# How to apply a gradient to a (Raster) image in Illustrator?

I have tried to add a gradient to an image for my logo.

I have tried using Adobe Illustrator, but it doesn't add a gradient to the image, only the objects you create in Illustrator.

Is there any way to add a gradient to the image below in Illustrator? I want to make the top part lighter than the bottom.

• Do you have this in a vector form? What file type does it have? – Zach Saucier Apr 15 '17 at 14:57
• why owuld you manipulate images in illustrator? – joojaa Apr 15 '17 at 15:17
• This image is a .png file – JenkinsMa Apr 15 '17 at 15:18
• Illustrator can't edit raster images such as PNG files. You'll need to turn it into a vector first before you can apply a gradient fill. You could redraw the shape by tracing over it with the Pen tool, then you can apply a gradient fill. – Billy Kerr Apr 15 '17 at 17:18
• Don't use Illustrator; use Photoshop (or another raster image editor) – Cai Apr 15 '17 at 18:18

• Open your PNG in Illustrator.
• Select the image with the Selection Tool (Black Arrow)
• Click the Image Trace button in the Control Bar across the top of the screen. -- Let Illustrator work.... The image will change.
• Click the Expand button in the Control Bar across the top of the screen.
• Select and delete all the white objects using the Direct Selection Tool (White arrow).
• Select the black pieces and apply a gradient.

This will result in a very general rough vector shape that you can apply a gradient to. The shapes will have way too many anchor points and the edges may or may not be very smooth. This all depends upon the size of the image and the image trace settings.

Illustrator is not the best tool to use if you have raster images. You must trace the raster image in many instances for Illustrator to work with the overall image objects. These steps are very rudimentary and by no means refined. However, they will allow you to create a roughly similar shape and apply a gradient to it.

# For best results you want to manually create vector shapes within Illustrator or use Photoshop to edit raster images.

Tracing, while sometimes usable will customarily not provide optimum results for some images. Or will require clean up of paths and anchors after the tracing. If you are unfamiliar with Illustrator it may mean you need to brush up on your application knowledge to achieve optimum results.

I, personally, would place the PNG in Illustrator then use the Pen Tool to manually recreate the shapes, using the PNG as a guide. This would result in smooth, clean shapes, with a minimum amount of anchor points unlike the tracing.

This is how to do it, if the conversion to vector is for some reason forbidden and the result is wanted in Illustrator.

The idea is to use your BW image as a mask to a gradient. This works only, if your image is strictly duotone - pure black pattern on pure white background.

I see this as a circus trick. Photoshop has much more flexible tools for raster image manipulation. There raster masks are natural part of the workflow.

To gradient an image select the whole image layer

ctrl + click over the layer

Then after go to the gradient tool and draw the gradient over the selection made over a duplicate copy of the image and their you will have the two images, the original and the new gradient one.

• I don't understand... When I select the image and then try to gradient it, it doesn't work. – JenkinsMa Apr 15 '17 at 15:21
• This won't work with a raster image – Cai Apr 15 '17 at 18:18
• @jenkinsma check your settings as something may not be working – RaGe MaGiXZ Apr 17 '17 at 12:17