The Photoshop selections tools are fundamental for design control. Having the right tool at your disposal can give you a huge advantage. You can duplicate effects and isolate and blend different parts your design or image to produce the desired ‘total’ effect. Using other tools to create designs and effects becomes fairly easy once you have made your selection. The general conception among people is that selections are a way to copy, imitate or mask parts of the whole design. But learning more about the various editing options helps us understand that selections are really an integral part of the entire process of designing.
Try this for a start. Select a selection tool to apply to your drawing. Choose a paint bucket and incorporate it into the selected area. There you go. Your drawing now has a brand new shape. (This action would have ordinarily required us to make a fresh layer, and do this exercise discretely on a separate layer before proceeding with the rest of the design.)
Let’s try another one. Create a fresh layer and a corresponding fresh selection area. Now choose the gradient tool with the paint bucket. The default gradient option based on the color of your foreground is displayed on the main menu. Now, to apply the gradient, click the mouse on a spot outside the boundary of your selected area. Then choose another spot right across from this first spot, also outside your selection area. This will apply a gradient across the area you selected and the gradient will be based on the foreground color you’ve chosen. In case you wish to apply the gradient to a section of your selection area and not the whole, repeat the same process except make sure the two spots are inside the selection area.
The best way to learn to apply gradients is to play around with the tools to see how they work. The above mentioned process is a good way to experiment with applying gradients from left to right and top to bottom of any shape or design. You can also cover up your selection area completely with the gradient or just add a hint of an effect to the sides and corners. Be creative with the way you apply your gradient. Trying out new ways of starting and ending your application can help you come up with exciting new patterns and effects. You can also create color highlights or saturate color and effects in the middle of your design.
There is a whole lot more to gradient application besides these options. What we have discussed so far only constitutes placement options of the default gradient. There is a bunch of other exciting gradient presets beside the gradient menu. These presets consist of a combination of different color tones. Place your mouse over the gradients to know their names and color blend information. Try one to see how it enhances your design. The copper gradient is a cool option. It adds a lustrous coppery gradient to your design.
Options for gradient application are available on the right of gradient color display. The options are radial, linear, angle, diamond and reflected. You can experiment with them to know their functions. The angle gradient for instance lends dimension and a touch of depth to your application. The radial feature creates a circular gradient effect which you need to define with the center of your circle and outermost point. The linear option is for applying a smooth gradient in the direction of your first and last
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