Articles, Blog

Illustrator CC 2019 new feature – Freeform Gradient

October 30, 2019

Hey, guys, it’s Martin from
Yes I’m a designer, let me show you a new feature in Adobe Illustrator CC 2019. So this has to be my favorite new feature in this version the gradients in the previous
versions were already working really well and we obviously have the gradient
mesh option which I have in this case as well you can see all of these shapes
have gradient meshes on them which means that if I use the direct selection tool
I can move these nodes around and you can see how the colors are
starting to mix differently. Now this is an amazing feature and I know that a lot of
professional illustrators would use it all the time I do as well but finally now we have a new option which is a new take on creating this
type of illustrations. So let me show you this I’m just going to turn on this
other shape that I prepared, which is not a gradient mesh. So this is just a simple
shape at this moment but what we will be doing here is to add a gradient on it and the way I’m going to do it is by going through the Window Menu select
Gradient that brings us to the Gradient Panel and notice that we have the new
option here next to the original Linear and Radial gradient now we have also
this third category called Freeform gradient and that’s the new
feature. So let me click on that and as soon as I click on it is going to
automatically assign a few pinpoints on the gradient. So you can think of these as control points. These control points can be moved
around freely and easily and you can see a live update of how your new gradient is going to look like
I just love this feature it’s more similar to the Puppet Warp that was
introduced in the previous version but now that we can use these pins also for
gradients it’s just amazing and of course you can add new points as well as
easily as that and you can move them freely around and you can see how cool
effects you can get very quickly but of course there’s more. So if you want you
can also double click on any of these and switch to a different color so
I can take something completely different and then we can also increase the area that it covers it’s called spread which you can access again by
click and dragging this little black point and then now we can see it has a
reach that is less smoothing transition but it covers a bigger area with that selected color. Another really cool feature is that while
you are selecting colours for your gradients and this actually
applies to all types of gradients, finally, now we have the Eyedropper tool as well available so I
can pick a colour from another design. So I can check very quickly which color
would suit best this part of my gradient and then I can just leave it at that, so
having the feature might seem like a small thing but again it’s just so much
more convenient to work with gradients in general just by having that option there. Now if you don’t see the nodes or control points on your Gradient or
Freeform gradient make sure you press G to get back to your Gradient tool and
that way you should be able to see them again, but they’re still not all there’s
more you can even add control lines instead of points. So just select lines
here on the top or from the Gradient panel and all you have to do is to start drawing. So let me just put my first point down but before I go any further
I’m going to change the color of this to something like that and then notice that
I will see a rubber band showing the line that is going to be created, so if I click again there’s my new point using again the previous color which is very smart but here comes the coolest thing if I keep drawing with this it’s going
to automatically curve this path and each of these color stops will be using
my most recent color. So because I created this is a line that means that
the gradient is running along the edge of the shape now so this is a brilliant
feature for shading shapes and in a much more intuitive way than it used to be
with the gradient mesh. So you can see I can select each of these points still and double click on them to change the color I can of course
use color swatches or the eyedropper and I can very quickly assign different
shading on them like this one as well I can make a bit darker and immediately it
starts to feel that this shape has a bit more depth because this bottom area is
darker than the top but of course you can still move these points around and notice how nicely all the other parts of the curve update. So if I move this point
around you can see both neighboring details updating. Again this behavior on
the path actually comes from the curvature tool. So think of this as the
curvature tool use within a gradient to define your color stops and the
transitions between them once again the freeform gradient is an
amazing feature make sure you test it out because it’s much more intuitive
than the gradient mesh and it is just pure fun to work with, and thanks a lot
for watching I hope this was useful and if you want to find out more about all
the new features released in this version for Photoshop Illustrator and
InDesign make sure you check back on our channel. See you guys in the next one


  • Reply Adnan Janujaz October 16, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    First to comment. First to learn from Martin ! Thanks for making a tutorial on this. Would love to see a Tutorial on Puppet Warp from you.

  • Reply Ari W. October 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the quick and helpful demo. Would be good to know best uses for Freeform Gradients vs. a Gradient Mesh.

  • Reply Navigator777777 October 16, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    2019 just installed yesterday on a 27” iMac 3.2 GHz 32 GB memory……Slow slow slow. Force quit 5 times this AM. Any ideas? 2108 was smooth!

  • Reply Wavvy October 17, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    It took them god damn years but they made an effective gradient tool. This makes my life a whole lot easier.

  • Reply beefknuckles October 18, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Amazzzzzing new feature… SO excited to use this! Thanks Martin! Have a wonderful day

  • Reply Sheikh Muhammad Adnan October 18, 2018 at 6:43 am


  • Reply Nizamuddin Shaikh October 19, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Amazing feature! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Anna Tao October 19, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    How does this new Gradient feature expands? I mean which type of object it becomes after expanding – gradient mesh or a bitmap image?
    Thank you.

  • Reply M R October 19, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Woot! Great video thanks buddy!

  • Reply Nakki Nyan October 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I use gmesh constantly and made a new vector that needs gradients so I was going to play with this a lot

  • Reply Diego Mendi October 22, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Martin, do you know when will this be available? It looks amazing.

  • Reply SCOO00OOBZ October 22, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Is there any way I can use the freeform gradient tool with TEXT (font) I've tried but can't seem to get it to work.

  • Reply 9Process Channel November 1, 2018 at 2:11 am

    Thank you, I want to know that how to adapt this function for microstock work

  • Reply Monika Pociute November 24, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Thank you for a great tutorial 🙂 but I have some issues with the Freeform Gradient. First, I can't add to the swatches the gradient that I made with the Freeform Gradient and next is that I can not blend it. So my questions would be, is there any solutions? maybe there is any other way how I can add it and blend it? Thank you in advance 🙂

  • Reply Adam Seiler November 28, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Work with SVG?

  • Reply Hasan all in all 143 December 17, 2018 at 3:22 am

    Can give me cc2019 download creck link ??

  • Reply Robby Ortloff December 20, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Thanks for the great Tutorial. That was exactly what I was looking for. So excited to play with the tool.

  • Reply Stephanie Schoch January 2, 2019 at 7:59 pm


  • Reply Steven Skadal January 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Going to try it out now. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Nick Harmer January 14, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Nice! Thanks for the quick and clear video!

  • Reply Stacey Manela January 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Super helpful. I've been clinging on to CS6 for FOREVER — decided to give in to the man and subscribe. Your video made me so glad I did, the new features are completely worth the money and your video does an excellent job of demonstrating this. Great work and thank you!

  • Reply ShimmerStockton January 30, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Aggghhh, I can create the freeform gradient. Add as many swatch colours as I want, but I can't for the life of me edit the freefrom gradient that I'm working on. There's an edit gradient button that does absolutely nothing. When I press G on the freefrom gradient I get the pointer with a non activated symbol. Am I in the wrong colour mode or some BS! Very frustrating. Please help.

  • Reply Drew Robinson January 31, 2019 at 5:36 am


  • Reply Patricia Martinez February 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Wooow. Thank you very much! This is great! <3

  • Reply Rombout Versluijs February 11, 2019 at 3:17 am

    Sweet bold color design! Like them a lot

  • Reply Rombout Versluijs February 11, 2019 at 3:28 am

    One thing i do hate is that illustrator and photoshop dont align some core features. They should do that. For example align tools in illustrator had the distribue tool for YEARSSSSSS it took photoshop i guess more than a decade to add that. I believe 2019 has it now. Im glad i found that photoshop plugin many years ago. Still use it. Also aligning using Key Object. Indesign has it, illustrator has it, yet again photoshop falls short. Or the cool feature using KeyObject and distribute together so you can set a perfect offset you want in mm or whatever measurement. They should work more together as teams at Adobe 🙂 hint hint

  • Reply briannabseymour March 2, 2019 at 3:28 am

    Thanks so much! That was a nice, quick, thorough video!

  • Reply Claire Baldwin March 15, 2019 at 2:04 am

    This is really helpful. I'd also like to know how to enter hex codes for the colors, it looks like that feature was removed when they updated the gradient tool. But maybe I'm just not seeing it?

  • Reply Pankaj Verma March 21, 2019 at 11:20 am

    You are Great!

  • Reply Life Store April 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the great Tutorial. That was exactly what I was looking for. So excited to play with the tool.

  • Reply Bishwajit Das Tutul April 21, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Chris Raymond April 22, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    wow, this is great.

  • Reply Ryan Riehl May 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Once I exit the gradient it is no longer editable for me. No points show up once in edit mode or hitting "G". Why is this?

  • Reply AC NG May 23, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Finally !! I can eyedrop pick my color on illustrator

  • Reply Diane S May 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I can't seem to update to this version and get this new gradient tool. Must be only open to newer OSs. I will try on my laptop.

  • Reply Lucia Herráez June 24, 2019 at 2:41 am

    Thank you! Gracias!

  • Reply # mojo_0101 June 26, 2019 at 4:05 am

    You can also control the opacity of the gradient. You can make some really nice sunburst effects with this as well as easily add atmosphere to an image. #inlove

  • Reply Rat Byte July 29, 2019 at 2:07 am

    This was very useful, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Marianne Centner Fashion and Footwear Tutorials August 22, 2019 at 2:39 am

    Thank you, very clear! better than Adobe Help!!

  • Reply Ana Maria Florea August 23, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Hello! Very goed tutorial 👍👍👍 Can u make maybe also a tutorial over how to use this new feature also with tekst.

  • Reply Volodymyr Symchuk August 31, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Oh my God. Your explanations are amazing!! Thank you so much! you're such a good teacher

  • Reply Evan Blazer September 4, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    How do I get this, I have a subscription to Adobe and I updated my program but its still only set to 2018??

  • Reply Marvin Morales September 22, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Greetings from Costa Rica! Thanks for the video

  • Reply Gman Gman October 4, 2019 at 9:28 am


  • Reply Robert Rosal October 14, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    What does the square within a square icon mean when hovering over a gradient point?

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