How to Use the Improved Gradient Interpolations in Adobe Photoshop

Adobe recently updated Photoshop to contain a better interpolation system for gradients with version 23.0. With this update there are now three types of gradient that each work differently. These changes were said to add a more realistic gradation of color than previous iterations.

How to Change Gradient Interpolation Modes

Changing gradient interpolation modes is easy to accomplish through the following steps.

Step One: Open Photoshop

First things first, go ahead and open Adobe Photoshop.

Step Two: Select the Gradient Tool

Once the program loads go ahead and create/open a document. Now that the document is open select the gradient tool or press g on the keyboard.

Step Three: Change Gradient Modes

In the upper corner of the window will be an option labeled Method with a dropdown menu. Revealing the menu presents the following options:

  • Classic: The old default method of gradients that Photoshop has used in previous versions.
  • Perceptual: The new default interpolation method of gradients for Adobe Photoshop, said to produce a more realistic and dependable result.
  • Linear: Uses the same interpolation settings as Adobe Illustrator. Can produce a more varied result however.

Classic Interpolation

Perceptual Interpolation

Linear Interpolation


Changing the default calculations for gradients is something that can be overlooked on the surface, however can provide pretty drastic changes in results. The updated perceptual interpolation method does provide a more aesthetically pleasing result than the classic method and is an update worth having, however I would’ve been fine with just linear being the default method. This would’ve given consistency across the different programs and makes me wonder about perceptual interpolation in Illustrator. Either way this is an update worth mentioning because the original gradient system was poor and needed an update. Check out our other articles on the 23.0 update of Adobe Photoshop: Landscape Mixer, Color Transfer, and Harmonization Neural Filters, as well as Sharing Documents for Comment, Redesigned Subject Select, Object Selection Tool, and Working with Illustrator Documents in Photoshop.

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