Tip #1382: Playing With Gradients

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1382: Playing With Gradients

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Gradients can create the illusion of depth and/or roundness.

The Shape settings needed to create the 3D ball shape.

Topic $TipTopic

This tip started with me wondering: “Um, what happens if I change this?”

I started by drawing a circle.

  • In Inspector > Shape > Style, I switched the color fill from Color to Gradient.
  • Twirl down the Gradient triangle (to the left of the name) to reveal a whole flock of additional controls.
  • Set Type to Radial.
  • Change the Start and End positions to move the highlight off center.
  • Boost feathering a little bit to make the ball seem a bit more rounded.

Ta-DAH! A shape that looks a LOT more like a 3D ball than a simple 2D circle.

NOTE: Gradients which have only two colors work the best for this. Feel free to experiment with changing colors and see what looks best for you.


You can keyframe the Start and End positions to make it look like the lighting around the ball is moving.

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