Vector Studio 2.0 : Gradient Factory

The Gradient Factory plug-in aids in the creation and visualization of Adobe Illustrator gradients. Gradient Factory works much like Illustrator's color picker where all the colors of a particular hue are displayed, and you can pick a related color simply by clicking in the shaded area of the dialog. Similar to the way the Color Picker creates families of colors and displays them together, Gradient Factory creates families of gradients based on a sampled gradient and creates a scrolling list to choose from.

To create the family of gradients, Gradient Factory applies rules for color shifting, and automatic creation of color stops. These collections are displayed in the Gradient Factory palette and can be applied to an object with a single mouse click! The following animation shows the basic workflow. A gradient on the page is sampled with the Sample button (green circle), the saturation slider is adjusted to create a family of progressively de-saturated versions of the sampled gradient, another object is selected, and a new gradient applied to the current selection by clicking on a gradient in the palette.

The previous example showed Gradient Factory working in the HSB color space, but you can work in CMYK and RGB as well. Note that the color space popup specifies the color space in which to perform the color shifting; it does not affect the color space of the object the gradients are applied to. For example, if the gradient is shifted in RGB space and applied to an object with a CMYK style, the object will have a CMYK gradient.

While the sample button is the primary mechanism for inputting gradients into Gradient Factory, the Auto Sample check box can be used to continuously display the current selection's gradient in the palette. Illustrator runs faster when auto sample is disabled, so the default is to have it off.

The middle section of the Gradient Factory palette has the Gradient controls which are Float, Lock, Insert and Swatch.

Here are examples of gradients with inserts and randomization.

The families of gradients can be as simple or as complicated as you want, but no matter the rules you set up, gradient factory gradients can always be applied with a single click!

Gradient Factory is also handy when editing textures created by the Gradient Texture plug-in, or when using gradient sampling with Sampler Tools.

With Gradient Factory, gone are the days of tediously editing each of the stops in the gradient palette. Gradient Factory uses a color picking interface consistent with Illustrator's existing color picking features, so you can get up to speed in no time!

[ Main ] [ Palette Shepherd ] [ Direction Handler ] [ Zoom Lens ] [ Sampler Tools ]
[ Retouch Brushes ] [ Wrinkle Remover ] [ Gradient Factory ] [ Gradient Texture ]

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