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Adobe Photoshop CC - Essentials Training

How to add a gradient to an image & text in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey there, it is Gradient time. And what we want to do is, this image here we've added this cool retro kind of style Gradient. I'm going to show you how to do that now in Adobe Photoshop. Let's go.

First up let's open up two images. It's in the same color folder. It's called Gradient 01 and Gradient 02, from Jordan Andrews. Thank you, Jordan. So we're going to start with Gradient 01. We're going to do two things. We're going to add Gradient to text, and we're going to add it to the image in the background. We'll do the text first, it's the easiest to do. We're going to have a full section on doing Type a little bit later in the course but for now click on this capital T, your Type Tool. Click once on your keyboard. And over here, in terms of the font size, pick a font, any font you like. And size, I've got mine up to about 80. Yours is probably defaulting to 10 or 12, and over here, we're going to type in 'All'. And I put a 'return' in. 

Don't worry too much about Type at the moment. To move your Type around we're going to use our 'Move Tool'. And I'm just going to click and drag it around. So adding a Gradient to this. Changing the color of the font is easy. You can double click it here, make a new font. But let's look at adding a color. To do it you need your Text Layer selected, there's mine. It's got the gray box around it. And down the bottom here there's one called Effects. And there's one in here called Gradient Overlay. Now what you'll find in Photoshop is that, pretty much true of everything you do in Photoshop. There's like three or four different ways of doing the same thing. 

What I'm trying to do is, I'm trying to give you, I guess like there's about three different ways of applying Gradients. This way I feel like, is the most bullet proof in terms of future proofing. Just means it's going to work probably on most circumstances whereas some of the other Gradients don't work in all cases. Anyway what I'm saying is that later on you might go "Hey, why didn't he show me that version of this thing?" and you like it better, it's totally cool. Do it, if you stumble across a different way of doing something totally, there's nothing right or wrong about it. I'm just trying out, I guess, cut it down to some-- the usable, the most usable versions. 

So, Gradient overlay. And by default it will depend on what you last had selected. Now what we're going to do is, where it says Gradient click on this little arrow here. Let's move him up so we can kind of see. Click on this little drop down arrow. By default you've got some horrific drop shadows, well, Gradient, sorry. Some terrible ones. If you need rainbow colored Gradients you, my friends are all in luck. So what we're going to do is, have to go and customize it. Let's start with this first one, black to white. It's the easiest one to customize. 

Let's click on the little arrow to pop it back up. What we want to do now is change the colors used. You do it by clicking in this color bit here. That's why it's a little bit confusing, using Gradient Overlay. So you click anywhere in this color box, this thing pops up. And what we're going to do is use the bottom parts of these houses. So, not the top parts. Use this bottom bit, so just double click this first Color Swatch. And using this Hue slider, drag it up, drag it down. Find a color that you want to use. I'm going to use this one, click 'OK'. Double click this white house. Same thing, drag this Hue slider up and down until you find a color you want to use, then click in here and you'll have that blue to purple or at least magenta. Click 'OK'. Let's click 'OK' again, and have a look at some of the settings. 

So where it says Reverse, just flips it top to bottom. We're using the Linear style, so it goes in a line from top to bottom. You can adjust that, which angle. You can see, now it's going kind of more left to right. From this side to this side. You can decide any size. Linear, you can play around with Radial. You can experiment on your own, the different ones, Angle, Reflection. Just kind of different ways, you can see, the Gradients are on both sides. We're just going to go for Linear in this case. In terms of the Scale, you can lower it down, it makes a bit more sense. Then it's just got only a tiny Gradient between these Type here. I'm going to leave mine at 100%. That's what yours is probably set to. 

Now before we do the images I'm going to show you-- Gradients are kind of back end, right? When I, I guess, not even that long ago, maybe six, seven years ago Gradients, I didn't even have in the class, because who use Gradients? Gradients have come around full circle and are super cool now, right? Well, at least I think so. Where I get my Gradient colors from? I'm going to show you a cool little site. It's this site here, it's called Grabient. I love it. All it does is, just show you examples of cool Gradients. Once you've found one you like, let's say we click through here. You can see, there's a bunch of different options. I like on page 2, this one here, it's my favorite one. You'll probably notice it from other videos that I've made, but this is where I get my colors from. Now to get those colors into Photoshop the easiest way is, see down the bottom here, there's this yellow and pink. So those are the two colors, right? If you click on it that is the number you want. So it's hash, then it's got some letters and some numbers. So just copy that on your keyboard. 

On my Mac, it’s 'Command C' to copy. You can right-click and go to 'Copy'. Jump back into Photoshop, and in Photoshop, remember what we clicked on to change color? It's that big color bar there. Double click the blue house. And this is where it goes down here, I'm going to paste it in. And I paste everything. I don't think we need the hash, doesn't seem to mind at all. You can see the hash is over here. So that's an easy way to pick a color from the internet. It's using these letters and numbers. Let's click 'OK', I'm going to jump back in to Grabient. Grab this end here, grab this, I'm going to leave the hash off. Copy it, back to Photoshop. Double click this house, grab him. Paste this one. I love those colors, and I click 'OK'. Click 'OK' again. 

You can make any last adjustments but that's it for-- it doesn't really matter what it is. We've done it for Type, I'm going to click 'OK'. Doesn't really matter what the layer is. There's a little adjustment we need to do for images but if it's a logo you've brought in, or a shape from somewhere you've made in Illustrator, or brought it, or drawn it with the Shape Tool, which we'll look in a second, to do. You can just have it selected down to 'fx', and go to 'Gradient Overlay'. 

Now the next thing I want to do is this image in the background. It’s a slightly different process because first of all, if I click on 'Background' this 'fx' is grayed out. This is going to happen throughout our Photoshop course where you just-- it's locked, it's called Background. To unlock the background, double click 'Background'. Give it a name, mine is 'Shoes'. And now it becomes unlocked, and I get that 'fx'. So that's half of the thing we need to do. Now click on 'fx', make sure that layer is selected and go to Gradient Overlay. Just like we did before. The only trouble is it's kind of doing exactly what happened here but I can't see the image. 

So what ends up happening is, you need to-- we've talked about all of this stuff. It's this one here, Blending Mode. Blending Mode is a way of this Gradient blending with the image itself. So click on 'Normal' and just-- Dissolve does nothing. Darken, does something. And you're just going to have to work your way through until you find a way-- a blend that works with your particular Gradient and the colors in your image. Now there's no, like absolute one you should pick from this. It really depends on your image and the colors in your Gradient. So it's a bit of a lottery. So click on 'Multiply', if that works for you, and it's-- I'm just going to work a way through until I pick something that I like. I'm going to turn the Opacity back up. 

'Color Burn', 'Linear Burn'. You're just going to watch me now go through them all. 'Lighten', I kind of like, it's kind of got that retro 80s, but in that kind of hipstery way; it's hard to explain, right? But Gradients are cool now. Lighten, I know, Screen's kind of a nice one. 'Color Dodge', not so good. I'm not going to go through every single one of them because I decided I either like 'Hard Light', or 'Light Screen' and that's totally-- sorry, 'Lighten'. It's totally just based on my Gradients, and my images. I'm going to leave it there. 

So that's the difference between doing images and just save straight off text, or shape. Is that first of all you need your Layer unlocked. Then you add the effect, like you do normally, and just make sure, when you do add your Gradient you change that Blending Mode. Before I go, probably a super important point that I haven't brought out yet, say you want to adjust this Gradient now, I'll turn it off, see All Star here? You can kind of see the structure. That's my whole layer, and these are the effects. I can turn either the Effect or the Gradient itself off to show through that original red color. 

So what we can do to edit it-- so to turn it off that's all we need to do, just leave it there, but to edit it I'm going to have the Eyeball on. Double-click the word 'Gradient Overlay', double click. And you'll see it's gray here, and it's got a little tick. You might be accidentally on something else, so I'm going to untick that, make sure this is gray. And that's where you can go and make adjustments. Let's say I don't like that anymore, so I'm going to reverse it or play with a different Blending Mode as well, but that's how you make adjustments. I'm probably going to turn it off, and make this back to white. So text selected, on our Properties panel here would tell me the color that I'm using. I clicked on it, and to get white just as a little other thing before we go is, watch this, any of these Hues, it doesn't matter if I click, hold, and drag, and I'm dragging kind of past where I need it, because up in the top left is white, and down in the bottom left is black. 

So what I do is, instead of trying to-- some people like to try and click in there, you get it pretty close, but if you click, hold, and drag pass, I'm holding my mouse down and dragging it past, that assures it's white. I'm going to click 'OK', and if you want to tidy this effects up-- I've turned it off so you can't see it, but say that you are pedantic and you got a bit of OCD, and you want to get rid of this, you can click, hold, and drag it to this trashcan, and that will get rid of it. 

All right so it's project time. I'd like you to practice using this one here. I don't mind what text you use but definitely play around with the Gradient on the image. Go to Grabient, pick a color, pick your own colors. You can do your own colors. I'd like to actually see at this time though. We've been doing, you've been following me along. What I'd like you to do is, I'd love to see your own one. So dig through your files and see if you can find an image that you're happy to share. It can be your family, it can be your house. You can take a quick photo now of yourself, and just-- I want to see what kind of Gradients and stuff you're doing. You can either post it here on this page or you can share with me on social media. On Instagram, is bringyourownlaptop. On Twitter, it's danlovesadobe. Either way, do an image, can be this one, it can be your own one, and I'd like to see what you've done. All right, that is going to be the end of this one. Let's jump into the next video, I'll see you over. Bye.