Produced by KelbyOne

Illustrator CS4 Gradients

Create and edit complex gradients with the new Gradient tool in Illustrator CS4, which has undergone a complete makeover. There’s a new reverse gradient button, and gradient widgets that allow users to edit applied gradients visually. There are also new transparency options. Cheryl Graham explores these new features and takes viewers through a quick design project, creating the ringed planet of Saturn.


  • Garry Mamesah says:

    This is one of the most stunning tutorials I’ve ever seen. I pretty like of this one to help me using the Illustrator

  • LittleLion says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’d love to see what’s new for Gradient Mesh in CS4 though…

  • Tom Viengvilai says:

    Hi Cheryl!

    Another tutorial that rocks the planet!

  • Mrs. Smith says:

    This is what I have been waiting for! Finally an upgrade to the gradient tool!

  • Maryam says:

    Thank you ,honestly Finally an upgrade to the gradient too…wooohooo

  • de_mego says:

    Finally that tool changed , thanx for that great vid

  • evan says:

    Great tutorial!
    But really, Adobe… what a joke!
    It took Illustrator 10 years or so to get the functionality of the the gradient tool that existed in Draw v8 or was it v5?

  • Stephen says:

    True, but the thing that kills me is that Illustrator still hasn’t touched it’s vector editing tools which are still 10 years behind current technology. Look at Xara it you want to find a truly intelligent application. I’t gradient creation and vector tools make Illustrators look like they are lightyears behind.

  • Skyebeka says:

    The color slider doesn’t appear on my object when I select the gradient tool and apply a gradient. Does anyone else have this problem?

  • Dilip Mukerjea says:

    Brilliantly demonstrated!!! Thank you so much. You are an artist using artistry for mere artisans who aspire to art at its most artistic!

  • Jennifer says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!! I absolutely love this tutorial.

  • Michael says:

    This tutorial is great but I’m missing the clipping mask step at the end. I’m not able to make the ring go in the back of the planet like you did.

    I’ll continue playing with it but if someone has the answer, please help.


  • jonnycross says:

    to Skyebeka I have the same problem and so do a few of my friends, I thought it was a problem with system requirements so I installed it on a quad PC and got hte same problem. anyone got any Ideas.???

  • Myshiloh says:

    I had to create a logo in PowerPoint once in order to have a transparency within a gradient. I’m glad to see Illustrator finally catch up with that. However, while I did enjoy the tutorial, the end with reference to the last steps went so quickly and I’m so inexperienced with Illustrator that I have no idea how to finish that project. Still, The tutorial was helpful and I love the transparency being added. I’m going to have fun with that!

  • cassie says:

    Having same problem as Michael and Skyebeka – Can anyone identify why?

  • cassie says:

    Just discovered the answer in order to view the gradient slider called “Gradient Annotator” you need to select the object with the Gradient Tool and make sure the View > Show Gradient Annotator is enabled.

  • Johnathan says:

    As with Michael’s comment above I cannot seem to get the masking of the planet and the rings right, so that the rings go behoind the planet.

    Is there a tutorial that could help?

  • Harley Johnson says:

    I’ve never seen such a convoluted hotch-potch of unnecessarily complicated nonsense!

    You’ve obviously never used FreeHand – itself the essence of speed and simplicity – which had ‘draw inside’ and perspective grids five years ago. It’s astounding that Adobe is still playing catch up.

    Best of all, FreeHand is still alive and kicking, even though Adobe would like to think they’ve buried it. Listening to the above, you can see why.

    Don’t get me wrong, Illustrator is a powerful app. But Adobe’s efforts to develop it over the past five years have resulted in probably the the most non-intuitive, and needlessly complex piece of overbloated software that could ever be conceived. But they can’t stop developing it can they, or they’ll become redundant. So what on earth will they do with it next? Sooner or later it’ll grind to a halt under its own weight and we’ll all be exalting FreeHand. Watch this space…

  • Great tutorial! The gradient tool is very frustrating to a beginner like me, it took forever even to figure out how to change the color of it. Some of these posters are right, its very unintuitive to work with, even if it is very powerful. Your tutorial helped clear some things up… Btw, I’m using cs5 now, but all this is pretty much the same from what I can tell. Thanks!

  • uzapuca says:

    Nice tutorial. Indeed gradient in Illustrator is quite frustraing for most users. I don’t know what you think but it seems Illustrator is the least updated software in the Adobe family if you compared to InDesign for example, miles ahead. Thanks! BTW very nice Ellen Page voice…hehe.