April 17, 2012

Sneak Peek: Gradient strokes in Illustrator CS6

From the simple (e.g. adding a sheen to the edge of an iOS button) to the ambitious (check out that motorcycle!), gradients in paths can be amazingly useful:

I’ve been (im)patiently awaiting this one for years. Combining transparency with gradients, plus reshaping strokes via the Width tool (introduced in CS5) and Pencil is incredibly powerful. You can create some amazingly subtle shaded regions using just vectors.

I think gradient strokes will go a long way to democratizing the power that’s lingered in AI’s potent but often inscrutable Gradient Mesh tool, and I can’t wait to see & show more.

Posted by John Nack at 8:08 AM on April 17, 2012

Comments

  • SinisterKid — 9:40 AM on April 17, 2012

    Great to hear this is finally being added, I’ve wondered why this option has been available in InDesign for years, but not Illustrator?

  • Rob — 12:50 PM on April 17, 2012

    Brilliant – seriously looking forward to CS6. Configurator support and the new focus on UI consistency across the apps we haven’t seen yet would be a bonus, but there’s an upgrade waiting here regardless. :)

  • Andrew Meit — 2:13 PM on April 17, 2012

    When FH 3.1 was being developed, mid 90s, this was explored and even a prototype was created. So what took you guys so long ?? ;-) It must have come from the patents from Macromedia via Altsys. :-) Thank you for finally doing this key feature.

    [I remember FreeHand offering contour gradients (sort of like bevels), which I always thought looked cool. Gradient strokes can be used in some similar ways. –J.]

  • scott — 3:43 PM on April 17, 2012

    It is REALLY annoying to have your videos start on their own AND not have the video visible on your blog.

    This means that I get the voice whether I want it or not and CANT shut if off because there is no video visibly running that can be stopped. The one today was a Shadow preview.

    Other times the voices of TWO videos will run simultaneously so that neither can be heard.

    This is a new feature, so to speak, in the last couple of weeks or so.

  • scott — 3:49 PM on April 17, 2012

    Wow! the motorcycle. The idea of gradient strokes seemed sort of interesting in my naive perception, but seeing what someone knowledgable can do with it is fantastic.

    and this video worked fine. I still don’t understand why I can see some, and others (content aware move today) are not visible in the blog (show a blank) and hence cannot be viewed.

  • nocturnal YL — 11:15 PM on April 18, 2012

    Nice! Better (decades) late than never.

  • Lasse — 2:54 AM on May 13, 2013

    It´s f****ing stupid. They say the motorcycle file comes with the program, BUT WHERE!?!?!

  • Lasse — 3:12 AM on May 13, 2013

    The tutorial leaves alot out, to say the least.. There´s no explanation of how you made the lighter shades of strokes of the exhaust pipe flow with the bigger exhaust part in the middle, which is THEE essential part. The rest could be done in 2 minutes in CS5. The new gradient function is great, but without the “flow” explanation it´s not really that usefull.

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