you can fly!? Circular Gradients for Backgrounds
Using the circular gradient tool to make fancy background effects.
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part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part4 - part5 

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Let's do some more fun things with the circular gradient tool.

Start by selecting a gradient like #6 from the default gradient set.

click to enlarge

As expected. the left-most color (starting color) of the gradient shows in the center of the drawn circle shape. The gradient then spreads in concentric circles from there to reach the right-most final color at the rim of the drawn circle:

Notice however also that the final color doesn't just stop there: The grey color extends beyond the circle's rim and fills the rest of the canvas.

Therefore, if you draw another circular gradient somewhere else, like this one below:

Then what happens is that the old circular gradient disappears as it is replaced with the grey color from the new circle's edge:

If you don't want that, i.e. if you just want a new circular area that ends at the circle's edge, leaving the remainder of the image intact, then you can trick it to do so by using the Opacity value of the gradient.

Select the Opacity tab in the gradient:

Use the mouse to lower the value near the right edge. This will cause the opacity value at and near the end of the gradient's range to reach zero, i.e. become fully transparent, if you go all the way down to the bottom.

You could smooth things a little if necessary, using the sooth buton.

Now go ahead and draw a new circular gradient shape.

And there you are: it reaches the final grey color and suddenly turns transparent as the opacity drops to zero, thus leaving the rest of the image intact:

It will take just about 2-3 seconds to draw this now:

Note that in this example, the grey color at the edge of the circle is gradually reached as if fades from black. For one, the gradient's colors are fading from black to grey. But there's also the opacity which was smoothed and this appears to softly blend into the background color.

Try a few alternatives. Different grdients, with sudden color changes, and sudden opacity changes, without smoothing too.

And you can lso use addition effects from the filters menu to further add complexity to it.

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part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part4 - part5