View Full Version : Gradient/Opacity Troubles

04-06-2009, 05:49 PM
Hopefully I can explain this well enough. I'd like to be able to have one end of a image or solid shape gradate into invisibility/zero opacity. The closest effect I can find in Illustrator is feathering which lightly gradates all edges into invisibility. I tried playing with gradient mesh and blend modes, but they didn't work.

image link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v402/batmanytb/gradient.jpg)

Above is an example in how the black rectangle, on top of the illustration, gradually becomes transparent as it reaches the right-hand side. I'd like to learn how to accomplish this with solid shapes and maybe even photographs or artwork - particularly in Illustrator but also Photoshop. I know the above example was accomplished in Photoshop.

04-06-2009, 11:39 PM
In Paintshop Pro, I would do this by creating a new layer over the background, making the selection I wanted, and then choosing the fil tool. That has various options, including a gradient from a given colour to transparency (called fading foreground/background). I'd set the gradient direction (fade to 90 degrees), the midpoint if I didn't want it at 50%, and then add the fill. Last of all, a new layer for the text on top.

To do the same with a photo is a bit more complicated. You could fill it with a reverse direction gradient from colour to transparent which dulls out the correct part, or do more clever stuff with layer masks and gradient fills. I have never bothered to get to grips with masks, though I am sure I should!

I imagine the steps are much the same in Photoshop even if the names are different. I can't help with Illustrator though!

Howard Allen
04-07-2009, 08:25 AM

If you don't mind the blind leading the blind, I'd never done this before, but I just tried it in Illustrator (CS3) and it took me a while to figure out, but it turns out to be very easy:

1) Create your background object (say, a photo).
2) Either on the same layer, or a new layer, create your overlying object (say, a rectangle).
3) Fill the overlying object with a gradient (say, black to white).
4) With the object still selected, go to the Transparency palette, and select the "Multiply" blending mode.
That's it! See example, attached (I added the orange text on a second layer, to make it comparable to your example).


04-07-2009, 10:05 AM
If you don't mind the blind leading the blind, I'd never done this before, but I just tried it in Illustrator (CS3) and it took me a while to figure out, but it turns out to be very easy.
Please, call me Ronnie. :)

And yes, I've played around with that. But you'll notice if you use a color such a red instead of black, the red will be transparent over top the below image. Thank you for the effort though, Howard. I'll probably try Lois' strategy sometime today.

I was told to combined the following two designs; the foreground piece of the right-hand design is used more like the foreground piece of the left-hand in that it's smaller and placed higher on the cover. This makes the green diagonal photo extend quite far. I'd like to have that narrow shape sort of dissolve away rather than extend so far down the cover.


04-09-2009, 07:08 AM
Hi Ronald

Here's a way how to do it in Photoshop. Using the Mask facility in layers.

For an example – open an image, drag another image on top of it from another document.

If you look in the layers palette you should see both layers. Click on the top layer to make it active.

Now click the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette. A little square should appear next to the image in the active layer.

Now click on the gradient tool in the tools palette and then choose solid to transparent in the drop down menu at the top of the page.

Drag your gradient tool across the top image and the bottom image will appear through the now transparent area of the top image.

Hope this answers your question