Watch on YouTube:

I was creating a poster for my DJ business and my designer friend tells me "You should put an image of a person on it. Images of people increase engagement." I found this great image of a girl dancing from iStock that I wanted to use, and then I had to figure out how to make her into a gradient.

My first attempt gave me a flat silhouette that didn't show the texture of the face, but then I found this trick to get that complex watermark effect.

Creating a Transparent Gradient

In the video I show how to do this using an image I grabbed from iStock. Here I'll explain how to do it from a texture you already have.

  1. Use the Rectangle Tool create a background with a solid color. This will be the background.
  2. Select an existing object or use the Rectangle Tool again to create one for this example.
  3. Change the color to a gradient (such as the rainbow)
  4. Now change it to grayscale Edit -> Edit Colors -> Convert to Grayscale
  5. Copy the object and lay the copy exactly overtop the original
  6. Change the color of the copy to White
  7. Open Window -> Transparency
  8. Two-Finger Click on the white copy and select Arrange -> Send Backward. The gray copy should not be on top. You should see a white box selected in the Transparency tool.
  9. Shift Click on the gray copy. You should now see the gray object selected in the Transparency tool.
  10. From the dropdown menu in the Transparency tool select Make Opacity Mask
  11. Change the transparency of the mask object as desired.
  12. Tada! You now have a complex watermark.

Play around a bit and join multiple gradinet objects together to get the desired effect. I recommend always adjusting the transparency last so that the layers don't show through each other (unless you want that).

By AJ ONeal

If you loved this and want more like it, sign up!

Did I make your day?
Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee  

(you can learn about the bigger picture I'm working towards on my patreon page )