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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Cropping images with a mask


From:

Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Cropping images with a mask

As you continue to work with raster-based images inside of Illustrator, you may find the need to crop those images. Unfortunately, there is no way to crop a bitmap graphic inside of Adobe Illustrator. It's better to do this inside of Photoshop, or a raster-based image editing program. But if you need to keep this file in its entirety, and you wanted to simply hide portions of it, you can do that inside of Illustrator by utilizing something called a mask. In this movie, I'll show you how to eliminate certain portions of your bitmap graphics by utilizing a masking technique in Illustrator.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Cropping images with a mask

As you continue to work with raster-based images inside of Illustrator, you may find the need to crop those images. Unfortunately, there is no way to crop a bitmap graphic inside of Adobe Illustrator. It's better to do this inside of Photoshop, or a raster-based image editing program. But if you need to keep this file in its entirety, and you wanted to simply hide portions of it, you can do that inside of Illustrator by utilizing something called a mask. In this movie, I'll show you how to eliminate certain portions of your bitmap graphics by utilizing a masking technique in Illustrator.

In this document that I currently have open, you can see here that the image overlaps the logo at the top, so I need to create some space right up here. It's also a little close to my Courses button down here at the bottom. So I actually want to just make a small selection of the middle of this. I could take this image, and just drag it down by resizing it, like so, but once I do that, it actually distorts the image, and I don't want that to happen. So I will use Command+Z or Control+Z to undo that. The first thing I need to do is actually draw out a box the size that I want my image to be.

So I am simply going to come over here to my Tools panel, and I'm going to grab a Rectangle tool. With the Rectangle tool selected, I am then going to come out, and align it to the side of my artboard right here. I am going to click, and start to draw out a box. I don't have to be precise with this right now, necessarily, but I'm just going to make it so it goes from edge to edge, and then I am going to make it about 250 pixels tall; something like that. Once I have that box created, I am then going to make sure that the Fill color is set to None, and the Stroke color is set to None as well.

I don't want to be able to see the box, necessarily. Then I will switch to my Selection tool, and as you can see, I have got a bounding box around the new box that I just drew. In order to clip this image inside of this box, I need to make sure that I have both objects selected. So I'm simply going to hold down my Shift key, with the box selected, and then just draw out to select the image as well. If I happen to pick up the background image while I am doing that, I can just Shift+Click to unselect that. Once I have both of them selected, I can go up to the Object menu, I can go down to Clipping Mask, and I can select Make, or you can utilize the keyboard shortcut Control+7, or Command+7 on the Mac.

Once I pick this, you are going to see that the photo snaps automatically into the box that I have created, and now I can maneuver this downward a little bit, and click away. The image has not necessarily been cropped, but I have created the illusion that it's been cropped. If I wanted to select is again, I can double-click to get inside of this, and I can actually move the photo independently of the mask. So if I wanted the bottom of this to actually be showcasing more, I could do it like that.

Then I'll simply exit out of Isolation mode, and again, it acts just like one single object, even though the big photo is still right there on screen. And if I were to relink this file with another photo, it would automatically come in, and fit within that clipping mask as well. If at any given time you need to get rid of the mask, or you send this to the client, and they are like, no, I really don't like that; just move the logo up and shrink it, or move the buttons down, or something like that. You can release the clipping mask very easily.

All you have to do is hold down the Ctontrol key on Windows, the Command key on the Mac, the Option or Alt key, and then press the number 7; that will release your clipping mask. You can also do that from a menu. Let me undo that to snap it back, and let's go up to the Object menu, go down to Clipping Mask, and select Release; it will release the contents. Let me undo that one more time. There's one other option inside of that menu that you need to be aware of.

If you go to Object > Clipping Mask > Edit Contents, it's actually going to drop you in, and allow you to maneuver this around inside of the mask. At the top, in the Control panel, you can see that I have two options here: Edit Contents, and Edit Clipping Path. These are what happen when you're dealing with a clipping group, like what we have here. Although you could have done this from the control panel, I simply did it from the menu. If I want to undo those changes that I just made to get it back to normal, I will just hit Command+Z or Control+Z until it gets back to normal.

And you'll see, once I get back to my original state, that it has switched modes to Edit Clipping Path. So if you wanted to edit the contents, you don't necessarily have to go into Isolation mode; you can simply select the clipping group, and then up here, where it says Mixed Objects, just click to Edit Contents, and then you will be able to select the photo, and move it around there as well. So whether you need to crop a photo, or hide a portion of something, or just flow something around a piece of text, or some buttons, like I did here, using clipping masks is a great way to do that, and it really saves you some time from having to go into another program, make a crop, come back, and update a link.

That can be tedious, and this is going to save you a lot of time.

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