16.7.4. Gradient Effect

Gradient effect gives a very special impression to an ordinary graphic, a correct touch up could make an object become lively and outstanding. It produces very sharp and nice resolution as compare to traditional SCADA that plays trick on uses several pieces of object with different color shades. This traditional trick is difficult to produce and the resolution is very bad. As such traditional SCADA system normally shipped with huge graphic library pack. Below are several quick and simple steps that demonstrate how to draw a tank with impressive look.

A simple tank with gradient effect.


Step 1. Draw a rectangle without stroke then double click to get into resizing mode.


Step 2. Simply drag on two small circles to shape the tank.


Step 3. Press Ctrl + D for twice to duplicate two more similar shape of objects. Temporarily move one aside to the top of the diagram. Then move another one slightly above the existing object. Set the existing object to black. Holding down Ctrl while dragging could ensure object always move along the same line from the original position.


Step 4. Highlight both of them and Press Ctrl + Minus to perform Path Difference Operation. Double clicking on the result to further fine tune the object to the desired shape, only if required.


Step 5. When the black object is highlighted, press 'g' to get Gradient tool, then drag mouse across the object from bottom to top. If the shadow effect is not satisfactory, slowly adjust it by dragging the two small circles.


Step 6. Move the top object back to the original position, press page down to ensure shadow is on top, and tank body is at the bottom.


Step 7. Press Ctrl + D again to duplicate one more tank body.


Step 8. For visibility reason, turn the stroke back on by using short cut: right click on 'Stroke' pane at bottom left and select 'Black'. Then resize the newly duplicated body.


Step 9. Here demonstrate a trick to remove the round corner that inheritted from previously customized shape. Click on the small square circle and drag all the way down until the tank body appear flat as shown.


Step 10. Drag the small square circle up again and the round corner will be removed, resize the new rectangle so that it appear in the middle.


Step 11. Further reduce the size and make it about 1/3 of the tank body. Set the color to white and remove its stroke.


Step 12. Press 'g' to turn on gradient mode and drag across the white rentagle to create bright light source effect.


Step 13. Press Ctrl + D to duplicate one more gradient, press 'h' to flip horizontally. Then press Edit Gradient as shown and choose black for shadow effect.


Step 14. Move the shadow to the right, double click to fine tune the effect as desired.


Step 15. Draw a white ellipse on the cover, click once then slightly tilt it to create desired direction of light source.


Step 16. Call out the Fill properties, press 'Radial Gradient' to create round surface shiny effect. Again adjust the size and gradient strength to desired result and complete the tank.