Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency
Illustration by John Hersey

Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting


From:

Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency

with Mordy Golding

Video: Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting

Throughout this chapter we've taken looks at how to use the Transparency panel and some of the functions inside of it to create some really useful effects when you work inside of Illustrator. For example, we've used Isolate Blending and we've learned about what Knockout Group can do for us as well. Now, there's a third checkbox here called Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape. If the combination of those words alone don't confuse you, many people that I know have tried to actually turn that checkbox on for many different objects and have never been able to see any kind of results at all.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. The history of vector transparency
      4m 2s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      26s
  2. 6m 21s
    1. Transparency living in a world of PostScript
      2m 56s
    2. Transparency...it's everywhere
      2m 13s
    3. Transparency across Adobe applications
      1m 12s
  3. 42m 20s
    1. Deconstructing the Transparency panel
      7m 48s
    2. Adding transparency to gradients
      4m 59s
    3. Using the Isolate Blending setting
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding how overprints and knockouts work
      6m 26s
    5. Using the Knockout Group setting
      6m 47s
    6. Using the Knockout Group setting without a group
      6m 2s
    7. Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting
      4m 58s
  4. 36m 26s
    1. What is an opacity mask?
      3m 37s
    2. Learning from channels in Photoshop
      7m 20s
    3. Creating an opacity mask
      6m 44s
    4. Editing an opacity mask
      5m 31s
    5. Using a gradient as an opacity mask
      4m 44s
    6. Using image pixels as an opacity mask
      4m 4s
    7. Using a complex appearance as an opacity mask
      4m 26s
  5. 53m 30s
    1. Understanding transparency flattening
      5m 58s
    2. Learning the two rules of flattening
      8m 1s
    3. Understanding the concept of complex regions
      7m 47s
    4. Exploring the Transparency Flattener options
      11m 44s
    5. The relationship between flattening and stacking order
      8m 22s
    6. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      8m 3s
    7. Creating and sharing flattener presets
      3m 35s
  6. 24m 37s
    1. Working with PostScript (EPS) files
      7m 22s
    2. Placing Illustrator files into InDesign layouts
      3m 59s
    3. Copying graphics from Illustrator
      2m 41s
    4. Saving PDF files
      4m 41s
    5. Using the PDF/X standards
      4m 36s
    6. Printing files from Illustrator
      1m 18s
  7. 34s
    1. Next steps
      34s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency
2h 50m Intermediate May 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this installment of Illustrator Insider Training, Mordy Golding shows experienced Illustrator users how to create transparency effects and ensure reliable printing results. This course reviews the history of vector transparency and covers features such as knockout groups, opacity masks, and transparency flattening. Mordy also shows how to establish a safe workflow when placing Illustrator graphics containing transparency in PostScript, PDF, and InDesign files. A free worksheet is included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how transparency works across the Adobe applications
  • Deconstructing the Transparency panel
  • Adding transparency to gradients
  • Understanding how overprints and knockouts work
  • Using a gradient or complex appearance as an opacity mask
  • The rules of transparency flattening
  • Working with complex regions
  • Understanding the relationship between flattening and stacking order
  • Creating and sharing flattener presets
  • Saving PDF files and using the PDF/X standards
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Understanding the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting

Throughout this chapter we've taken looks at how to use the Transparency panel and some of the functions inside of it to create some really useful effects when you work inside of Illustrator. For example, we've used Isolate Blending and we've learned about what Knockout Group can do for us as well. Now, there's a third checkbox here called Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape. If the combination of those words alone don't confuse you, many people that I know have tried to actually turn that checkbox on for many different objects and have never been able to see any kind of results at all.

And the reason why is because this one setting here is actually very different than the two that appear above it. Now, if you remember when we spoke about Isolate Blending and Knockout Group, both of those settings only worked when you applied them to a group. So you might think of course that Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape would also be a setting that you can apply to a group. Well, not exactly. You see the Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape setting has to be applied to an object that appears inside of a group.

Meaning it actually gets applied to a single object within an overall group. But it goes beyond that. The object that you actually apply this setting to must also have both a blend mode and an Opacity applied to it. So in other words, in order for this setting to even make any sense at all, we have to first take a single object, we have to give that object a blend mode other than Normal, we have to give it an Opacity setting other than 100 and then we need to put that object inside of a group and then here's the kicker.

Then we also need to have that group have the Knockout Group setting turned on. So if you think about it, until we started looking at this course, how often have you used the Knockout Group setting? And even if when you actually do use the Knockout Group setting, how often do you have objects inside those groups that have both a blend mode and an opacity applied to it, and also had this Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape turned on? This is actually a great example of really how far sometimes Adobe engineers go to make sure that we have as many creative options inside of Illustrator as possible.

But here's the thing though. This setting, at least in my experience, has no useful function inside of Illustrator whatsoever. That's why right now you're looking at this file called opacity.ai. I'm using some really basic shapes because honestly, I could not find a real-world example to actually show you how you might want to use this setting. But for those people who can't sleep at night, you just need to know what every possible setting is inside of Illustrator, this video is for you. So here's what we need to do in order actually see some kind of results in using this setting.

First of all, I have a group here. This group has four objects inside of it. It's just a single box that has these three white boxes that appear on top of it. Now, I am going to double-click on this to isolate it and I'm going to hold down my Shift key, and click on this white rectangle, this one, and this one. Next, I'm going to change the blend mode from Normal to something like Screen. I also need to choose a different Opacity other than 100. So I'll type in 80% and hit OK. Next, I'll double-click over here to exit Isolation Mode.

So I've basically now taken some elements inside of a group and I've applied both a blend mode and also an Opacity value to each of those objects. Now I'm going to select the group itself and I'm going to turn on the Knockout Group setting. I have to actually click twice because the first time my click is going to use the neutral setting. I'll click again and we could see right now that those white boxes now knocked out the yellow in the area that appears beneath them. So now, if I deselect this, we can see that where the white boxes are I have this kind of semi-transparent white box that's set to the Screen blend mode.

That knocks out the yellow beneath it inside of that group. Already as you can see I don't need to know when I might use this, but work with me here for just a minute. Now I am going to take my Direct Selection tool and I'm going to select just one of these boxes. Let's say this one right here. Now, with this single object selected, this is one object within a group and this one object has both a blend mode and an Opacity applied to it, I'm now going to turn on Opacity & Mask Define Knockout Shape and when I do, I could see what happens here. The opacity of this basically now allows me to see this object right now as an object that has opacity, but I still see the yellow that kind of appears beneath it.

So it almost kind of negates the knockout for one of the objects within that group. Again, I can't think of a single real- world example of when you might want to use this feature inside of Illustrator. Even if you do find a way to actually use this in a real-world example-- and if you do, please send it to me-- I don't know if anybody else who might touch your file might know what to do with it. But all those things aside, you now have at least an idea about what this setting does, and most likely you can kind of put it behind you and perhaps you'll sleep just a little bit better at night.

There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.