Getting complex gradients in Photoshop

Please take a look at this question (answer courtesy of (D Brugge) and let me know exactly how the gradient of the mushroom was created in Photoshop.


John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAsked:
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David BruggeCommented:
Start by looking at some of these videos. They do a good job, IMHO, of illustrating the concept of masking and layers.

These guys don't have the advantages that you have by working in Photoshop. They have to paint their blends, then use a can lid to place on top and paint a "mask" With Photoshop, you can start with a mask.

From your questions in the Illustrator area, I know that you have drawing shapes with the pen tool down pretty good. On a new layer, draw a mushroom top with the pen tool (make sure the paths option is selected) and convert it into a selection (Ctrl+Enter) then click the "Add Layer Mask" icon at the bottom of the Layers Pallet.

A layer mask thumbnail will appear on the active layer in the layers pallet and it will be active. This means that you can paint on this mask to edit it (or mess it up) so click on the other thumbnail to be able to paint on the canvas.

Then select a large soft edged brush and start to paint. You will see that your paint doesn't show past the edge of the mask, just like spray painting with a stencil.

Try your hand at shading the outside edges. You can also use the burn and the dodge tools to lighten and darken areas. If you want to start over, select all (Ctrl+A) and hit Backspace. The mask will stay in place and you have a clean layer.

I'll check back with you.

If it's just how to do the gradient you're after, I'd do the following:

1) Select the gradient tool in Photoshop
2) Click the gradient preview at the top to edit the gradient
3) Set the colour on the left to the dull red black as on the mushroom
4) Set the colour on the right as the light blue as on the mushroom
5) Click ok, and of the 5 different gradient type icons, choose the Radial Gradient (Second from the left)
6) Click and hold in the area where you want the dull red to be, drag it out, and release. This'll probably take a few attempts to get right.

Hope that helps?
Between the 2 of us, I'd listed to David!
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John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Thanks, David (And thank you to you too, Bobeo). I'll take a look at the videos and try to follow your steps later today.

David BruggeCommented:
Hi Bobeo,

I had the advantage of working on this problem before as part of another question. I asked gabrielPennyback to post this as a new question so that there could be more input from other experts.

Please stay tuned and post any suggestion that you might have.

I sometimes get stuck in the way I do things and it's always good to have a fresh look at my approach.

And as my wife will point out, sometimes I'm just plain wrong.

Hehe! Cheers David. Will do!
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
my wife too ... always with good reason.
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