Complex Gradients Breakdown

Complex Gradients Breakdown

Understanding the basic layouts of gradients is an easy way to understand how artwork can be placed on different types of drums, and what it looks like when it is applied in different ways. Keep in mind that as we are using a simple black and white gradient for this example, with a little use of your imagination, these gradients could easily be substituted with your artwork.

As you are most likely aware, ON2 Percussion offers a large library of Complex Gradients (feel free to browse through our library by clicking here). We refer to them as Complex Gradients as they are gradients mixed with various textures and blends of color; even though there are hundreds of designs from which to choose, each one breaks down into one of two simple categories: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical

Symmetrical gradients are fairly basic. Symmetrical gradients have designs that when the shell is split in half down the center, both sides have mirrored gradients. Symmetrical Gradients work great and are universally compatible for snares, tenors, and bass drums.

Asymmetrical gradients are a little trickier. We've actually broken this one down into three separate broad groups (it could be divided in many different ways, but these are the formats we use quite often when creating our Complex Gradients):
Asymmetrical (standard) - These gradients are completely asymmetrical, meaning that when the gradient is placed on the drum, the top/bottom and left/right do not match each other when mirrored.
Asymmetrical ⅓ Top (Left or Right for Bass Drums) - These gradients are asymmetrical as well, but are heavily oriented towards the top ⅓ area of the shell of the drum. These gradients are extremely useful and common as they allow you to use an asymmetrical design that is visually consistent with snares, tenors, and bass drums, and none of the design is lost on the front of the tenor shells.
Asymmetrical ⅓ Bottom (Left or Right for Bass Drums) - These gradients are completely opposite from the Asymmetrical ⅓ Top gradients. As the design is heavily oriented towards the bottom ⅓ area of the shell of the drum, none of the bottom ⅓ part of the design will be seen when viewing tenor drums from the front. This can be a very risky design choice when trying to make the design consistent among all three instrument sections. However, this creates a nice effect when the players are facing back field, as the full design will show on tenor drum's drums 3 and 4 while none of the snare drum designs will be seen at all.

Below are diagrams of each type of instrument with both Symmetrical and Asymmetrical gradient layouts.

Snare Drum Gradients

Tenor Drum Gradient Examples

Bass Drum Gradient Examples

Use the gradient examples above to help you begin thinking of the layout for your design and how it will be applied to each instrument. Whether or not you are creating your own gradient design, the format of the way the black and white gradients are dispersed will serve as an excellent road map to help you get started when considering layouts for each instrument and the placement of your artwork on those instruments. For a more in depth look at how to place artwork on the Drum Slip Custom Design Template, visit the Artwork Placement Tips section here.
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