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4.6 Define and Edit Gradients

In a previous lesson you learned how to apply gradients, and in this lesson you’ll discover the two methods of defining and editing gradients.

4.6 Define and Edit Gradients

Hi and welcome back to Affinity Designer Quick Start. In a previous lesson, you learned how you can apply gradients to fills and strokes. In this lesson you'll learn how you can actually define and edit those gradients. So we'll begin with a shape that we can apply a gradient to. And you'll recall that you can add a gradient either up here in the Context menu by choosing Gradient. And you'll notice that you don't immediately have the gradient come up here. If you want to apply a gradient this way, just change the type of gradient, and then you'll see your gradient appearing. And the other way that you can apply a gradient is with the fill tool. So choose the type of gradient that you want to use, and then draw out the gradient in the direction that you want to have it appear. Now one of the easiest ways to start editing your gradient is through the fill tool. Editing a gradient through this fill tool is kind of similar to editing curves. If you place your cursor anywhere along this line, you'll be able to add an extra stop in your gradient. So just hit there. And now we have an extra stop in our gradient. And you can change the color of that stop up here in the color wheel. So I can do the same thing down here, add a different color. And I can also change the color right down at the end. And you'll also notice we have these little horizontal lines, and these will affect the distribution of the color. By default, this little horizontal line will be exactly halfway between the color stops, and that means that the color will be evenly distributed in between these two stubs. But if you want to have more of a certain color at one end, then you can drag these stops. To change the way that the color falls. And this is great for creating different types of lighting effects. So just like you add color stops in the same way that you add nodes to a curve, by finding a spot on the line and clicking it, you also delete color stops in the same way that you delete nodes on a curve. So you just select the stuff that you wanna get rid of and hit the Delete button. So that covers how you edit your gradients using the gradient fill tool, but you can also use the Context menu, just like when we were working with flat fill colors earlier. So the same principles apply here. You have your stops, and you have these little lines in between that control the distribution of color. The difference is, when you wanna add a stop in here, select the stop to the left of where you wanna add in a stop and hit the Insert button. And generally speaking, the reason that you would work with this panel instead of the fill tool is if you wanna be able to manually insert your mid-point values and the positions of your gradient stops or if you're working with a fill that's too small and too fiddly to really effectively use the gradient tool directly on the canvas. So another thing to just talk about quickly is when we're using a different type of gradient to the linear gradient, so we're using an elliptical gradient, you have this extra handle that shows up here, and you can use this extra handle to rotate and change the shape of your gradient. And that can be great for things like creating lighting effects on curved surfaces. You can use this handle to make your gradient line up with the curvature of a shape that you have created. And just like with flat fill colors, at any point in this gradient you can add noise into your gradient. So over here in the color panel, you have a slider down the bottom. By default, that slider controls opacity. But if you tap this button here, it will switch to noise. And then you'll be able to add noise into your gradient. You can do the same thing with the Context menu. So choose a stop. And here, opacity settings are controlled in this slider. But if you wanna add noise, tap the color, and then your noise slider is down the bottom. So that's all the essentials of creating and editing gradients in Affinity Designer. In the next lesson, we're gonna learn how to work with Affinity Designer's transparency tool, which is actually a great deal like the gradient tool. I'll see you there.

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