How to Lighten in Illustrator

By Meaghan Ellis

Not just for illustration, Adobe llustrator contains several hidden features that you can use to spice up images, including built-in filters so you can lighten and manipulate images to give them a new life-like look. You can use lighting effects to add depth, motion, highlights and brightness to an image and combine and layer different effects to achieve different results, according to graphic artist Justin Maller in an article published in the March 2008 issue of "Computer World."'

Step 1

Click "File" on the Adobe Illustrator main menu tool bar. Click "Open" in the file menu to select the image you want to lighten.

Step 2

Click the "Pen" tool icon on the main toolbar. Then, trace the outline of the image or text document. Zoom into the document if you need to. This ensures that the trace is outlined properly.

Step 3

Right-click the image outline, and click "Make Selection." Set the selection radius to "0" and turn on the "Anti-Aliased" option. Check the box next to "New Selection."

Step 4

Click "OK." The "Defringe" box pops open.

Step 5

Change the number in the "Width" box to replace the background for the image.

Step 6

Hold "Ctrl" and "Alt" on the keyboard, and click the "New Layer" icon on the taskbar at the bottom of the Illustrator window to create a new layer for the image. Select the "Gradient" tool in the main toolbar. Drag the gradient from dark to light.

Step 7

Click the "Lens" tool, and move the arrow lever to the right to adjust the brightness as you desire to lighten the image. Once you've lightened the image, save it .

Step 8

Click "File" again, and select the "Save As" option. Give the manipulated image a new file name to avoid overwriting the original image file.

Step 9

Click "Save" to store the lightened AI image file to your computer.