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I should create a vector rectangle filled with a gradient made of 4 colors, one for each corner. I could just find some very generic information about using live blends, but I am not sure that is the best tool and still I was not able to do this. How would you get that in Illustrator exactly? (And secondary in Photoshop?)

4 colors gradient (this image comes from the Photoshop color picker)

  • You could just draw squares and use a Gaussian blur, couldn't you? – jeremy Jul 13 '13 at 2:01
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Gradient Mesh in Illustrator

  • draw a rectangle
  • select the Mesh Tool
  • click one corner of the rectangle
  • apply corner color
  • Select the Direct Selection Tool
  • Click another corner anchor and apply color
  • repeat for remaining corners

mesh

There's no simple, one-click solution for a gradient of that nature.

Shape Layers in Photoshop

For Photoshop, the processes is much more cumbersome and involved and nowhere near as precise.

One method could be to use a separate shape/vector layer for each corner, then a solid filled shape as a base.

final

You basically set a gradient for each shape:

gradient

Then once you have the 4 shapes with Gradients change their blending modes to Darken. You don't absolutely need that bottom white rectangle I used. But things won't look quite right without a solid color (preferably white) background behind the gradient shape layers.

Another method for Photoshop could be to simply grab the Gradient Tool, set a color to transparent gradient and then drag from a corner. Repeat for each of the 4 colors. The problem with this method is that each time you drag, the length of the gradient will be different. So, you won't end up with 4 equal corner gradients. The Vector Layer/Shape Layer method ensures the gradients are all the same length.

In the end, I'd simply generate this in Illustrator and then copy/paste to Photoshop as a Smart Object.

  • 1
    A smart object in Photoshop (from Illustrator) looks the best and simplest solution actually. It also allows you to modify the gradient! Thanks for your very detailed answer. – taseenb Jul 14 '13 at 14:26
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To get the effect you're looking for in Photoshop, I'd suggest the Sblended add-on. Full disclosure: I wrote it.

Here's a screenshot of the interface used to create the gradient.

four corner gradient with Sblended

  • add two lines by tapping anywhere in the main area
  • add two color stops to each line by tapping anywhere on the line
  • position the color stops at the corners by dragging
  • pick the colors you'd like by double-tapping a color stop

Once you've built the effect, you can apply it in the same way as the built-in Gradient Tool - by dragging it across whatever area you want.

You can grab the free demo version to try it out here: https://creative.adobe.com/addons/products/17501

  • Hi Brian, welcome to GDSE. Your plugin does indeed do what the OP asked. Thanks for the full disclosure. Feel free to hang around and keep contributing, your time and effort help make this site great! – PieBie Mar 31 '17 at 7:12

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