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Masking the contents of an entire layer

From: Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Masking the contents of an entire layer

In this movie, I'll show you how to mask the contents of an entire layer, which a lot of folks don't know you can do and it's really actually very easy to pull off. And then we'll re-purpose that mask to create an opacity mask for the horse. So, first thing I want you to do is go ahead and zoom out, a couple of clicks here. And grab the Rectangle tool, and the idea is that even though I've got a bleed and I've got stuff extending out into the bleed, I want to get a sense of what my artwork looks like when it prints. And this is just a temporary thing so I can see what's going on, so in other words I want to mask away the bleed and all the extra starbursts and stuff like that.

Masking the contents of an entire layer

In this movie, I'll show you how to mask the contents of an entire layer, which a lot of folks don't know you can do and it's really actually very easy to pull off. And then we'll re-purpose that mask to create an opacity mask for the horse. So, first thing I want you to do is go ahead and zoom out, a couple of clicks here. And grab the Rectangle tool, and the idea is that even though I've got a bleed and I've got stuff extending out into the bleed, I want to get a sense of what my artwork looks like when it prints. And this is just a temporary thing so I can see what's going on, so in other words I want to mask away the bleed and all the extra starbursts and stuff like that.

And so I'm going to create a rectangle that's exactly the size of the art board. Well, if I press Shift+0 in order to switch to the Art board tool, I can see that both the width and the height of this art board are 720 points. So, I'll just go ahead and press the Esc key to escape out, and I'll click any old place inside the document window, and notice that I already have a rectangle set up to be 720 points wide and 720 points tall. So I'll go ahead and click OK in order to create that square. And then I'll click on the Align icon up here in the Control panel, and change it to Align to Art board if it isn't already set that way.

And then go ahead and click on Horizontal Align Center in order to center the square in the art board, and click on Vertical Align Center as well. Now we've got the thing exactly where we want it. Now because we're going to re-purpose this rectangle, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command in order to create a copy of it, or of course you can just press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the mac. Now notice that my squares come in at the top of the Evening layer. That's exactly what I want because that's where all the stuff extending out of the layer is located. So with that path at that top of the stack, doesn't matter what color is assigned to it.

It looks to me (LAUGH) like I've got some sort of very light gray. Interesting. I don't know where that's coming from. But anyway, that doesn't matter. Just go ahead and make sure it's selected and drop down to the bottom of the Layers panel, and click on this icon right there, Make Release Clipping Mask. And that will go ahead and clip everything that's outside of that layer, just like so. Oh, and as an aside, notice next door to the clipping icon is a little search icon. And what that allows you to do, I'll go ahead and unlock for example, the Horse layer.

I'll press the V key to switch to my Black arrow tool, and I'll click on the horse to select it. If you then click on that little magnifying glass, Illustrator will automatically find that selected object inside the Layers panel, which can be extremely handy indeed. So I just want to make sure that you know about that one. Anyway, I'm going to twirl close the Evening layer and I want to modify this guy a little bit, this liquified horse. So, first thing I'm going to do, cause I just want to create some interaction between him and the background. I'm going to send him back to a weak black, by Shift+clicking on this first swatch up here on the Control panel and I'll just dial back the CM and Y values to zero a piece.

In order to get this very dark shade of gray. And then I'll go to my Transparency panel and I'll go ahead and expand it so that I can see the opacity mask options and I'll also change the blend mode from normal to multiply. So, we end up with this effect here. Alright, now click on Make Mask in order to create an opacity mask as you can see here. Clip should be turned off. And then you want to click on the second thumbnail in order to activate the opacity mask and press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on the Mac in order to paste in that (LAUGH) very light gray square.

Now make sure that your stroke is set to None, which it is in my case. And then you want to tap the period key in order to switch the fill, which is active for me. It's very important that it is active by the way, for you as well. To switch the fill to a gradient. And by default it should be white to black, and hopefully it is for you as well, otherwise you'll have to modify your color stops. Then go ahead and expand the Gradient panel like so. And I'm going to press the G key to switch to my Gradient tool and I'm going to drag from the T down at the bottom of the illustration up until I'm.

About even with the bottom of that wing right there, and I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag, so I'm constraining the angle of migrating it to exactly vertical. That turns out to be exactly the opposite of what I want, so I'll go ahead and click in the reverse gradient icon, here inside the Gradient panel to produce this effect here. Now that's too much frankly, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in by the way, so I can better see what I'm doing. But in other words I'm masking away too much of the feet so I'll switch over to the Transparency panel and I'll switch the opacity value to 50% in order to reduce not the opacity of the horse but rather the density of the mask.

And now I'll click on the thumbnail of the horse in the Transparency panel in order to switch back to my layered document and I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect everything. And that how you mask the entire contents of a layer, as well as re-purposing that mask as a low density gradient opacity mask here inside Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery

85 video lessons · 11246 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
  2. 45m 11s
    1. The smartest of guides
      1m 36s
    2. Setting up angular construction guides
      4m 59s
    3. Shaving off miter joins and projecting caps
      4m 53s
    4. Precisely aligning angled logo artwork
      5m 52s
    5. Covering up gaps and seams in your logo
      7m 9s
    6. Creating ornaments based on miter joins
      5m 9s
    7. Hand-drawing letters as stroked paths
      9m 34s
    8. Kerning and clipping hand-drawn type
      5m 59s
  3. 49m 33s
    1. The benefits of using symbols
      1m 3s
    2. How symbols and instances work
      4m 54s
    3. Creating and naming symbols
      6m 42s
    4. Introducing 9-slice scaling
      4m 31s
    5. Customizing the effects of 9-slice scaling
      7m 5s
    6. Acquiring, trading, and previewing symbols
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating and replacing symbol instances
      5m 45s
    8. Using symbols to simulate master pages
      6m 54s
    9. Advanced symbol modifications
      6m 34s
  4. 1h 12m
    1. Shading objects with Gradient Mesh
      1m 18s
    2. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 23s
    3. Adding and deleting lines with the Mesh tool
      4m 27s
    4. Assigning colors to mesh points UPDATED
      6m 39s
    5. Finessing colors to add depth and shading
      6m 10s
    6. Creating a gradient with the Mesh tool
      8m 27s
    7. Wrapping gradients around circles
      4m 15s
    8. Working with slender, bending shapes
      8m 48s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 17s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 44s
    11. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      9m 16s
    12. Using gradients to cast shadows
      5m 10s
  5. 24m 23s
    1. Black conceals, white reveals
      1m 8s
    2. Introducing opacity masks
      6m 24s
    3. Assigning an empty opacity mask to a layer
      4m 45s
    4. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      4m 57s
    5. Fading artwork with a gradient opacity mask
      3m 3s
    6. Nesting one opacity mask inside another
      4m 6s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Two ways to apply free-form distortions
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Warp tool
      7m 50s
    3. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 20s
    4. Liquifying an isolated portion of a path
      9m 49s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      8m 37s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      7m 6s
    7. Simplifying a path; creating a custom starburst
      6m 26s
    8. Applying an envelope-style distortion
      4m 34s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      7m 40s
    10. Masking the contents of an entire layer
      5m 0s
  7. 30m 15s
    1. Transforming live and on the fly
      1m 44s
    2. Using the Free Transform tool
      4m 49s
    3. Transforming with respect to the center
      2m 24s
    4. Applying free-form and perspective distortions
      4m 16s
    5. Resetting the bounding box
      4m 37s
    6. Free transforming tile patterns
      3m 53s
    7. Using the Touch Type tool
      5m 12s
    8. Tweaking transformations numerically
      3m 20s
  8. 1h 14m
    1. Up to five tiles per pattern brush
      1m 12s
    2. Creating a basic pattern brush
      6m 29s
    3. Correcting a repeating pattern brush
      4m 6s
    4. Adjusting a pattern brush to match its path
      3m 21s
    5. Automating and designing a corner tile
      8m 52s
    6. Adding an angled loop to a corner design
      3m 44s
    7. Creating end tiles and tile perimeters
      6m 28s
    8. Cropping your designs inside your tiles
      4m 22s
    9. Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      5m 35s
    10. Adding a white buffer zone to a pattern brush
      6m 35s
    11. Reconciling very acute corners in a path
      8m 25s
    12. Creating a pixel-based-image pattern brush
      6m 20s
    13. Spacing and orienting pattern brushes
      8m 47s
  9. 43m 37s
    1. The pleasures and pitfalls of graphs
      1m 44s
    2. Importing and graphing numerical data
      7m 48s
    3. Modifying data to create a category axis
      4m 6s
    4. Reformatting text and values in a graph
      5m 40s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      5m 27s
    6. Creating and applying a graph design
      8m 14s
    7. Repairing a broken pictograph
      2m 53s
    8. Re-creating a graph at the proper size
      7m 45s
  10. 37m 45s
    1. The five advantages of Illustrator in 3D
      1m 39s
    2. Introducing Illustrator's three kinds of 3D
      5m 6s
    3. Working in 3D space: Pitch, yaw, and roll
      5m 13s
    4. Lighting and shading a 3D object
      4m 13s
    5. Beveling the edges of a 3D extrusion
      4m 23s
    6. Creating live, editable 3D type
      4m 30s
    7. Adding cast shadows to 3D type
      3m 59s
    8. Assigning and editing a 3D Revolve effect
      4m 58s
    9. Mapping artwork onto a 3D object
      3m 44s
  11. 1m 10s
    1. See ya
      1m 10s

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