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Creating a compound clipping mask

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Creating a compound clipping mask

Okay gang, I'm still working inside that same Shooting star.ai file that I opened in the previous exercise. I'm going to go ahead and twirl this layer closed, this Ball layer, lock it down, go down to the Feet layer, unlock it. We're just taking these precautions with all this locking and unlocking so we don't end up messing up any of the good portions of our illustration. I also want you to see that as an option of course to just sit there and unlock and lock your way through a layer document. All right, so I'm zoomed in on the feet, what we want to do is we want to put the laces inside of the shoes. Check it out. Each one of these laces is represented by a blend. How in the world did I pull that off? I want you to see this because blends can take so many forms inside of Illustrator. I'm going to go ahead and meatball this blend right there and then I'm going to go up to the Object menu and I'm going to choose Blend and I'm going to choose Release, in order to get rid of those intermediate steps right there and then notice I have two paths at this point. I'm going to meatball the topmost of these two paths like so and then I'm going to delete it, so that I can show you exactly how I made these laces.

Creating a compound clipping mask

Okay gang, I'm still working inside that same Shooting star.ai file that I opened in the previous exercise. I'm going to go ahead and twirl this layer closed, this Ball layer, lock it down, go down to the Feet layer, unlock it. We're just taking these precautions with all this locking and unlocking so we don't end up messing up any of the good portions of our illustration. I also want you to see that as an option of course to just sit there and unlock and lock your way through a layer document. All right, so I'm zoomed in on the feet, what we want to do is we want to put the laces inside of the shoes. Check it out. Each one of these laces is represented by a blend. How in the world did I pull that off? I want you to see this because blends can take so many forms inside of Illustrator. I'm going to go ahead and meatball this blend right there and then I'm going to go up to the Object menu and I'm going to choose Blend and I'm going to choose Release, in order to get rid of those intermediate steps right there and then notice I have two paths at this point. I'm going to meatball the topmost of these two paths like so and then I'm going to delete it, so that I can show you exactly how I made these laces.

All right, so I'll get my Black Arrow tool, click on this line right here and notice it's just a line that was drawn with the Art tool, nothing special here. So I drew a line with the Art tool and then I rotated it slightly, then I grabbed it and I cloned it like so. So I'm pressing the Alt key or the Option key and then releasing in order to create a clone of that line. Then I'll select both of them by Shift- clicking on one and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+P or Command+Option+P to make a blend that's not nearly enough laces. So, I'll go over to my Blend tool, double-click on it and I'll change spacing to Specified Steps, I don't tend to use specify distance, but you can also specify the distance between steps if you want to.

I am going to choose Specified Steps and I'm going to raise that value to 3, press the Tab key so that I can see that I have got enough laces there, sure enough, click OK. Now, check this out, I'll go ahead and twirl open the blend and I could take one of these items here, let's grab the top item because the bottom one here is front most in the stacking order and I'll grab my Black Arrow tool, because this is the only guy selected and I can drag it to a different location and notice that Illustrator keeps up with whatever modifications I make thanks to the fact that I'm blending between these two extreme shapes right here.

So, blends can be fantastic, they can be useful any time you have repeated shapes inside of your illustration, repeated lines or shapes. All right, so anyway I'll go ahead and close that guy down, now let's mask the laces inside of the shoes. So, we'll go ahead and get the two shoes right there, move them up top like so, because the masks have to be in front of the paths that they are masking. Then let's go ahead and select everybody, I'll go ahead and actually -- what the heck? I'll just drag across him like so this time. I have selected all of the objects as you can see, the individual steps will not appear to have points or segments associated with them, because they are being generated on the fly. Now let's go up to the Object menu and I want you to choose Clipping Mask and choose Make once again, press Ctrl+7, Command+7 if you like and you will get this effect here, all right, what is going on in this case? Let's go ahead and twirl open the group and you will see that the topmost item became the clipping path and it's masking the other shoe, so that's going to away, plus it's laces.

So only one set of laces is showing up because the other guy is too far away for matter. All right, so that's not what we want to do, go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that operation. Now you could go ahead and mask each one of the shoe and lace combinations independently, if you wanted to but I'm going to show you a better way to work. Let's go ahead and meatball one of the feet paths right here and then Shift meatball the other one. Then I'm going to go up to the Object menu and I'm going to choose Compound Path. Notice it's located right next door to Clipping Mask and for good reason. They are very useful when used together.

So I'm going to go down to Compound Path and I'm going to choose Make or press Ctrl+8, Command+8 on the Mac, now you may recall, this is the command that you can use to create donuts, inside of the Illustrator. So shapes where one path cuts a hole in another. But you can also use it just to combine two shapes into one, which is what we are doing here. So I'll choose the Make command, now these two paths don't happen overlap each other, they are now a single compound path as you can see here and I could get me White Arrow tool, click off the shape to deselect, Alt-click or Option- click on one of them in order to select the entire path, move it over to the other shoe and you can see that we are now cutting a hole where the two intersect each other.

So we do get that Exclude operation going right there. But when they are separated from each other, it just works like an Add operation. The two have just become a single path. Now I'll go ahead and Shift meatball the two blends, so that the Compound Path and the two blends are active and I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+7 in order to create a mask or Command+7 on the Mac and I get this effect right there. We are keeping all of the laces because the one Compound Path -- check this out, what is now a Compound Clipping Path is now just one single path that's clipping the blends underneath it.

Now of course we need to go ahead and reinstate the Fill and Stroke attributes. So, I have only the Compound Clipping Path selected, I'll go and grab my Eyedropper tool by pressing the I key, click in order to load those Fill and Stroke attributes and we now have some very nice feet in my opinion and the deal is done. Once again, much more flexibly then the approach we took with Pathfinder Operations back in the Pathfinder Operation chapter. Now, is that to say that masking is always better than Pathfinder Operations? Not by a mile.

It's just that sometimes it's better and you want to remember then it's available to you. Other times Pathfinder Operations are the only way to go. In the next exercise, we are going to see how to nest one clipping mask inside of another.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

149 video lessons · 21518 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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