Creating and Manipulating Gradients
Creating the Appearance of Metal Using Gradients
Welcome to Expression Design. When you first launch the program, you'll find the artboard (white area you draw or create in), the tool box to the left. This is where the main tools for creating and manipulating exist. To the right is the property inspector; here you can organize your artwork/ objects using the layers panel, change the color or other various properties using the appearance panel.
You can customize the interface by docking and undocking Toolbars, and changing Option settings.
Here's what it will look like when it's done.
Let's get started.
So to begin with Open the file provided; PotMetalTutorial.design
Activate the selection tool and select the red part of the pot.
Select the fill tab in the appearance panel and the click the gradient swatch. Now we'll edit the gradient to get the desired metal look. After you select the gradient swatch, the gradient editor appears (figure 1).
Click on the gradient ribbon, at about the middle where the central tendency adjuster is get a new gradient stop using that grey tone (figure 2). Switch the grey and the white stops. Now select the black colored swatch and drag it so that it is up against the white stop. Click on the gradient ribbon, about where the central tendency point is (between the grey and the white stop). Move that new stop to the absolute left side (figure 3).
Figure 1.1 and 1.2
So now your pot should resemble something like this (figure 1.1). Click the gradient editor popup to flip the gradient Set the rotation to "-180" (Figure 1.2).
Next we'll select the spoon. Activate the Selection tool (the dark arrow tool) click and drag a selection marquee over the two objects that make-up the spoon shape. Go to the appearance panel and select the fill tab and give it that gradient fill we created. Now we need to remove all but two gradient stops from the ribbon. Leave the left and right most stops. Select the right most stop and use the color picker to select black. Select the left most gradient stop and change its color to white (again using the color picker). So now your spoon should look like this: Select only the handle of the spoon and using the gradient transform tool click and drag until the top of the spoon is lighter than the handle. Activate the selection tool and drag a selection marquee across the objects that make-up the spoon. Go to the appearance panel and select the stroke tab and remove the color. Viola! You're done. You've made use of gradients.
Important to note: Gradients can be a really powerful effect. When using in a design I find that the best gradients are the gradients you DO NOT notice. Generally subtlety is the key.
This lesson was designed to provide a quick introduction to using Warp Groups with bitmap images and/ or vector artwork in Expression Design.
This short lesson was created by Jesse Brown, a freelance designer and presenter for Total Training. Jesse's keen design sense and "big picture" sensibility are among the reasons his skills are in high demand. Total Training, Inc. (
www.totaltraining.com), with offices in California and New York, is a pioneer in innovative video-based training for leading software applications. Total Training is best known for its superior product quality, entertaining content, and strategic partnership with Microsoft which includes tutorials in Microsoft software boxes.