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Establishing a clipping mask

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Establishing a clipping mask

In this movie we're going to take our big multicolor blend and we're going to place it inside of a clipping mask. So here's the idea. I'll go ahead and zoom out a click, actually a couple of clicks here, in order to take in this big huge blend here. And notice that it not only exceeds outside of my artboard, but it exceeds outside of the bleed indicated by that red rectangle. And what that means is there's not really any reason to clip this blend, because after all, Illustrator is going to naturally crop the blend inside of the bleed.

Establishing a clipping mask

In this movie we're going to take our big multicolor blend and we're going to place it inside of a clipping mask. So here's the idea. I'll go ahead and zoom out a click, actually a couple of clicks here, in order to take in this big huge blend here. And notice that it not only exceeds outside of my artboard, but it exceeds outside of the bleed indicated by that red rectangle. And what that means is there's not really any reason to clip this blend, because after all, Illustrator is going to naturally crop the blend inside of the bleed.

But let's say for whatever reason it's important to you that the blend exists inside of a rectangle. I'll go ahead and twirl open the sky layer down here close to the close to the bottom of Layers panel. Notice that I've got this rectangle right here--this green rectangle-- which we can see if we hide the blend for a moment, and then we've got the blend in front of it. Any time that you want to place something inside something else, you want to create what's known as a clipping mask. And the thing that's going to serve as the clipping path, that is the thing that's going to do the cropping, needs to be in front of the stuff that's going to get clipped.

So in our case the clipping path is this green rectangle here and the blend is what's known as the clipping content. So I'm going to go ahead and grab that green rectangle, the path item here inside the Layers panel, and I'm going to drag it and drop it on top of the blend. Then I'll meatball the path in order to select it and I'll Shift+Meatball the blend, so both of these items are selected here inside the sky layer. And now I'll go up to the Object menu, I'll choose Clipping Mask, and I'll choose Make; and it has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+7 or Command+7 on the Mac.

And while that's not terribly memorable, it is the number before the keyboard shortcut that's assigned to Compound Path, so the Compound Path > Make command has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+8 or Command+8 on the Mac; we discussed that back in the Intermediate course. And of course the reason being, because 8 is your ultimate compound path. It has not just one hole, but two holes inside of it. And so if you just remember the Clipping Mask command comes immediately before Compound Path and therefore its keyboard shortcut immediately precedes Ctrl+8 or Command+8, then you might remember Ctrl+7 or Command+7.

Anyway, hate to belabor it, but just want to give you a mnemonic in case you want to remember this shortcut, because this is a very useful command inside Illustrator. So I'll go ahead and choose the command, and bang, just like that we place the blend inside of the group. Check it out. All right! So I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom in, and then I'll twirl open this new item here that's called Clip Group, indicating that this is a clipping group. And inside of the clipping group we have this item right here, which is by the way, if I double-click on it, you can see it's called Clipping Path. And so that is the path outline, the rectangle that's clipping the blend.

Notice that the Clipping Path immediately loses its Fill and Stroke attributes. You can bring them back if you want, but you do lose them initially. And then finally we've got the blend inside the Clipping Path, and if you twirl it open, might as well as long as we're here, you can see that we've got all six of our path outlines; the light blue one, the red one, the brown one, the purple one, the dark blue one, and the rich black one. And then we've got this item right here, and if I go ahead and meatball it, you can see then it's a path that has six anchor points on it, and this is a path that Illustrator created automatically, and it is the path of the blend, it determines how the various colors blend into each other, and it's what's known as the spine.

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and double-click on that item there and rename it spine, because that's what it is. And I want to show you a couple of things about a blend. I'm going to meatball the entire blend there and I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide those selection edge so we can better see what's going on. Then I'll go up to the Object menu, I'll choose Blend, and I want you to notice these two commands to which I assign custom keyboard shortcuts. So if you loaded dekeKeys in the previous chapter, you'll see that Reverse Spine has a shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Option+ Right Bracket, and Reverse Front to Back has a keyboard shortcut of mash your fist right bracket.

So if you reverse the spine you're going to reverse the direction of the spine, and that's useful if your Blend ends up going the wrong way. So if I choose that command, you can see now everything is upside down. The rich black is at the bottom and then the dark blue and then the purple and then the brown and we can't even see the red and the light blue, because they're outside the rectangle. All right! I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that change. Your other option there, if I go back to the Object menu, choose Blend, and choose Reverse Front to Back, that's going to change the order of the colors. They'll remain in the same physical position, but their stacking order will change.

So that in our case the light blue here is going to be in front of the red, which is in front of the brown, which is in front of the purple, and so forth. And that ends up emphasizing that light blue way too much. Plus, if I press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac, you can see that most of these shapes are fairy straight on top, and so that ends up returning us to a linear gradient essentially, because all of the wavy action is at the bottom of the path outlines. All right! So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that change.

But the good news is, if I press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac, we have managed to place the blend inside of a rectangular clipping path, so that everything is nice and tidy, just as it is with the gradient, so we don't have a lot of excess path outlines inside the artwork. And that folks is how you establish a clipping mask by placing a blend in this case inside of a clipping path, here inside of Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14370 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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