Freeform Gradients in Illustrator CC 2019

776 Freeform gradients in Illustrator CC 2019 from Deke's Techniques

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke celebrates another favorite new feature in Illustrator CC 2019, the freeform gradient, that allows you to position points anywhere you like in your custom colorscapes.

So here’s a custom linear gradient, complete with color stops, that Deke created to serve as a background for next week’s project:

A linear gradient in edit mode in Illustrator 2019

And here’s a freeform version with all of its itinerant color stops:

A freeform gradient with color stops in Illustrator 2019

See how easy it is in this week’s video!

Next week, Deke will attempt to sculpt the pepper on the left with a freeform gradient so that it looks more like the one on the right that was created with a (much more complicated and time-consuming—-but still awesome) gradient mesh.

Flat pepper and gradient mesh pepper in Illustrator

Deke’s Techniques, not your parent’s virtual organic vegetables!

Next entry:Freeform Gradients: Points versus Lines

Previous entry:Applying Global Edits in Illustrator CC 2019


  • Deke I believe I learned from you via Lynda training a fact about viewing photos in Photoshop; that only the 50 & 100% magnifications are “accurate” for checking “sharpness.” Can you straighten out what I probably recall slightly incompletely or inaccurately, what it in short means, and if it is still the case? If you know the lecture that would be helpful too. C.K. Rye Beach      
  • ... but I wouldn’t be too optimistic about getting an answer. This site not exceptionally two-way communication-wise. (And more than a little intermittent, at least outside of the Deke’s Techniques links.) But in answer to your question, it may depend on when you saw that. I remember back in the days of yore (unfortunately I can’t recall the version) Deke said “Every second level is a good one”. So 100 good, 66 bad, 50 good, 33 bad, etc. However this has clearly changed, for in his shiny new Photoshop CC 2019 course on (which I refuse to refer to by a certain other name and will probably quit when the Lynda name is dropped), he said that each magnification that you can get to by Ctrl + or Ctrl - (up to 100%) is a good one for sharpness. That is, 100, 66.7, 50, 33, 25, etc. Any OTHER magnification (like Ctrl+0 to fit on screen, which will usually render as some randomish value like (in the case of one image that I have up at the moment) 87.3%) is not sharp. Or more precisely, not as sharp as it could / should be. It’s in the second video of Chapter 2 in the Photoshop CC 2019 One On One Fundamentals course, if you have subscribed or feel like doing so.
  • Thanks for that, one never knows about responses. I’ll review second video of Chapter 2 in the Photoshop CC 2019 One On One Fundamentals, you could not be more helpful. P.S. I posted the same question on the Adobe forum, and was mobbed by poorly written quasi-explanations. The best was, “just 100%” the rest were flakey, and poorly written too. When I tried to shoo the flies away (people telling me how to use the +- keys etc.) they became inflamed. The forum is full of “points” collectors who are poor tech writers, who make it about their egos. Horrible place to try to find an answer, so I am thankful to you. I’m good with the software generally and fast with the keyboard, currently fine tuning my understanding of variations. I have some resources via Youtube, if you have a recommended place for posing carefully posed questions I’d like it.
  • Yeah, this is all accurate. (And thank you, Renaissance Man for stepping in!) The odd sizes are still a little off. I think over time, that’ll get resolved as Adobe works out some of its GPU bugs. Meanwhile, I’m trying to work out my personal kinks on the site. I apologize in the interim. Don’t give up on LinkedIn Learning. This is a big part of the experience that I and the LiL team have been working hard to expand and improve. (It’s the same team as, btw. In many ways, it’s honestly just a new name and a new wrapper. Like me, the people behind the site go way back to the early days.) If you have LiL site comments, you are welcome to offer them here and they will get passed along. Happily, today was one of the most exciting days I’ve had in the studios. If we are in any way failing to pass that experience on to you, then let me and the team know exactly why, and we will work to fix it. My sincere thanks. Deke
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