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Tutorial: Creating a Gradient Effect in Adobe After Effects CC 2014

Gradients are a popular effect used in both broadcast and online video. You can use them to isolate something in your image, or add some style to your graphics and videos. This tutorial will demonstrate how to create and apply gradients in After Effects CC 2014.

Adding the Gradient Effect to a Video

Let’s take this one step further by adding this gradient effect to some actual video. First, add a video to the composition, and position it as the bottom layer in the stacking order (Figure 7, below).

Figure 7. Video added to the comp in the bottom layer

Next, select the Toggle Modes button (Figure 8, below) until you can see the Modes options (Figure 9, below Figure 8).

Figure 8. The Toggle Modes button

Figure 9. Modes options now available

Now we can alter the mode of our gradient layer. Let’s choose the Darken mode from the Modes drop-down menu.

Next, let’s change the Start Color of our gradient to something different in the Effects Control panel (Figure 10, below). Let’s pick something that stands out, as we’re trying to give this video a very stylized look. For this example, I’ll choose red and press OK.

Figure 10. Changing the Start Color. Click the image to see it at full size.

The gradient has completely changed the look of our video, as you can see in the before and after in Figure 11 (below). You can back off this look by selecting T on your gradient layer, and then lowering the opacity.

Figure 11. Before the gradient (top) and after (bottom)

That’s how you can use gradient effects in your projects. Using the gradient effect, you can almost create a different-time-of-day look for this particular video.


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