Sblended lets you take gradients to the next level. This guide will show you how.
First things first, what’s so special about Sblended?
Other gradient tools work in a single dimension, like along a straight line or a radial axis.
Sblended brings a whole new dimension to gradients by letting you create effects that blend in multiple directions at once. Another way to think of it is as a way to create gradients between gradients. But the best way to understand it is to just give it a whirl, which is hopefully why you’re here.
Let’s take a closer look at the options at your disposal for making a truly splendid Blend. The panel’s broken down into five major sections: the four shown in this screenshot, as well as the Blend List.
Tap on a section below to jump to the help for that area.
The Nav Bar has general options that apply to the plugin as a whole.
Activate or Deactivate Sblended. Whenever it's active and you use the Gradient Tool, the Sblended Blend will be applied instead of the normal linear/radial gradient.
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Toggle between filling the entire layer/selection or not. Toggling off the fill can be useful if you're planning on rotating the effect with Photoshop's Free Transform Tool afterwards.
Tap to open the Blend List to see and manage your saved Blends.
This section contains options for the currently active Blend.
Give your Blends a name so they’re easy to find later on.
Mix things up and get some fresh inspiration with a tap of the randomize button.
Switch between horizontally and vertically-oriented Blends. You can also rotate to an arbitrary angle after applying your Blend using Photoshop's Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T).
Switch between Color and Opacity control modes to manipulate the Stops for the selected mode.
Tap to toggle or hold down the button to bring up a menu to let you choose a specific mode.
Show or Hide the Blend Editor controls so you can get a clean look at your Blend.
This is where most of the action happens.
It'll be familiar if you've used a Gradient Editor in another design tool.
Tap on an empty area to add a new Line or tap on a Line to add a new Stop. You can add a Color Stop or Opacity Stop, depending on the control mode you have selected.
Color Stops are square and colored, while Opacity Stops are rounded and will always be grayscale, with black representing 100% opacity and white representing 0%. You might only see Color Stops or Opacity Stops. depending on your particular Blend and the control mode you have selected.
Drag Stops or Lines to change their position in the Blend.
Tap on a Stop to select it and bring up its Details for further refinement. The Selected Stop will have a thick border around it in the Editor.
Double-Tap a Stop to change its color using Photoshop's Color Picker.
The specifics of the Selected Stop are modified here, such as its position and color or opacity.
For a Color Stop, the color can be changed by using either the Color Chip to bring up Photoshop's Color Picker, or by using the live HSB or RGB Color Pickers found in Expanded mode.
For an Opacity Stop, the opacity can be changed either by using the Input Field,
by dragging the Quick Drag icon horizontally, or by using the Opacity Slider found in Expanded mode.
Regardless of the type of the Selected Stop, the Details pane also allows you to:
Remove the Selected Stop
Change the Horizontal and Vertical Position of the Selected Stop
Expand/Collapse the Details
This is where you'll manage your Blends.
You can bring up the Blend List by tapping on the Thumbnail in the Nav Bar.
Tap on a Blend to activate it and open it for editing.
You can also Clone or Remove a Blend using the More button found on each Blend in the List.
Add a new Blend using the plus button at the bottom.
Find a Blend by name using the Search Bar at the top of the List.
Save your current Blends to disk to backup or share with the community.
Load or Replace your Blends using a previously saved Blends (.bld) file.
APPLYING YOUR BLEND
Now that you know how to make great Blends, let’s walk through how to apply one to your Photoshop project.
The first thing to note is that Sblended piggybacks on the built-in Gradient Tool within Photoshop.
It looks like this:
Whenever the Sblended panel is active and you apply the Gradient Tool, your “Blend” will be applied instead of the basic linear or radial gradient.
The panel takes your current selection and the start and end points of the drag operation into account to give you precise control over how the effect gets applied.
Here’s a few examples that demonstrate using this Blend: