Vector Gradient Fills: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at | WebReference

Vector Gradient Fills: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at

Vector Gradient Fills: Two Choices for Gradient Effects

Gradient fills, like the top sample are quick and easy in vector programs. You also have the option to blend objects as shown in the bottom graphic. Combine two or more shapes to create dynamic effects with a few mouse clicks.


In the first part of our discussion about gradient fills, Color Power with Gradient Fills, we looked only at raster programs. This time, we are focusing on gradient fills in Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand. In some ways, gradient fills are very similar for vector and raster programs, but vectors offer more options to achieve the gradient look. In most cases, you not only have the familiar gradient fill for objects, but also the ability to blend two objects together. We will not be able to look at all the possibilities for blends, since that subject would fill an entire tutorial and then some. However, I did want to introduce the concept of using blends as we talked about gradients, since the effect is similar

The samples at the left show a standard gradient fill in the star, and a blend from a blue circle to a yellow star in the lower sample. If you have not used object blends, the possibilities should come rushing at you. Any object can be blended with any other, or many others. You can even choose which points on one object should blend with another for total control.

Before you begin, if you have not already read the first part of this series, please read the introduction to Color Power with Gradient Fills.

In part one, we looked at solutions to banding, or lines of color appearing where smooth transitions should be. Adding noise or applying a blur filter can help when working in raster programs, but these effects are not possible with vector graphics. You can rasterize the object in the vector program, but the effects tools do not equal the power of a raster program like Photoshop. If you have a problem with banding, it is often most efficient to create your object in the vector program and optimize it in a raster program. For many gradient fills or blends, this will not be necessary, but it is an option when the vector export controls do not deliver the quality you require for Web graphics.

With that caution presented, let's see what your vector program can do for you.


Wendy Peck is a working Web designer and writer living in NW Ontario, Canada.


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Vector Gradient Fills Tutorial Index

Vector Gradient Fills Start
Illustrator Gradient Fills
Illustrator Gradient Fill Text and Blends
Freehand Gradient Fills
Freehand Blends

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Created: June 25, 2000
Revised: June 25, 2000