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Best Way to Create Gradient as Part of a Custom Photoshop Action?


kaitlynbrown

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Hi all,
I'm creating a whole batch of custom actions in Photoshop CC 2015 to make it easier to adhere to a customer's style guide. One of the specifications in the style guide is for an approved method of layering a gradient over an image (involving an unnecessarily complicated set of steps, but that's irrelevant).
It's a top-to-bottom linear gradient - simple enough. But how do I convey this to the Action I'm recording? What I mean is that when I'm recording the Action on this image (which is 500px in height), I drag the cursor from the top of the image to the bottom of the image to create my gradient. But is Photoshop smart enough to know that I'm going from the image's absolute top to the absolute bottom, or will it only understand that I'm creating a vertical gradient that is 500px tall? Then what happens when I apply the action to an image that is 812px tall?
Basically, is there a simpler way to tell Photoshop in absolute terms that I want to fill the entire space with a vertical linear gradient, eliminating the step of "drawing" the gradient altogether (similar to the way you can use the Fill tool with a solid color on a blank layer and it automatically fills the layer/artboard's full height and width)? I've been doing gradients one way for so long that I never bothered to investigate all the possible ways they might be created.
Alternatively - though less ideally - is there a way I can have the Action prompt the user to draw the gradient when the action is played instead of automatically applying it as it was recorded? This would still be useful to me, since actually creating the gradient is only a single step in an 8-step process for applying it properly. I'm sure this must be possible, but I rarely use actions so I've no idea how it might be done.
Thank you all for reading and sharing your extensive knowledge!
 

kaitlynbrown

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Y'all, I'm kicking myself right now. Solution discovered. I'll record it here in case someone stumbles upon this thread with a similar question.
Turns out, there's a Gradient option under Adjustment Layer! There are all sorts of gems in there that I never bothered to investigate! That's what happens when you become complacent with your knowledge, kids.
Anyway, that handy little Gradient adjustment layer automatically fills the full height and width of the artboard with your gradient - linear, radial, whatever type and color your heart desires. And as with all adjustment layers, you can also change the blending mode. Definitely a best practice for creating full-size gradients in an Action.
 

IamSam

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Hello Kaitlyn and welcome to PSG. Glad to have you on board. I'm impressed that you found your answer off forum in only 11 minutes! Shows enthusiasm and initiative.

Take care and hope to see you around.
 

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