Tutorial Details
Subject: Pixlr
Difficulty: Beginner
Published: January 2, 2014

 The Pixlr gradient tool is used occasionally for creative projects.

The gradient tool is useful for backgrounds.

Gradient Tool - Example

It’s important to understand the different functions of the gradient tool.

Gradient Tool - Tool Bar

Opacity

Opacity is measured as a percentage: the higher the percent, the stronger the colour will be, while lower opacity levels give a tint. The lower the opacity level, the more of an image behind the gradient will be visible.

The Gradient Function

There are a number of preset gradients but you can also create your own.

Gradient Tool - Functions

In the screenshot below the general opacity level is set to 100 and the opacity of the black in the gradient is set to just 5.

Gradient Tool - Gradients

In this second shot the black is set to 100. The logo underneath has been completely obscured by the overlay.

Gradient Tool - Gradient - Black to Red

By using separate layers you can reorder the canvas so that the logo or image sits on top of the gradient. Follow the instructions below to achieve this.

Open your logo with a transparent background (PNG file).

Gradient Tool - UWD Transparent Canvas

Press control and A, then control and C to select and copy the logo. You’ll then need to paste the logo over the gradient.

Gradient Tool - Black to Red

You can use any gradient colour scheme you like, either one of the presets or your own creation.

Gradient Tool - Rainbow Colour Scheme

There are two different types of gradient: Linear and Radial.  What this means is that the gradient will either be applied in straight lines as you can see from the example above (horizontal) and below (vertical).

Gradient Tool - Top to Bottom

Radial gradients are concentric circles, which bleed together, and can either be used centrally to show all the colours, or to one side as below.

Gradient Tool - Concentric

We have covered most aspects of the gradient tool however there are a few more settings we’d like to mention. These include the Spread Method and Mode options. Let’s begin by looking at the Spread Methods.

You will see the current spread method selected in the second from top menu bar. There are three options to choose from: Pad, Reflect and Repeat.

Gradient Tool - Spread Method

Pad is the style that we have been using throughout this guide. As you can see below, pad ensures that the colours are distributed evenly, with smooth blending between each. Both the reflect and repeat options add a more distinctive and they give a very different effect.

Pad

Gradient Tool - Pad

Reflect

Gradient Tool - Reflect

Repeat

Gradient Tool - Repeat

The final option available is the mode settings. These settings effect how the gradients will appear when placed over an existing image. Modes include:

  • Normal
  • Add
  • Alpha
  • Darken
  • Difference
  • Erase
  • Hard-light
  • Invert
  • Layer
  • Lighten
  • Multiply
  • Overlay
  • Screen
  • Subtract
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