Gradient Map

In: Atomic Nodes



The Gradient Map is a node that serves a dual purpose. Most often it is simply used as a Grayscale-to-Color conversion node, as it is the cheapest and simplest way to do so. Aside from that it also serves as a way to remap a grayscale input to a custom-set color ramp.

The Gradient Map Node is used very often. If enabled in the settings this node will be automatically created when connecting a Grayscale output to a Color input. A classic usecase is to take masks based on your heightmap, and to turn them into full color maps for your basecolor by using the Gradient Map Node.


Unlike most other nodes, the main settings of the Gradient Map Node are inside the Gradient editor. Read the collapsed guide below on how to use this.

  • Color Mode: Color, Grayscale
    Sets the output mode to Color or Grayscale.
  • Gradient Adressing: Repeat, Clamp
    Sets the gradient to either repeat (tile) or clamp.
  • Gradient:
    Shows a preview of the custom gradient and opens the Gradient editor.


Usage Guide

The Gradient Editor

The Gradient Editor is where all the main settings of the Gradient node are available.

Open the Gradient Editor

There are 2 ways to open the Gradient Editor:

  • Click on the Gradient Editor button.
  • Double click on one gradient pin.


The interface can be divided in 3 sections:

1: The Gradient view

The Gradient view lets you add, move and delete pins, and offers some options to modify your whole gradient in one click.

-Add a pin:

To add a pin, just double click on the gradient, or just below: the pin will appear below the gradient at the position you clicked.

The newly added pin value will correspond the already existing one in the gradient:

-Move a pin:

To move a pin, jusy click, hold and move left/right your mouse:

-Delete a pin:

To delete a pin, you can click&drag the pin to the top direction:


As you would expect, this button will desaturate your graph:

-Invert Positions

Will reverse your gradient:

-Inverse Colors

Will modify each pin value by its opposite color:


Switches the gradient computation mode from linear to interpolate

Linear mode

The linear mode is handling the transition between 2 pins, in a linear way:

Interpolate mode

The interpolate is handling the transition between 2 pins py interpolating the value of each one.

As a result, each pin is "keeping" its color a bit longer, and the transition between 2 colors is made in a shorter space compared to linear:

-Clear All

Removes all the pins of your gradient:

2: The RGBA Gradient key

The RGBA Gradient key lets you set the exact color and position of the pin you have selected in the gradient.

The Position spinner allows you to manually enter a value for the selected pin position:

The color palette can be used to visually select the color you want.

Select the hue with the vertical slider, then choose the position in the palette that represents the saturation and value of your choice

If for some reason you want to go back to your original color, just double-click on the bottom part of the color viewer:

The Pick button allows you to choose a color wherever on your screen:

The Invert button will simply invert your actual color and the To Gray button will desaturate your color:

The Copy and Paste buttons allow you to copy the actual color or to paste a previously copied color.

The sliders on the right give you the choice to work in RGB or HSV mode:

You can select and change the value of multiple pins at the same time.

3: The Gradient Eyedropper

The Gradient Eyedropper is one of the most useful features this node offers, as you can create complex gradients just by drawing a line on a reference picture.

The Precision spinner will help you adjust your newly created gradient by increasing or decreasing the number of keys: the lower their values, the more precise your gradient will match your picked values.