bennett_foddy_5538027's profile

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

Fri, May 10, 2013 12:05 AM

27

Photoshop: Gradient editor needs a few improvements

It is almost impossible to use the gradient editor to simulate blending between lights, because it draws a straight line through RGB space. It would be good to be able to select HSL and LAB colour spaces for the gradient editor, and it would be even better if you could make bezier curves through RGB space, like the free tool at http://www.foddy.net/2010/10/gentle-g... is pretty frustrating that there was more flexibility in Deluxe Paint IV's gradient tool 23 years ago than there is in Photoshop's gradient tool now.

Responses

15.1K Messages

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195.8K Points

8 y ago

It sounds like you haven't used the gradient editor - which does use splines, and can interpolate colors any way you like.

9 Messages

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386 Points

8 y ago

No, that's false. You can move the handles on te control points but you can't change the orientation of each point or handle in colour space. And you just can't make a smooth gradient that mimics (for example) a sky, a sunset, a spotlight, a flame, or any other emissive form of blending. I had to write myself a custom tool to do these things. It isn't hard to solve: one way is to allow users to make gradients in HSL and LAB colour spaces, and another way is to give users full control over the colour curve in 3-space, as I do in that tool.

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

Let me give you a simple example. Suppose I'm trying to blend from orange (255,128,0) to blue (0,0,255) for a skyline or sunset. I need it to look smooth, so I'm trying to use as few control points as possible. In Photoshop by default it blends through desaturated purple to get there, which isn't physical. I want it to bend through light blue to simulate Rayleigh scattering. So I add a dim, pale cyan control point to the middle of the gradient. But now I have this ridiculous hard line in the middle of the gradient, making it look extremely artificial.

Here's photoshop's result:


And here's my tool's result (also: the desired result):

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

In the interests of fairness, here's Photoshop's effort with 100% smoothness applied. Still unacceptable.

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

In the interests of fairness, here's Photoshop's effort with 100% smoothing applied. Still unacceptable.

111 Messages

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1.3K Points

8 y ago

you're not crazy Bennet, your tool's result is much better.
Heck, I'd even like to use it.

15.1K Messages

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195.8K Points

8 y ago

Here is the gradient you get using your 2 end colors in Photoshop.
This is the mathematical result of interpolating those colors.


And for a physical simulation of blending light, you would need to use a gamma 1.0 colorspace, which looks like this:

Or with gray in the middle:

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

So Chris, let me get this clear: you're saying I need to change the color space of my photoshop document in order to get attractive gradients? And if I want to tweak how a particular gradient works, I have to change the colour space again?

Even if that was an acceptable workflow, the preview you get in the gradient tool window doesn't use the current colour space, which reduces this to a very slow, annoying process of trial-and-error.

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

Let's do this: why don't you try to recreate this gradient using photoshop. Then put them side by side, to show how close you got, and tell me what your workflow was.

My workflow was: I defined the beginning and end colour, and placed a single bezier handle to tell the curve how to trace itself through RGB space. It took about 15 seconds.

15.1K Messages

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195.8K Points

8 y ago

3 control points: one on each end, one in the middle: 5 seconds if I don't include time spend saving the file and uploading it.

15.1K Messages

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195.8K Points

8 y ago

OK, instead of matching screen appearance, here's one matching your values, which took about 12 seconds to tweak the midpoints between stops.

27 Messages

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1.1K Points

8 y ago

Here's my original gradient and your 'identical' version side-by-side. If you think these look the same, this is a lost cause.

2 Messages

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248 Points

8 y ago

I completely agree with Bennett on this, and have had the same issues creating gradients to my liking without adding a 3rd and 4th color stop in both Photoshop and Illustrator. It'd be nice if some more design/art oriented people weighed in on this, as having the defensive developer responsible for acting being the sole person responding is clearly not going anywhere.

2 Messages

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64 Points

8 y ago

Wow, this embarrassing on Adobe's part. From the original suggestion I knew exactly what was being asked for, exactly why the current gradients in photoshop don't work, and exactly what the fix would be.

Chris: you're being a horrible, defensive ass about all this. Please, please take a breather and ask for someone else to review this matter.

129 Messages

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3.2K Points

8 y ago

Here's a 3D plot of the two red-to-cyan gradients.
Chris Cox's in white, Bennett Foddy's in Black. The duller shades are 2d projections.

(I realize perceptual color space isn't a cube, and there are probably profile issues, but this at least lets you see the smoothness of the gradients. There is some banding, of course)