I have always found the gradient editors in packages like Photoshop unsatisfactory for making gentle colour gradients (such as skies). If you use two colours, you get a smooth gradient but usually a very ugly sky. If you use three or more colours, it is very hard to get a smooth gradient. You can do it, but it takes a lot of trial and error to find the right arrangement of colour swatches.
So I’ve made this tool, which is designed to plot a graceful bezier arc through RGB space. At this point you can only use three colours. The curve will not touch the middle colour – rather it is used as a control point.
This tool isn’t for everyone. If you need more of an explanation of why this is useful, you probably don’t need it. But I hope some people will find it to be a useful timesaver and a creative aid.
Mac OSX 10.5+ / Intel only.
Zaphos has made an online version using Processing, which works the same except that it can’t save a file or copy to the clipboard, and it’s doesn’t have Floyd-Steinberg dithering. It is available here.
Gentle Gradient is distributed as-is, with no documentation or support. Please do not charge money for Gentle Gradient. If you want to make a clone or incorporate the idea into Photoshop, you are welcome to. Gentle Gradient is alpha software, and I am not responsible if your computer blows up.