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3.2 How to Use the Gradient Tool in Illustrator

Hi there. In this video, we're gonna take this boring background and add a beautiful gradient to it. Gradients are in right now. You might not be as excited by this particular gradient as I am. But, I'll show you how to do your own custom stuff here in Illustrator, all right? Let's get started. All right, you can get started with using any shape. We're gonna use though, under File > Open, I've got a file that we can all practice together with. Same one we got started with, it's called Getting Started. So click Open, but it doesn't matter which file. We're gonna use this square in the background, just cuz. You're gonna do type in the next video, and this little fox I made with the shape builder tool. For this background here, I want it to be a gradient background. Gradients disappeared for a while and now they're back. They're cool. They're hip. Let's do them. So, black arrow, got my box selected, and the easiest way to get started is go to Fill and there's kind of a generic gradient here. There it is there. There's a generic black and white, a generic weird yellow-orange one and some sort of hardly blue one. There's this one and this [LAUGH]. There's some terrible ones built into it. But let's just start with black versus white, and we'll change it. To change it, let's click on Gradient Options, OK. And I'm gonna close that back in. Otherwise you can go to Window, open up Gradient from there. Cool, so I'm gonna move them just over here somewhere. So, you can change the color, and the direction, and the type. So, the type is linear, left to right, or straight-line gradient, or radial, here, depending on what you wanna do. Let's start with a linear one. Let's change the colors, we'll just need to double-click these two little swatches down at the bottom here that look like houses. Double-click the white one. And you can pick your swatches, or your color. I'm gonna pick color and just kind of randomly pick a color to get started with. It's gonna be green, of course. And double-click the last slider, to change the in one. And I'm gonna pick another color. I'm gonna keep clicking colors until I find one that I like. That'll do. Okay, you can click it again so it jumps back in. So we've got two colors. We've got a linear. Let's change the direction. You can be very analytical and say, I want it to be top and bottom. Is it 90? No that's 90 [LAUGH]. 180 is gonna flip it across or top to bottom, going to be 90. What I find is, unless you wanted those kind of stock degrees, I just use this tool over here. It's this one here, the Gradient tool, okay? That little square there above the eye dropper. Click on him. What ends up happening is that's the line from top to bottom. You can click, hold and drag anywhere you like to get a kind of more of a custom angle. Okay, that's kinda what I want. Who knows what angle that is. I'm just kinda getting it across there. The other thing to note when you are using this, if I draw a really short one, look, okay, it starts at that green and ends at that dark green in a really short period. So you've gotta decide whether you want it. You can start it out here and all the way passed, so that absolute kinda dark green and the light green are actually off screen and wont be seen. Okay, or do it really short. Now it's quite similar when we're using radial gradient, okay? Kinda sticks itself in the middle there, which is often not what I want. I wanna do this kind of more. I'm gonna click, that's the center of your gradient or your radial gradient, and I'm gonna do something like this. So it's more of a kind of a wofty, I'm gonna grab my black arrow, click in the background, you get what I mean, it's kind of like a linear gradient, it's kind of wafting. [LAUGH] All right, with it selected, back to my Gradient tool. I'll show you a few other things we can change. You can invert it, say you want instead of changing these colors, you can click on this button and you can reverse the gradient. So it's dark in the middle and light around the outside. Now, I've just randomly picked colors. I'm not particularly happy with them. So, you can go off and just keep picking them or remember in the last video, we looked at something called Window. And we went to Color Themes. And we can pick different themes from that. Okay, but sometimes it's hard to work out what a good gradient will look like. So there's a cool little site called Grabient. So it's just And the cool thing about it is just somebody's gone through, this company here, unfold, they've gone through and just picked cool gradients. So, on this first page here, I like this one. And the cool thing about it, how to implement it, let's do that. So that's the beginning color, there's the end color. So I click on it, it tells me the color. And it's done in this hexadecimal number, which is a hash, and then six digits. So it can be numbers or letters, I'm just gonna select it and copy it. So I'm using Edit > Copy, so click through that or you can write it down. Jump back into Illustrator. What we can do is double-click this first house. And we don't have the RGB, but we have this hexadecimal number. You can type it all in there, even with the hash. Hit Return, and there's that first blue color. So my second color's quite like this one, but I want exactly this so I click on it, grab that, copy it, back into Illustrator, double-click this and paste that in. Hit Return and I've got those two colors. Don't like radial, I'm gonna go to linear. Then I’m gonna use my gradient tool. Drag it out. That’s the gradient that I want. Now, some of you are gonna ask how I did that where I toggled between using Google Chrome, and then back to Illustrator. You might know already. If you’re on a Mac, it’s Cmd+Tab, so hold the Cmd key down, hit Tab, and you can keep tabbing along to find the application. I find that it's just good for copying and pasting Cmd+Tab, Cmd+Tab. On a PC it's Alt and Tab, okay? So hold the Alt key down and hit the Tab key, and it will cycle through the open applications. Sometimes I gotta catch myself out doing shortcuts on these beginning courses but yeah, you probably were gonna ask so there it is. One last thing we're gonna do is, let's say we find, I'm gonna go to the second page and find one. See this one here? This lovely gradient that has three colors in it. What do I do if there's three colors? So let's get started. First color. Double-click him, paste him in, Return. I'll do the end color. It's probably the same as that last one. Slightly different, but now I need one in the middle. All you do is, there's this kind of like no man's land between these two swatches. Just click there, okay, and you can add another one. Double-click it, jump in here, grab that middle color. Cool, you can get rid of them, okay, you can click on it and just click hold and drag it down to no man's land and it just disappears. It's magic. Undo, put it back, I love my gradient. Now, we've done it to a big rectangle. It doesn't matter what you do it to. You click on this piece. Gonna close down color themes. And you can start the same way, I can go back to my black and white, start adding colors or in this case, because I just did a gradient, I can click on that and it's gonna apply it. I can grab my, awesome. [LAUGH] All right, that's it for gradients in Adobe Illustrator. What we'll do next we'll start looking at type and fonts. All right, I'll see you in the next video.

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