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Gradient color around a corner with Expression Design RRS feed

  • Question

  • How do I get the gradient around the corner with Expression Design? In the example below, there is only a horizontal gradient. I build up the picture with 2 B-Splines and joined them with two lines:

    horizontal gradient

    Can anyone help me, please?

    Sunday, October 7, 2012 1:09 PM

All replies

  • Sure. You need to create a stroke. You need to create two rectangles, fairly smallish in width. Make one pretty light in color, one black. (Neither should have a stroke on the rectangles.)

    Then blend the two rectangles. 41 steps or so. With the whole blend selected, hold down the alt key and drag the blend copy a little ways from the other one. Rotate it so the two black areas can abut (or overlap slightly) each other.

    With both blends selected, click on the Object menu, Stroke, Define New Stroke. You will need to drag the two blend groups to fit the stroke definition box left/right edges.

    This all opens in a new window. Click the X on the tab, and you need to give the stroke a name. Alternatively, you can also put it into one of the categories.

    As well, because the above is a tad confusing I am sure if you have not made strokes before, you can download the following file. Click on the rounded-corner rectangle, Object menu, Stroke, Edit Stroke Definition. This will allow you to see how it is made. Heck, I tried 3 times and I am reasonable familiar...

    Expression Design 4 File

    Let me know when you have the file and I will delete it. Oh, to change the color on a stroke you define, it is the normal stroke color process.

    Take care, Mike


    Monday, October 8, 2012 1:09 AM
  • Thank you very much!! That was a great help. I never worked with strokes... learning never stops. :-)
    • Marked as answer by lpt_c Monday, October 8, 2012 1:46 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by lpt_c Monday, October 8, 2012 1:46 PM
    Monday, October 8, 2012 1:46 PM
  • In addition to Mike's method:

    Create the curve (B-spline).  Give it the Basic stroke and a width of about 60 Px.  Copy it and paste back on top (Contreol +C, Control+F).  Give the pasted line a smaller width (I used 5px), and a lighter (highlight) color.  Use Object>Blend Paths>Linear with a value of about 20.  

    You can change the highlight position by adjusting the nodes (arrows); end nodes even with wider line and radius adjusted.  Blend as above.

    ~Fred




    • Edited by Fred C_ Tuesday, October 9, 2012 12:28 PM typo
    Monday, October 8, 2012 7:19 PM
  • Yep, the double path works fine, especially on "known" shapes.

    The power of strokes is pretty cool, though. The real advantage comes in repitition today and down the road and especially for curves that may not be fixed in place as the effect is simply changed when one either draws a new path, or likely, altering the path. Been using them since the CreatureHouse days. Problem for this ol' codger is remembering what I did in the past to achieve certain effects...

    Take care, Mike

    Monday, October 8, 2012 8:04 PM
  • Yep, the double path works fine, especially on "known" shapes. >

    What is a 'known' shape, Mike?

    ...The real advantage comes in repitition today and down the road and especially for curves that may not be fixed in place as the effect is simply changed when one either draws a new path, or likely, altering the path...

    I'm not sure what you mean; can you please explain more fully. Thanks, Mike. 


    ~Fred

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012 12:39 PM
  • Hi Fred,

    Known shapes can be almost any line or object (like the rectangle used in my sample file). Once it is placed and in its final position and final size/width, one needs to then duplicate the line or object on top of it, adjust its width of line/stroke to be less than that which is below, then change the highlight color, then add the blur or blend (either actually works but the Gaussian blur is "duller" in appearance). And then you need to replicate the above on any stroke/object one desires the effect on.

    If one needs to change the shape like add a node and produce a little bit of a curve, the blend group becomes a bit more than a hassle. It is easier at that point to remove and recreate the blend. Add a few objects using the blend method and then alter the design that uses those blended strokes or objects at all and it is a lot of work.

    But if the design is in process, the stroke method has a single node adjustment to change its shape. The effect of the stroke is instantly updated to the new stroke or object shape. So for instance, using the rectangle in the sample file, you can still alter the radius of the rectangle and the effect is updated--because it is a single stroke. Changing the radius of a rectangle is something I might do a couple times in a design process. That is a pretty simple example. Changing position and size of drawn strokes is something I do frequently.

    Another example of using a stroke definition is a map I am working on. The roads are all stroke definitions. Need to alter the look of say the striping down the road? Load the stroke definition and alter it. It is instantly applied to each road using that definition. Need a similar road stripe? Edit one that is close and save it as a new name.

    The list goes on and on why if there is more than one or two effects that a stroke definition comes in handy for repetitive work. Repetitive can equal consistency in the design or across multiple designs for the same customer. Stroke definitions are "powerful" for that sake.

    And one can get rather creative. The attached is a pencil I used several times in a publication for a local library after school program.

    Take care, Mike

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012 3:47 PM