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Nonlinear gradients

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  #1  
Old 10-12-2004, 12:14 AM
oxfordian32000 oxfordian32000 is offline
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Nonlinear gradients

I have been introducting myself to gradients to help overlay textures from one layer to another. I use a radial gradient on a texture image, with a layer mask, to give contour to another image. The radial gradient starts from opaque at the center of the overlaid image, and goes to transparent at its edges.

The effect would be much improved if I had control of the "decay" of the gradient. The linear progression of the standard gradient causes too much of the image to be faded. I'd like to be able to control the fadeout -- ideally by manipulating a curve that represents the gradient's progress. Is there a plugin, or a combination of standard techniques, that works along those lines?
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Old 10-12-2004, 01:11 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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I am not sure I really understand what you are doing, but if I caught the gist of it here are three ideas for you ...

Idea 1) After making the gradiant (I am assuming on a layer mask?), with the mask selected do control-m to do a dirrect curve adjustment on the mask. Play with the curve, you will find that you can change the gradient in the way that you want to.

Idea 2) Put your gradiented mask or whatever you are doing in a set, create a new mask with the set selected so that you are masking the set. Use grdient on the new set mask to 'double mask' so that you get your transistion that is not linear.

Idea 3) Open the Gradient Editor (click on the second box from the left right next to the tool presets), change the gradient to foreground to transparent - everytime you click with the gradient you are adding to the existing instead of replacing the existing gradient.

Hope this helps,
Roger
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:44 PM
oxfordian32000 oxfordian32000 is offline
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Gradients

Thanks for the advice. Your suggestions seem relevant to the task at hand. I will try them out.

On the same topic, maybe there's some ideas about two more gradient issues.

1) Sometimes the gradient tool seems to go to only half-transparency at its endpoint. I do a simple test (this is Photoshop 7.0, by the way).

- Make a new document.
- Fill background layer with white.
- Add a second layer, fill it with red.
- Apply a layer mask to the second layer.
- On the layer with the mask, apply a foreground-to-transparent gradient.

The gradient seems to fade the upper layer to about half-transparency at the endpoint of the gradient, not full transparency. Any ideas?
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:01 PM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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I ran a quick test and I went from full on to full off - double check all of your settings that could control transparency

-layer opacity
-gradient editor settings
-opacity setting for gradient tool
-?????

Good luck,
Roger
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:56 PM
oxfordian32000 oxfordian32000 is offline
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Gradient transparency

Hmm. Well I tried it again. Opacity was 100% for all layers, blending options, gradient tool... and yet it only went to half-transparent.

Thanks for investigating. I'll keep studying it. I must be missing something dumb.

-ox

Last edited by oxfordian32000; 10-13-2004 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Could not include attachment, as mentioned in message.
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:19 AM
oxfordian32000 oxfordian32000 is offline
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Some success

I still haven't figured out why my simple test case only goes to half-transparency, but I have made 2 heartening advances.

1. I achieved my original objective (fading the edges of the overlaid image to transparency) by using the foreground-to-background gradient on the masked layer, rather than the foreground-to-transparency gradient. I need to study the whole PS mask/transparency/layer model to understand this better, but it does just what I want.

2. I finally found the Gradient Editor. I had never clicked on the dropdown box itself. Anyway, it has the features I'd been looking for in terms of controlling the "curve" of the gradient.

(I should read more of the manual.)

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:45 AM
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roger_ele roger_ele is offline
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Hi ox

Glad I could help!

I ran a couple more tests and I could not figure out your transparency problem. Here are other obvious things to look at (you probably have tried all f this, but just in case)

-painting with gradient on your mask with full 100% black?
-fill on layer at 100%?
-gradient editor stops at ends? opacity of those stops (click on the stop) ... my top left reads 100%, top right 0%, bottom left and bottom right colors full black.

Good luck, let me know when you figure it our,
Roger
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