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matching gradient direction

New Here ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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Hello, I kindly ask for advice on how to match a gradient when looking at different angles, I'm not sure how to match the direction so that there is a uniform flow throughout the car. For example, making a gradient for the hood of the car that will disperse into the bumper, but keeping them as separate pieces so that I can print them. I attached pictures below of what I am attempting to do

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Draw and design , How-to

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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Sinlge color stops in your gradient can have transparency. That way you can make them flow into each other.

 

You could also check out gradient meshes or freeform gradients. Before using freeform gradients, make sure that they can be produced on the equipment you are using.

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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I will test out transparency and hopefully get this gradient to flow well! Thank you

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Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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Is this part of an actual vehicle wrap design or simply a graphics project? If it's an actual wrap design please be careful with the transition zones in the top/hood of the vehicle and the sides. Wrap graphics do not get installed all in one piece. Seams can end up being visible.

 

You can use the Gradient Annotator (which appears over the object) to manually adjust the size, angle and overshoot of a gradient on a specific object. The color stops and mid points between color stops can be visually adjusted too.  IMHO, the tool isn't as easy to use as it should be. The position can be manually adjusted on one end and size/rotation on the other end. I'd like it more if I could simply grab either end of the gradient and manually snap it to another object or guideline. That would be far easier/faster. There are at least two rival vector graphics apps that do so with their gradient tools.

 

Third party plugins like Astute Graphics' Gradiator make the job of copying gradients from one object to another object a good bit easier.

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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I'm hoping if I can figure all the small details out, I will end up printing this wrap out. So you're saying there isn't a great way to go about transitioning the gradient over the hood bumper etc. it is just going to be a game of tiny tweaks until it looks as best as it can? I'll check out Astute, I appreciate you replying!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2024 Jan 25, 2024

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Generally speaking, it's usually best to cover the transition points on the vehicle either with a solid color or some kind of non-repeating texture. If you have a gradient spreading across the hood onto the fenders it's going to be really difficult to get the different print panels to match. Seams may end up visible.

 

The approach I would take is making one gradient for the hood and top of the vehicle where the color becomes solid at some point near the outer edges. Then I would make another gradient for the sides where the color on the upper parts of the fenders closer to the hood becomes solid and matches the color coming out from the hood. The end result can still look like one big gradient spreading out from the top center of the vehicle down the sides. You'll just have some solid area at those transition points. If colors are chosen carefully and color stops on the gradients are well placed the viewers won't notice the solid colored zone as much.

 

With plenty of vehicle wrap projects designers will create different graphics for the hood, top and back areas that don't even try to match up with the graphics applied across the left and right sides of the vehicle. Wrap installation is never perfect. The printed vinyl gets hit with heat guns and warped over the vehicle surfaces. Sometimes specific graphics items that need to be placed in an exact spot on a vehicle have to be printed and cut as separate items to overlay on top of the wrap.

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