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Layer Basics in Adobe Photoshop CC (2015 release)

Chapter Description

In Photoshop, you can isolate different parts of an image on layers. Each layer can then be edited as discrete artwork, giving you tremendous flexibility as you compose and revise an image. This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release) shows you how.

Applying a gradient to a layer

You can apply a color gradient to all or part of a layer. In this example, you’ll apply a gradient to the word “HAWAII” to make it more colorful. First you’ll select the letters, and then you’ll apply the gradient.

  1. Select the HAWAII layer in the Layers panel to make it active.
  2. Right-click or Control-click the thumbnail in the HAWAII layer, and choose Select Pixels.

Everything on the HAWAII layer (the white lettering) is selected. Now that you’ve selected the area to fill, you’ll apply a gradient.

  1. In the Tools panel, select the Gradient tool (gradient_button.jpg).
  2. Click the Foreground Color swatch in the Tools panel, select a bright shade of orange in the Color Picker, and click OK. The Background Color should still be white.
  3. In the options bar, make sure that Linear Gradient (linear_gradient_button.jpg) is selected.
  4. In the options bar, click the arrow next to the Gradient Editor box to open the Gradient Picker. Select the Foreground To Background swatch (it’s the first one), and then click anywhere outside the gradient picker to close it.

  5. With the selection still active, drag the Gradient tool from the bottom to the top of the letters. If you want to be sure you drag straight up, press the Shift key as you drag.

The gradient extends across the type, starting with orange at the bottom and gradually blending to white at the top.

  1. Choose Select > Deselect to deselect the HAWAII type.
  2. Save the work you’ve done so far.
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