacity masks are great for layering elements over each other or over some background. It is a good idea to have something that you want to be behind your masked element ready before you start finalizing your mask. For example, here I have this free-form gradient on a separate layer, which I want to use as a background. Now I can see how these objects blend together and can then go and edit the opacity mask further to create an effect I'm after. I love using opacity masks to imitate translucency of colorful objects, to help shape gradients and blend them with the background and to create colorful glow effects. All of these approaches are rather straightforward when you work out what elements can be mixed together to create different effects and require just a little bit of experimentation and getting used to working with opacity masks. Opacity masks can be created from and applied to objects of any complexity. Consider experimenting with different types of gradient objects, which you can use as opacity masks, layer elements are over each other and see what you can create. Let's hit for experimental and more advanced techniques for creating and using gradients in Illustrator. Next, I will share with you a few of my favorite techniques and approaches for developing and enhancing your gradients and the gradient-based artworks. 22. Recolouring Gradients & Designs: Whether you want to fine-tune the colors in your gradients or create new color iterations off your gradient base designs, in Illustrator, there is a number of tools which make it very easy to edit or replace colors in the existing gradients or artworks, including those which feature multiple gradients. The first method I'm going to show you is very straightforward and relies on having global colors in your gradients if you use global colors in your work. Now, if you modify any of the global color swatches, this color will change in all artworks its been applied to even if they are hidden. It is great when you need to make global change of colors across multiple artworks, and especially if you need to do some minor adjustments to your gradients. When adjusting colors for digital work I prefer to use the HSB color mode and I find it much faster to work with in the context of adjusting the colors and gradients as you can control hue, saturation, and brightness independently from each other. But since here you can also select CMYK color mode using global colors makes it pretty easy to adjust all of the colors used in your work for print in CMYK afterwards. Keep this in mind and we will look into converting RGB artwork into CMYK later in this class. Another method of adjusting colors is a bit more playful and experimental and allows you to change the whole color palette from one place without a lot of effort. Before you do anything to your work, I suggest you make a copy so that you can have variants to choose from and look at how your work develops. Then select a copy of your artwork or gradient using the selection tool and go to the menu "Edit", "Edit Colors," and choose "Recolor Artwork." If you have the "Assign" tab on, you can simply click on the other color groups here and see how new colors are applied to your work. Make sure you have "Recolor Art" ticked here to see the changes. Also, you can go for the colors from your selected color group by clicking on the "Randomly Change Color Order" button until you get the result you like. This can be fun and can allow you to create some unexpected results. Here you can also see which old color is replaced by which new one and you can also sort them around by dragging. The arrow between the old and new colors, means that this old color will be changed. If you click on the arrow you will see a dash instead, and this will turn off the recoloring for this specific color. Pay attention to whether you have arrows or dashes here and change them according to your needs. This is the "Assign" tab. Now, if you click on "Edit," you will see the color wheel, which we briefly looked at before, and you can make further adjustments to your colors by playing around with the settings here. Note that I have got a smooth color wheel set here as it shows the whole array of available colors on the color wheel. These two buttons right under the color wheel allow you to change the wheel from hue and saturation one to hue and brightness one. The slider under allows you to control the remaining setting, which is brightness if you use hue and saturation wheel, and it is saturation if you use hue and brightness wheel. If you want to shift the hue of all colors simultaneously, link harmony colors here and then move the whole range of colors around the wheel. Make sure to drag by the largest circle to be able to change the saturation and brightness of all these colors, as well as their hue. If you drag any other color around to change it's saturation or brightness, this will only change this color and everything else will stay where it is on the color wheel. But if you drag it to change the hue, if you have harmony colors linked, all the colors will follow the hue shift. If you want to edit individual colors you will need to unlink the harmony colors here. You might need this if you want to do some minor hue adjustments of individual colors. Of course, you can adjust the colors using these sliders below. If you like the new set of colors you have created remember that you can save it as a new color group by clicking on the "New Color Group" button here. This way, you can try out and save a number of different color groups which can be used to color your work and very quickly and easily choose between them. Your new color groups will be added to your document swatches only if you apply changes here, and they will be discarded if your cancel the recoloring. When you're ready, click, "Okay." Here is the recolored work. Before you proceed with experimenting with creating more color versions or adjusting the colors further, here is something to keep in mind. The new color groups created using the Recolor Artwork tool might not contain global colors, so after you have created them, it is a good idea to convert them all to global the usual way. Then you will need to replace the colors in your work with the new global color swatches which are not yet applied to this work even though the colors look exactly the same. Again, select your artwork and open their Recolor Artwork window. Here apply the color group which now contains global colors and make sure that each color is replaced with the corresponding global color swatch, and apply changes. Now you can click these global color swatches and the changes you make will affect the design they use them. These are the techniques for adjusting the colors and working with the color swatches used in your gradients. Editing individual colors offers a lot of control over your gradients and makes it easy to make any desired color adjustments. But there is another more experimental way of tweaking colors in your work and that's what we'll be looking at next. 23. Modifying Colours Using Blending Modes: Another way of experimenting this colors in your gradients, is by putting multiple objects over each other and using blending mode to adjust the final look. The first and the easiest trick for adjusting colors in your designs using blending mode is by using solid color or gradient filled shapes, which cover the whole art-board format in blending them with the whole designs. For example, when I was developing this design, I felt like I wanted to make these freeform gradient a little more intense. But I didn't want to spend time adjusting the actual color swatches. Instead, I created the square in the size of the artboard. Filled it with one of the color swatches I use in my design and throwing it over the background, but below the rest of the layers. In this sort of situations, to intensify the colors, I usually use the soft light. Or overlay mode, then control the intensity using the opacity setting of this layer. Then play around with the fill color to achieve the desired effect. In some cases, I can also use a simple linear or radial gradient if I want the colors to be affected differently throughout the design. So these are supplied and overlay modes. If you want the colors to be lighter, try using screen mode. You'll play around with different lighter colors. We'll try and multiply with more intense colors to make your work darker. If you want to experiment even more, you can try out difference, which can give you some fun and unexpected results. Remember that the final look will depend on the colors used in your base design and the colors in the layer you are blending with it. So even if you use something like difference, it can get very different results just by changing the colors of the object you are blending. For example, like here. Another favorite trick of mine is layering copies of the same object, and then playing around with the blending mode and opacity settings to change the look of the colors. Unlike the previous technique, this one also allows to intensify the actual gradients and create more fun transitions, which might not be that easy to nail by editing the color stops and midpoints. In these cases, I usually use soft light and overlay modes, for example, like here. So these two techniques allow you to adjust hue saturation and brightness of colors in your gradients, pretty much in a few clicks, which makes them super-useful for creating design iterations, or making color adjustments without touching the actual designs. But you can also take advantage of the blending modes to create some fun coloring effect. That's what we're going to look at next. 24. Adding Selective Colouring Effects: A super useful trick for adding some exciting coloring and lighting effects to your designs is using fading out gradients, either radial, free-form, or gradient meshes with the transparency at the edges and blending them with certain parts in your designs. I often use this technique to add highlights instead of blending the mode to screen. I use either white color or slightly off-white tints. For example, like here. You can also use this technique to add an additional pop of color in certain parts of your designs without modifying the actual objects below. In this case, you can explore different colors and blending modes to create the desired effect. This technique of using fading out gradients is particularly useful when you are already working with some gradient objects but want to add an extra touch or alter the transition without changing the structure and color stops in the original gradient objects below, but when you simply cannot achieve the desired look by modifying the color stops in the base object. For example, this design is pretty much based on blending modes and fading out gradients as you can see from the layer structure here. I'm not sure if it would be very easy to recreate the same look using other methods, for example, by using some free-form gradients, but this was a super-fast and easy experiment in the days before the free-form gradients existed. This design is still one of my favorites from the whole series. Experiment, go a little crazy with layering and blending different fading out gradients over your designs and see what unexpected staff you come up with. You can also use the blending modes and additional gradient elements to create more complex coloring affects and that's what we'll be looking at next. 25. Creating Complex Colouring Effects: A slightly more complex technique is using clipping masks and blending reform gradients or gradient meshes with other gradient-based objects which have a [inaudible] particularly with blends or gradient field objects like here. Start by creating a desired blend using the techniques I have shared previously and use black to our ingredients to create the effect of volume and shading. Then create a copy of your blend, select it, and go of the menu "Object", "Blend", and select ''Expand'', then assign some solid hill color to the blend results, and go to the Pathfinder panel and click on the unite button here. You should see a path in the shape of your blend in the Layers panel. If it is above your original blend, drag it just below the blend group. Now, create or bring in the gradient you want to use for coloring. For example, I have this free-form gradient here. Place it below this puff, then select them both, and press them on seven or control seven in the Windows to create a clipping mask. Now, go to your blend group, set it's blended mode to overlay, and here you have it. Now, you can position the gradient you useful coloring within the clipping mask to have a desired spread of colors. But when you do so, make sure you don't move your clipping path in relation to the blend group. This is a super fun technique which I often use in my work to create a playful color and effects. Don't hesitate to give it a go and remember that you can use a number of separate objects and compose them together but be careful not to create something too complex which your computer or illustrator wouldn't be able to handle. Save your file or even back it up before you start, just in case. Whilst I like using these other off layers and combination of elements, blending modes, and the colors in the base gradient object, this isn't the only way of doing something like this. If you're feeling experimental, try using different colors in your base object and try blending it with the colorful gradients using different blending modes and see what you come up with. These are a few more techniques for playing around with colors so experiment and have fun developing your gradient-based designs. Next, let's have a look at how you can overcome unwanted fuzziness and make your gradients smoother. 26. Blurring Gradients: Sometimes, you try your best to create smooth gradients, but for some reason, they're not as smooth as you want them to be. Usually, this happens to me when I'm using the free form gradients or gradient meshes, and the easiest way to solve this issue is by blurring the problematic gradient. For example, here, I have a group with a distorted gradient mesh and a couple of faded out gradients and whilst it is okay, I would love it to be a little smoother. Let's create a copy of this group. Then having the top new group selected, go to the menu effect, blur. Well, there is a couple of effects you can use for blurring your gradients, I find the Gaussian Blur, they ought to achieve the smoothest results even though it requires a couple of extra steps after applying the effect. I will show you a workflow which I usually used but if you want, you can also try using the Smart Blur and see what works for you. Let's select Gaussian Blur here. This effect is quite straightforward and I find it to be a little easier for Illustrator to handle and there is only one setting here which is the blur radius. Let's check preview here and try out different radius values. There is no prescribed size and it will depend on your particular design. For this object, 75 pixels look quite good. Let's press "Okay" to apply changes. In here, it is looking much smoother. If you need to change the blur settings later, select your blurred object and go to the appearance panel. Here is your effect, and you can edit it by double-clicking on its name, or hide it, or remove it altogether. After applying the blur effect, if your gradient object had hard edges, you will see the edges of your object blurred and the blur will spread outside the original object's boundaries. The reason why I kept a copy of this group below is because it allows to bring back the hard edges. If I turn these not blurred group off, you will see that the object just softly spreads out. Having the original with the hard edges helps to firstly keep the shape intact as your blurred shape will just blend with the not blurred one below. Secondly, you can use another copy of the original object to mask out everything which falls outside the shape. Since I'm blurring the group, I need to create a copy of this distortion gradient mesh here because it defines the overall shape, and put it above the other two groups. Now, because I am dealing with the gradient mesh, I cannot create a clipping mask out of it. But here's a trick. Let's select it, fill it with a solid white color, and then go to the layers panel and add the blurred group to the selection by shift clicking on it. Now, having this object and the group selected, I need to go to the transparency panel and create an opacity mask the same way as I have shown earlier in this class. That's it. Now, my blurred group is masked and has hard edges, and together with the not blurred group below, creates a smooth gradient objects without any transparency in it. Because I'm working with a gradient mesh and have a group of objects, this example is somewhat extreme. If you're dealing with normal shapes, you can just create clipping masks out of them instead. But keep in mind this technique of using opacity masks if you're working with distorted gradient meshes or objects created using the Blends Tool. This might seem a complicated process and if you want, by all means, try using the Smart Blur instead which allows to keep the edges of the objects unblurred. But I find that it usually takes much longer for Illustrator to process the Smart Blur effect in comparison to the Gaussian Blur, and it is faster to create a mask instead. Blurring gradients is a useful technique, but not something which has to be done to every design. Keep it in mind for situations when you really need to make your gradients smoother and cannot achieve the look any other way. In most cases, texture in your gradients is enough to conceal some small graphic issues and this is what we're going to look at next. 27. Texturing Gradients & Designs: It didn't grain to the gradients can make it easier to reproduce them in print, and if you're using your gradients on screen texture can add a different fill to them and also help to avoid visible color banding. There are a few different ways you can add grain to your work directly in illustrator, and in this part, I will share a few of my favorite methods for texture and entire gradient-based designs, as well as separate gradient elements. The first method of texture in your whole design involves applying the grain effected as a group. I'll start by selecting all of the elements in your design and group them together. Then having this group selected, go to the menu effect, texture, and select grain. This will open this window in which you can set up the grain effect. You can see how it looks in the preview here, and you can zoom in and out to get closer to your intended real size view. Grain effect has a few different controls. The first one to set is contrast, as it controls the overall tone of the image. Best keep it set to 50 percent to keep the contrast in the image as it is. If you decide to change it, be sure to check the whole image and make sure that there are no color bands created by your contrast settings. I will set it to 50 percent. Then there is the intensity setting which controls the amount of grain edit to your image. It is pretty straightforward and you can tweak it and check the preview until you get the desired look, and most importantly, in this menu here, you can choose between different grain types. I recommend using the regular. Also, if you want to have a regular color grain or noise or sprinkles if you want to create your own look. When you change the grain type, make sure to adjust the intensity accordingly. There are other grain types here but these three on top are my favorites when it comes to texturing gradients this way. You can toggle the visibility of the effect here to quickly see the before and after, and when you're happy with your grain, press "OK" here to apply this effect. Now, if you go to the appearance panel you will see the grain effect. Add it to the group's appearance attributes, and as with all other appearance attributes, you can revisit its settings by clicking here. If your grain looks too big, chip the roster effect settings of your document. To do this, go to the Effect menu and click on "Document Raster Effects Settings", and in this window set the resolution to 300 DPI. If it is set to 300 DPI but the grain still looks too big, this is due to the size of your design. My one here is 2,000 by 2,000 pixels. The grain is relatively small. If your grain is too big go to the Transform panel, check "Scale Strokes & Effects", and scale corners if you're using any. You do not distort any design elements, and then scale your whole design up until the grain is proportionally right. Applying grain for the group design as a whole is great when you're working with colorful gradients and want to preserve their look as much as possible. The only downside of this approach is that they drastically increases the file size and can take a while for illustrator to process. But we do need some grain. Here's an alternative method which results in smaller file sizes. Let's quickly ungroup this design and since the grain effect was applied to the group now it has been discarded. Now, let's create a new layer above our design and create a rectangle in the size of our design. Next, we need to set the stroke to none, and let's set fill to some dark shade of gray. For example, like this, using this standard color swatch. Then keeping just these rectangles selected, let's go to the menu effect, texture, and again, choose grain. In this case, in grain type, you will need to choose stippled. Keep contrast set to 50, and set the intensity to 10 for now. But you can revisit this setting later if necessary. That's our grain setup, and then we can apply the effect. After the grain has been rendered, we need to change the blending mode of this rectangle. I usually set it to overlay or soft light, and then turn down the opacity for about 45 percent, for example, like this, and here we go. Now you can control the amount of grain by changing the fill color of this rectangle, or you can go and change the intensity of the grain effect as well, which will give you even more control over the look of your texture. So while this grain might not be as complex or as subtle as the grain applied to the group it still does the job and makes the design look more textured, and here is the comparison of the file sizes of this design textured using these two methods, and that's a huge difference. Since now you can see the pros and cons of both methods, you can choose whichever one works best for you in each particular case. These are the techniques for texturing your overall designs. But you can also use either of them to texture individual elements and even vary the amount or type of grain between them. If you want to add the grain to an element as it is apply directly to the object using the first method I've shared in the beginning of this part, and this is pretty straightforward. On the other hand, using the second method is a more laborious and advanced technique, but it can allow you to create some really fun effects especially if you're working with elements which have some transparency in them. For example, here's a pretty basic fading out gradient. In order to texture it let's start by duplicating this object and then select its copy and go and apply the grain effect to it. Set the grain type to "Stippled", and let's not worry about these settings for now, and just apply the effect. Now you can simply change the blending mode and the opacity of this object to achieve the desired effect as I have shown earlier. Or what can be even more exciting keep it as it is, and instead, select this object and the original one below and create an opacity mask out of this grain object. Now the gradient below is only visible for the grain, and this creates a pretty fun graphical look. Depending on the colors in your original gradient and the intensity of the grain, you might want to invert the mask or adjust the colors in the gradient, which has the grain effect applied to it. Or change the intensity of the grain effect. Using this technique, you can create some fun grainy gradients and layer them over each other. Just bear in mind that applying grain effect to multiple elements in your work will slow down your workflow because it takes a while to process the changes you make, and it also increases the file size. These are the different techniques for developing and enhancing your gradients and gradient- based designs, and you can mix them with each other when finalizing your gradient-based artworks. Be sure to give them a go. And next, let's have a look at creating different kinds of gradient assets for speeding up your workflow, or for sharing them with the world. 28. Gradient Assets: Introduction: Having a range of graphic assets at hand is super useful for trying different things out and it allows you to recreate elements which you tend to use in your work in no time. Generally helps to get started and it get things done easier and faster. When it comes to gradients, the assets you can create include color and gradient swatches, gradient brushes and graphic styles. All of these you can create and use yourself or share them with friends, or even sell as digital products. Let's start with some tips and tricks for creating and managing gradient swatches. 29. Creating & Managing Gradient Swatches: In the beginning of the class, we have created some color swatches to make it easier to use different colors and gradients. In a similar way the solid color swatches, you can create gradient swatches to be able to quickly add fill or straw gradients to the elements in your artwork. Gradient swatches can be created from linear and radial gradients set up for the gradient panel, but they cannot be based on the free-form gradient. They only contain color information but don't take into account position, angle, or aspect ratio of the gradient specified as the gradient too. These attributes as well as the free-form gradients can be saved and recreated using the graphic styles which we will look at in the next part. But nevertheless, straightforward gradient swatches are probably the most commonly used gradient assets. To create a gradient swatch from an object which has a gradient field or a gradient stroke applied to it, select this object with the selection tool and make sure that in the Tools panel, the attributes which has a gradient applied to it is on top. Then go to the Swatches panel and click on the news radio button here. Give your swatch a name and click "Okay". The gradient swatch will be added to the main swatches here. You can now apply it to any field of strokes. If you have a habit of creating swatches by dragging objects into the Swatches panel, it won't work with gradient as this will create a pattern swatch and not the gradient swatch. To easily create multiple color versions of your gradients swatches, you can create a shape with the base swatch applied to it, and then use the recall artwork tool and any other recoloring techniques I've shared with you earlier in this class. For example, switch between different colors from your chosen color group. Then when you apply the recoloring changes to your shape which had an existing gradient swatch applied to it, and your swatch will automatically added to your swatches panel. This will also work if you have multiple gradient swatches applied to your design and then recolor it within the recolor artwork tool. By recoloring artwork with existing color swatches, you can very quickly create a range of gradient swatches which follow the same principle but use different colors. Gradient swatches are not exchangeable between different apps. Even if you add a gradient to your Creative Cloud library, it will only add it as a graphic and not as a gradient swatch. Sometimes, this is useful, but it is always better to save both gradient swatches and the colors used in them in the same swatch library. To save a swatch library, first, remove any swatches you don't want to appear in your new library. Then go to this menu in the top right corner of the Swatches panel and either select Save Swatch Library as AI if you plan to use it only in Illustrator, or select Save Swatch Library as ASE if you want to be able to use colors from your library in other Adobe programs. Give your swatch library a name and click "Save". If you don't specify otherwise, your swatch library will be saved within the Illustrator folder. To load it in future, you can go to the same menu, select "Open Swatch Library", and find it in the user-defined section here. To make it easier to find your swatch file and to be able to share it without going into the depths of Adobe libraries consider saving a backup copy elsewhere. For example, I saved my swatches to a folder on the Creative Cloud, which makes it super easy to find the swatches, and that's how Dominic and I share our swatches between our various devices. Consider creating a number of gradient swatches and save them as a new swatch library and have fun using them in your work. This swatch created from a gradient fill and a gradient stroke which have the same type and gradient slider settings will look exactly the same and no other properties will be carried through via the gradient swatch. If you want to be able to replicate more advanced gradient settings such as gradient position, angle, and scale of hill gradients or different types of straw gradients, you will need to use graphic styles instead. That's what we'll be looking at next. 30. Creating Graphic Styles: Apart from creating basic gradient swatches, you can save all of the appearance settings of your gradient field or stroke objects as graphic styles, which can include multiple fills, multiple strokes, and freeform gradient fills. Graphic styles are kept in the Graphic Styles panel, which you can open through the Window menu. To add a new graphic style to the Graphic Styles panel, simply select the object with the desired appearance attributes, and click on the new graphic style button in the Graphic Styles panel. This will take all of the appearance attributes you can see in the appearance panel as well as all of the specific gradient settings and put them in a style, which now can be applied to any other object. To apply a graphic style, select the object you want to apply it to and select desired graphic style here. This will replace the appearance attribute of the object plus the attributes saved in the graphic style. Alternatively, if you Alt-click on the graphic style here, it will merge the attributes saved as a graphic style because they exist in appearance attributes of the selected object. You can add extra attributes, for example, a grain effect on top of everything else you have here. To quickly create different color versions of your gradient styles, recolor objects with the desired base styles using the recolor artwork tool, just as I have shown you in regard to the gradient swatches. Although unlike when recoloring swatches, when you apply changes, a new style won't be automatically added to a Graphic Styles panel, so you will need to add each new style manually instead. To use the styles you have created later on in other projects or to share them, you will need to save your graphic style as a separate library. Again, remove any styles which you don't want to be in your new library and go to the menu here. The same is with the swatches, save your graphic style library in the Illustrator folder and keep a backup somewhere else. To load your graphic styles in future, go to this menu, select Open Graphics Style Library, and find your library on the list in the User Defined section or elsewhere on your computer. Consider creating a number of graphic styles based on your experiments, especially if they involve multiple fills, multiple strokes, and effect. As they will save you a lot of time, and will make it super easy to recreate certain effects and appearances. You can see an example of how I use graphic styles to speed up my workflow and quickly create a range of different straw gradient elements in the bonus timelapse process video at the end of this class. Next, I will share with you a technique for creating gradient brushes and a few tips for using them in your work. 31. Creating Gradient Brushes: Gradient brushes are another type of gradient assets, and you can use them to style strokes in your designs, either if you don't have access to the stroke gradient feature or if you're into a more painting like approach, not to be able to quickly fill your composition with gradient strokes. You can create gradient brushes with gradient along and across the stroke, and it start with the former. Gradient brushes are built upon smooth blends between shapes in different colors. To create a gradient brush, you will need to start by creating two or more shapes filled with solid colors. I will be using these ones here, and you can download this file from the class resources to quickly get started with your brushes. To create brush strokes with round end, you will need to use circles. To have square ends or to be able to use your brush on closed paths, you will need to use squares. Importantly, make sure that all objects are of the same size, and keep them at one pixel, one point or one millimeter, depending on the units you're using. You need to be zoomed in quite a bit to be able to see everything. Align your shapes with each other horizontally, then create a blend between them, and make sure it is set to smooth color. If necessary, play around with the colors or replace them with your swatches to create a desired gradient. When you're happy with the gradient created in your blend, or in the brush panel. If it is not in your workspace, you can find it in the Window menu. Then drag your blend into this panel. Release your mouse button when the plus sign appears. In this menu, which will pop up, select "Art Brush", and click "Okay". There are the brush options window. Select "Stretch to Fit Stroke Length". Set direction two along the path, left to right. In the options here, select adjust corners and fold to prevent overlaps. You don't need to do anything else with the rest of the settings, but you can check them out yourself if you want. Now, let's click "Okay" to create this brush. After creating a brush, you can create any path, and apply your brush to it. The stroke weight can be now controlled using the Stroke panel the usual way. If you had one pixel, one point or one millimeter objects in your blend, the stroke weight of the brush will correspond to what you specify here. To create a brush with a gradient across stroke, you will need to create a vertical gradient by blending two or more rectangles, all n segments together, for example, like these ones here. Then drive this blend to the brush panel, and repeat the same steps. Make sure that if the colors in your gradient change vertically, the direction of the brush here is set to left to right. This is your gradient brush with the gradient across stroke. You can apply it to any strokes, but bear in mind that if you have overlapping strokes, you will get this effect, which might not be ideal. Once you have set up a few different blends to be used as a basis for your gradient brushes, you can create a number of gradient brushes in different colors. To do this, change the colors of the objects, harmony of blends, using your color swatches, or using the Recolor Artwork tool. Then create a new brush from each version. In comparison to the straw gradients which we looked at early in this class. When you use brushes, you cannot fully utilize all of the options available in the Stroke panel, a part from the stroke weight and stroke profile. For example, you cannot use the dashed lines properly, as Illustrator treats every part of the brush stroke as a separate object to color. Also, you cannot change the cap style using these settings as the ends of your brush strokes are determined by the shapes in the blend which your brush is based upon. Even if you change the style here, nothing will happen. For this reason, for each gradient, I usually create two brushes, one based on circles so I can have round cups, and one based on squares to imitate butt cups and to be able to use my brushes with closed paths. If you're creating brushes based on circles and want to have perfect round cups instead of stretched or squashed ones like this, you can also go to your brush settings, and instead of Stretch to Fit Stroke Length here, select Stretch Between Guides. Then move the guides a little inward on both sides beyond the point where the brush stroke go into the semi-circles like this. Click "Okay", and if your brush is already being used, select "Apply to Strokes" to update the rough appearance in the existing artwork. Generally, brushes like this are best used with open paths. With closed paths, you might get something like this instead. But again, with a bit of trickery, you can shave the endpoints from the corners and make your gradient brush follow the shape properly. To do this, select the Pen tool and add a new point somewhere in the middle of any segment, furthest away from any kinks or changes of direction. Then keep the direct selection tool. Select this point on the path and catch your path at this anchor point. Then select your object for the selection tool and press Command J or Control J in Windows to close the path, and here you have it. It is the same principle as the one I have shown earlier in the part about creating gradients along stroke. If you want to have a loop gradient, you will need to create a gradient art brush, which has the same colors in both ends, for example, like this. If you're after simple-stroked paths, and just use gradient brushes as a workaround, you can use any drawing tools of your choice, such as pen, pencil, or paint brush, or apply brushes to shapes. But the fun starts when you use the paint brush tool and set up your gradient brush together with a stroke weight, and most importantly, stroke profile. Once you set up your brush stroke settings, all the following brush strokes will be created in the same style until you change the brush stroke settings. This way, you can quickly and easily draw a lot of custom strokes or the desired weight and shapes. This is pretty much the only way I use gradient brushes, and you can watch how I use gradient brushes to create this illustration in the bonus video at the end of this class. To save a set of your gradient brushes as a library, start by selecting and deleting in the standard brushes you don't want to include in your library. Then go to the menu in the top right corner of the Brushes panel, and select "Save Brush Library". As usual, give your brush library a name, and click "Save". The same as it was the swatches and gradient styles, save your brushes with an Illustrator folder to have quick access to them while this menu and the User Defined section, and save them somewhere else for sharing. That's it for creating different kinds of gradient assets. Next, we can move on to tips for exporting your gradient designs, for use on screen and in print. 32. Preparing Your Work for Output: Whereas, technically, in Illustrator, you can work anywhere on the page board when experimenting. When it comes to preparing your work for output, you need to make sure that the artwork or design you want to export is placed on an artboard of the appropriate size to fit it. You can adjust your artboard settings using the artboard tool, and change its size or position in the control panel here. To make sure that everything exports correctly, make sure that your artboard does not contain any decimal values in its size or position it fills. If you have made made changes to your artboard size or position, resize your design accordingly and realign it to the artboard so it is placed correctly, and if required, covers the whole format, for example, like here. When this is done, be sure to save the AI document containing your final work. Then dependent on what you want to do with your design next, you can export it in a few different ways. Let's start with a few tips for experts in your work for digital use and print in RGB. 33. Saving Your Work in RGB: To export your work for digital use or for print via print and demand services which accept files in RGB, go to the menu File, Export, Export As, in the Export dialogue, choose where you want your work to be saved, and give your file a descriptive name here. Then set format to either JPEG if you want to create smaller files for sharing online, or PNG if you want to have better image quality, or use some transparency in your design. Then select Artboard you want to export. Even if you just have one Artboard in your document, you still need to specify the Artboard number here. When ready, click "Export" to continue. If you're exporting a JPEG, in the next Options window, select RGB color mode, set quality to maximum if you're exporting for print or for high-quality digital use, and choose the desired resolution. I usually export everything at 300 DPI to begin with, to have high resolution print ready RGB files at hand, and then resize these raster files in Photoshop to share them online. Exporting a 300 DPI takes much longer and produces considerably larger files. If you want to export your work and quickly upload it online, you can choose 72 DPI instead. If you want to export your work at 72 DPI and share it on social media or in your Skillshare project, make sure that the size of your Artboard and design is at least 1200 pixels on its shorter side to avoid it getting resized and pixelated upon uploading. After you have set the desired resolution, make sure to select Art Optimized anti-aliasing to export smooth gradients and avoid heavy, rough edges, gaps between the parts and other graphic artifacts. Embed the standard as RGB profile to ensure that your colors will be displayed correctly. If you're exporting a PNG, select the desired resolution. Also set anti-aliasing to Art Optimized and set the background color to Transparent if there are any transparent or not 100 percent opaque areas in your design. When ready, click "OK" to export your work. You're all set for sharing your work online. We'll send it into print in RGB. Next, let's have a look at converting your gradient designs for print in CMYK. 34. Converting to CMYK & Saving Your Work for Print: Using gradients in work footprint has always been frowned upon by print technicians as we believed the gradients don't print well. Of course, it depends on the equipment, but it also hugely depends on all the gradients you use in your work which we have already covered. If you have been working in RGB, now, it is time to save a copy of your document so you don't make any changes to your original file in RGB. Then convert this copy to CMYK by going to the menu File, Document Color Mode, and choosing CMYK. At this point, you might notice all your colors getting dimmer. This is normal. If you have used global colors in your work, which you should have, now, you can go through them and adjust them if necessary. Double-click on the color you want to edit and in the Swatch Options window, choose CMYK mode. Then go and adjust the values here. Remember that what you see on your screen is not necessarily how your work will look when printed. So whenever possible, contact your print shop and produce test prints, especially if you're running a large print firm. Go through all of the colors used in your document which need adjusting. If you have a Color Guide, for example, a Pantone color bridge, you can reference it for the specific CMYK values for your desired colors. When ready, go to the menu File, Export, Export As, and set format to TIFF as the rasterize in gradients stand a better chance of being printed well. Again, select the artwork you want to export and click "Export". In the next window, set color model to CMYK and the resolution to 300 ppi. Then make sure that you have art optimize anti-aliasing selected here. Check LZW compression if you want to produce smaller files. If you have installed and use the color profile used by your printer, you will be able to embed it here. Alternatively, embed the standard profile, [inaudible] unchecked, and talk to your print shop. Press "Okay" and you're done. 35. Final Thoughts & Conclusion: Gradients can be applied to so many different elements in all kinds of designs, illustrations, and artworks. I cannot wait to see how you decide to use them in your work. Since Gradients are all about the colors, explore how different colors work together and play off each other. Remember all of the technical rules for creating good Gradients which I have covered in the very beginning of this class. You don't necessarily need to create super bright Gradients. There are plenty of other options depending on what effect you want to achieve. Experiment in checkout my Gradients board on Pinterest for inspiration. Also, don't hesitate to check out my Gradients studies projects on Behance to see all my Gradient designs in detail. I love using Gradients in combination with geometric shapes. If you, too, love geometric designs, be sure to check out my other class, Mastering Illustrator Tools and Techniques For Creating Geometric Grid-based Designs. I will be super excited to see your Gradient experiments in the project for this class. Be sure to share your work in the Project and Resources tab here. If you are going to share your work on Instagram, please tag us @attitudecreative and use the #attitudeskills hashtag, so we can easily find your post. That's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new. If you found this course helpful, please leave a review so more people could discover it. Be sure to follow us here on Skillshare to be the first to know about our new classes, updates, and announcements. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the Discussions tab for this class, and I will happily answer and provide feedback. Don't hesitate to check out in full our page on Facebook to see what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages. If you need to get in touch about something, [inaudible] give you a feature in our student's portrait gallery. Thank you for watching this class, and I hope to see you in our other classes. 36. Bonus: Making of Layered Organic Design: 37. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Gradient Brushes: 38. Bonus: Making of Vector Illustration with Fill & Stroke Gradients: