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Geek Culture / How to create high quality gradients in GIMP

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Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 14th Jun 2015 05:32
This is probably something I could have put in the Posting Comp, but what's a day on the forum without a new thread? I was browsing around Vaseline's website out of boredom, and I came across what I thought was an excellent quality background gradient:



I tried to recreate the gradient, but this is the best I could come up with:



I used colors sampled from the original image, but the center of my gradient seems brighter and more abrupt than on the website. Additionally, the outer border of the gradient is quite visible, whereas no such border is visible on the website. As for banding, I see about as much on my image as I do on the website, so no issue there. So I am curious if anyone knows of any ways to reduce the prominence of the center and external border of the gradient? My guess is that GIMP uses a linear gradient profile, and that somehow tapering the edges of that profile would allow for a smoother looking gradient. Thanks!


"I've just added you to my sig list." - budokaiman
Yodaman Jer
User Banned
Posted: 14th Jun 2015 06:06 Edited at: 14th Jun 2015 06:07
Quote: "I was browsing around Vaseline's website out of boredom"



... You have rather odd tastes in websites.

Attention forum goers! Do you want a President who browses the VASELINE WEBSITE?!?! for fun, when he instead should be working on a better forum?! No, of course you don't!

Then vote Yodaman Jer, and I promise not to get Vaseline all over the forum boards!

------------------

As for the gradient? Try spreading it out a little more so that the edge blends a bit better, and that might help. I think GIMP also has different algorithms for its gradient tool so give other ones a shot too!


Think YodamanJer, Think Clonkex, GAIN POINTS!
swissolo
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Posted: 14th Jun 2015 08:42 Edited at: 14th Jun 2015 08:59
Doesn't look like you can edit the gradient so here's how I did it.
-Create solid color layer for dark background
-Create solid color layer for light glow
-Create layer mask for alpha channel on light layer
-Add gradient to light layer's layer mask
-Open up color levels and slide the top center arrow slightly to the right on layer mask to soften the center of the gradient.
-Apply high levels of Gaussian blur to layer mask.

Play with it and it eventually gets there Most of it can be achieved by adding the blur (which you don't really need the mask for if you don't care about editing levels)

Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 14th Jun 2015 09:39
Excellent, I shall try this tomorrow. Thanks!!

Quote: "You have rather odd tastes in websites."
Ah well, Vaseline is actually tasteless (unless you get the scented kind).

Quote: "for fun, when he instead should be working on a better forum?!"
And how do you know that Vaseline isn't a part of my plan to make this place awesome once I win the elections?

Quote: "Try spreading it out a little more so that the edge blends a bit better, and that might help."
See, what confuses me is that the Vaseline website didn't have to do that. I took that screenshot and ramped the contrast right up so I could where the gradient centered and edged, and modeled my gradient attempt off of that. But yeah, I shall have to try what Swissolo said!

As for the different algorithms, I can't find any, other than a gradient editor which I can't figure out how to work and doesn't seem to promising.


"I've just added you to my sig list." - budokaiman
TheComet
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Posted: 14th Jun 2015 13:56
Here's my attempt. Gimp file attached. I used two layers and blended them together using a mask. The mask was created by painting white where I wanted the light blue to shine through and then using the gaussian blur filter to smooth it out.



Vote for djd & comet! Our gradients have been perfect since 1993.

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Yodaman Jer
User Banned
Posted: 14th Jun 2015 16:29
Quote: "And how do you know that Vaseline isn't a part of my plan to make this place awesome once I win the elections?"



You're going to grease up the forums in order to further your agenda?! Our community won't stand for this!

Vote Yodaman Jer and I promise a grease-free community!


Think YodamanJer, Think Clonkex, GAIN POINTS!
Randomness 128
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Posted: 14th Jun 2015 22:11
Quote: "Our gradients have been perfect since 1993."


I'm not so sure. Your gradient has visible banding.

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Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 07:31 Edited at: 16th Jun 2015 07:32
Ah, I said I would try Swissolo's method a few days ago, didn't I? Here it is!



And wow, layer masks are handy. Always knew about them, but never knew how to use them (despite how easy they indeed are to use).[b][/b]


"I've just added you to my sig list." - budokaiman

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bitJericho
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 08:31 Edited at: 16th Jun 2015 08:31
Not great, very banded.

You need to read the help specifically on the gradient editor. You can make a gradient that does exactly what you want with the tool you would expect. You simply open up the list of gradients, create a new one, then jump to the gradient editor.

http://docs.gimp.org/2.8/en/gimp-gradient-dialog.html#gimp-gradient-editor-dialog

Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 08:49 Edited at: 16th Jun 2015 08:50
Quote: "Not great, very banded."
Probably doesn't help that I used MS Paint to resize it. As near as I can tell, on my screen, it has about as much banding as the other gradients I see here, including the prized Vaseline one.

But alright, I shall look further into the gradient editor then if it can indeed do what I want it to.

"I've just added you to my sig list." - budokaiman
RedFlames
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 17:42
Quote: "You need to read the help specifically on the gradient editor. You can make a gradient that does exactly what you want with the tool you would expect. You simply open up the list of gradients, create a new one, then jump to the gradient editor.
http://docs.gimp.org/2.8/en/gimp-gradient-dialog.html#gimp-gradient-editor-dialog"


But isn't all that just describing one-dimensional gradients? Which can then be used with the blend tool...
http://docs.gimp.org/2.8/en/gimp-tool-blend.html
Quote: "[...] For Shape, there are 11 options: Linear, Bilinear, Radial, Square, Conical (symmetric), Conical (asymmetric), Shaped (angular), Shaped (spherical), Shaped (dimpled), Spiral (clockwise), and Spiral (counterclockwise); these are described in detail below. The Shaped options are the most interesting: they cause the gradient to follow the shape of the selection boundary, no matter how twisty it is. "

I guess you could try using a selection as a shape for that, but I think that doesn't give the desired effect because it only puts the gradient inside the shape... I think the blurred masks is the best approach so far.

Plus I don't see how the gradient editor will help with the banding... he just wants to blend from blue to lighter blue, fairly linearly - how does the gradient editor offer any additional features relevant here?
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 18:24
Quote: "how does the gradient editor offer any additional features relevant here?"

Gradients can be dithered.

I have a development build of the next version of GIMP, which supports higher colour depths. It's rather unoptimized at the moment, but it's great for avoiding banding.

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bitJericho
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 02:57
I tested it, there was no banding. The banding is being introduced by your bluring and/or your save formats. The gradient editor allows you to adjust the color curve. I can nearly perfectly clone the Vaseline gradient with it.

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