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Adding to an existing opacity mask

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adding to an existing opacity mask

I've gone ahead and save my progress so far as Where are my legs.ai so named by the way, because we can see through to Sammy's incomplete legs. Now I could solve this problem with the legs just kind of cut off too early, by grabbing my White Arrow tool, and then I could click on the legs in order to make him active, and then grab one of these corner points for example, and move it over so it's more or less aligned to the keyboard, or if I wanted to make sure it's exactly aligned, then I'll go ahead and undo that operation by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z and I'll press Ctrl+U or Command+U, that's Ctrl+U on a PC, Command+U on a Mac, to invoke my smart guides. And you can also choose if you prefer the Smart Guides command from the View menu. And then you would go ahead and grab this anchor point and drag it until it snaps into alignment with the white keys, this path that represents the white keys. That is to say and then I could drag this anchor point until it snaps into alignment with the white keys as well, and then that solve that problem, all right.

Adding to an existing opacity mask

I've gone ahead and save my progress so far as Where are my legs.ai so named by the way, because we can see through to Sammy's incomplete legs. Now I could solve this problem with the legs just kind of cut off too early, by grabbing my White Arrow tool, and then I could click on the legs in order to make him active, and then grab one of these corner points for example, and move it over so it's more or less aligned to the keyboard, or if I wanted to make sure it's exactly aligned, then I'll go ahead and undo that operation by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z and I'll press Ctrl+U or Command+U, that's Ctrl+U on a PC, Command+U on a Mac, to invoke my smart guides. And you can also choose if you prefer the Smart Guides command from the View menu. And then you would go ahead and grab this anchor point and drag it until it snaps into alignment with the white keys, this path that represents the white keys. That is to say and then I could drag this anchor point until it snaps into alignment with the white keys as well, and then that solve that problem, all right.

But here is the problem with that solution. What if I decide to later make my white keys translucent as I plan to do? We are going to create this cool gradient effect, this Gradient Translucency effect that is to say and then we are still going to see Sammy's abruptly ending legs in a background there. So let's just go ahead and undo those modifications to that leg path, by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, a couple of times in a row, and then I'm going to press Ctrl+U or Command+U to hide those smart guides, just because they tend to clutter up the interface as we're working along here inside the video.

So what's the actual real solution? Well, it's this. I'm going to press the V key to get my Black Arrow tool. I'm going to click on this keyboard outline right there, the blue keyboard outline that's currently set to Multiply. I am going to go ahead and copy it by going to the Edit menu, and choosing the Copy command, Ctrl+C, Command+C on a Mac of course, just showing you what I'm up to there, and then I'm going to go to the jacket layer. So I'm going to meatball this jacket sublayer. Go ahead and expand the Transparency palette, so I can see the opacity mask. Click on the opacity mask thumbnail in order to make it active. You'll see Sammy's little black head right there that's cutting a hole through the jacket elements. And now what you're going to do is you're going to go up to the Edit menu, and you're going to choose good old Paste in Front, or Ctrl+F, Command+F on the Mac in order to paste that keyboard in front of the other objects inside the opacity mask.

So I'm going to go ahead and twirl open this opacity mask element here inside the Layers palette, and you'll see that we have Sammy's head right there, which you can name if you want to, I'll just go ahead and double-click on it, name it head, and then I'll double-click on this one, and name it piano, like so, then I'll click OK. Now the problem with the piano object is that it's blue, and blue doesn't really serve a specific function, no color does, when you're working inside of an opacity mask. Opacity masks need black to represent transparency and white to represent opacity, and other gray values to represent incremental levels of translucency in between, but blue doesn't really mean in anything. So we need to change this Color value up here.

So right now notice, here inside the Color palette, my stroke is selected and it's set to black. I don't want the stroke to be cutting a hole, so I'm just going to set it to transparent by pressing the Slash key which turns the stroke to None, of course as you may recall for many applications of that keyboard shortcut now. Then I'm going to press the X key to switch to the Fill. If you know anything about how opacity masking works? I mean if you sort of wrap your mind around the theory here, if black is transparent and white is opaque, and the values in between or levels of translucency in between, then you might think Illustrator calculates things on an ink by ink basis. In other words 100% Cyan is going to wipe out all the Cyans inside of the illustration. 60% of the Magentas leave the other 40% behind, and Y and K values of 0 are going to wipe out no yellow, and no black, but that's just not the way it works.

So having gone down confusion lane with you there, that's not what's happening. All Illustrator does is it just sort of figures out what gray that sort of massive colors are, and that's how much translucency you get across all of the inks. You can actually investigate that on your own, if you have a mind to check my work, by bringing up the Separations Preview palette right here, and playing with these various inks after turning on Overprint Preview of course to see exactly what's going on. I am inviting you to do that, I'm not going to do in front of you, because it's dull, but anyway I'm going to turn that back off, hide the palette, and what you want to do because we want all of the objects behind this keyboard, at least where the jacket is concerned, they turn transparent. I want you to just go ahead and make that Fill black by clicking on little black Swatch there in that Spectrum bar, and as a result, notice the legs go totally away. So 100% black is all it takes. Just at the risk of ruining you entirely here.

Alternatively, what you could do is you could set the Cyan and Magenta and Yellow values each to 100% and leave K set to 0%. You'll get exactly the same effect where you completely making those legs transparent because in that so far as Illustrator is concerned, where the opacity mask is concerned, that's close enough to black for the sake of complete transparency. So that's another way to do it. Why you would? I don't know, but I just want you to know. All right, let's switch it back to 100% black. Leave it at that. Now then let's go out of the opacity mask, why don't we? By clicking on the thumbnail for the little jacket there inside the Transparency palette, then I'm going to click off the jacket in order to deselect it.

You look at your illustration, and you say gosh, this is great that the piano is cutting through the jacket objects, and the trousers, and all that stuff. But what? The bench really shows up in the background? I mean that's kind of an interesting effect, but should it really be that way? Well let's say you decide no, it shouldn't be that way, and you want the bench to be constrained by the opacity mask that's affecting the jacket layer as well, then you'd twirl open that jacket sublayer, you would grab that bench layer, here inside the Layers palette. Then go ahead and drag that bench layer and drop it. Notice when you see these bars underneath the suit group, that's when you want to drop it into the jacket sublayer. So you're going to have a bench as soon as you drop it.

You have a bench sublayer inside of a jacket sublayer which itself is inside of this Vectors layer right there, if I were to choose scroll up the list. But in any case now bench is subject to the same opacity mask that's affecting jacket because it's inside the jacket layer, and now you can see that the keyboard cuts through the bench. Now you might also say well, there was that head too that was inside that opacity mask that's affecting the jacket sublayer there. So wouldn't the head be coming through the bench as well? Yes it would if the head were anywhere near the bench. Right now the head is way up here, but if you want to confirm you would go ahead and target that jacket sublayer, you would click on the opacity mask thumbnail right there. You would make the head active like so by targeting it, and then you'd drag set head down here to this location, you can see it not only cuts through the jacket, but it also cuts through the bench. Oh my goodness! All right, so hopefully that made modicum of sense, even though we investigated every single option having to do with this whatsoever. I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac. Let's go and click on this item right there the jacket with the bench altogether.

In order to make it active, I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect all of the objects in the illustration. So far so good. We are going to take a brief respite from transparency for a moment, inside of Illustrator. And I'm going to show you something that has nothing to do with transparency and everything you do with Blends, I'm going to show you how to blend between groups in order to create the keyboard, coming right up.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21455 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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