Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Knockout Group setting without a group

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing Through Transparency

Video: Using the Knockout Group setting without a group

In the previous movie we learned what the Knockout Group setting does inside of the Transparency panel, this setting right here, and we know that we can only apply that to a group. Well let's modify that somewhat. We can actually fool Illustrator to think that we're working with a group even though we don't actually have a group in front of us. A group basically has multiple objects. Normally the only way that Illustrator kind of thinks about multiple objects is when you put them all together in the same group. But we also know that Illustrator has the ability to apply multiple fills or multiple strokes to a single object and we can tell Illustrator to treat those multiple fills or multiple strokes as multiple objects within a group.

Using the Knockout Group setting without a group

In the previous movie we learned what the Knockout Group setting does inside of the Transparency panel, this setting right here, and we know that we can only apply that to a group. Well let's modify that somewhat. We can actually fool Illustrator to think that we're working with a group even though we don't actually have a group in front of us. A group basically has multiple objects. Normally the only way that Illustrator kind of thinks about multiple objects is when you put them all together in the same group. But we also know that Illustrator has the ability to apply multiple fills or multiple strokes to a single object and we can tell Illustrator to treat those multiple fills or multiple strokes as multiple objects within a group.

Let's see how we can use both that concept and the Knockout Group setting of the Transparency panel to solve everyday problems inside of Illustrator. Let's take this file here as an example. That's called strokes.ai and I have two strokes that are right here. Notice if I go into Outline mode, they are just kind of straight strokes that kind of zip right through my document. However, if I go back now into the Preview mode, I can select just this shape for example and it looks like it's a squiggly line but that's because it has the zigzag effect applied to it.

Now, I'm going to show you also that this object has two strokes applied to it. it has a 6-point dashed black stroke that appears at the bottom and it also has a 4-point white solid stroke that appears on top of it and this gives me the appearance of like stitching. If you're in the apparel industry and sometimes you actually create artwork where you want to draw a sketch of what a garment might look like, you might need to indicate where stitching is going to go. Now, this is actually a great example of how you might be able to use multiple strokes to solve an everyday problem.

You actually can use two stroke attributes on a single path and you now get the appearance of like a double stitched line. However, if you focus just on this area right here, because I've told the top stroke to be white, it kind of looks pretty natural on a white background. But as soon as I start to have this stroke kind of start appearing over either images or other colors or a pattern in this case over here, it looks wrong because the middle area should really be transparent. The middle area shouldn't be filled white. It should be whatever the color of the background is.

So I can't necessarily anticipate exactly what the background color is going to be in every case. Sure, if I know my entire garment is going to be solid white, I can get away with this very easily. But more likely you have this artwork that maybe has different types of colors inside of it, clothing sometimes filled with patterns or with images, and this type of effect simply doesn't work. Well it might if we think about using the Knockout Group setting. Let's also take a look at this stroke that appears on top of this. If I click on this to select it, I'll see that I have three different strokes with a zigzag and that gives me the effect over here of these little circles that kind of go along a line.

It looks very nice over here where I have the white chainlink basically that I have going on over here, but the middle areas I really want those to be transparent. I want these circles to look hollow, and I don't want to see those settings that appear right over here. So while that looks really nice on a purple background, it doesn't look so nice when I start using other colors or images or patterns as the background for it. So how can I use the Knockout Group setting to make those areas transparent? Well, it's actually pretty simple. Let's see how to do that. I'm going to start off by working with a stroke here on the bottom and I click on this object right here to select it.

And I'm going to go to my white stroke right over here. I'm going to click on the triangle to twirl down so I can see the Opacity value just for this white stroke. I'm going to click on the Opacity here. I am going to change the Opacity of the white stroke to 0 and click OK. So right now what I've done is I've taken that white stroke. It exists, it's there, but I've told its Opacity to be completely 0. Next, I'm going to click on the word Path in my Appearance panel because I want to make sure that I am targeting the entire path and not just one of the strokes or one of the attributes of that element.

Next, I'll come over to the Transparency panel and I'm going to turn on the Knockout Group setting. Again, when I click on it the first, I'm going to see the neutral setting, but if I click on it the second time, now what happens is that I now can see completely transparent all the way through the middle part of the stroke, and let's understand exactly why this just happened. I told Illustrator to use the Knockout Group setting for this path. This path has two strokes inside of it. The topmost stroke has an Opacity value applied to it, which because the Knockout Group setting is on treats the two strokes as two objects in a group and the top object, which is the top stroke in this case, knocks out the stroke that appears beneath it.

So now I get a true transparent setting through the middle part of that stroke. Let's see if we can actually apply that to this shape as well. I'm going to select the top stroke right here and with the part that we want to be transparent is actually this purple shape right here. We want those parts of the circles to be completely transparent. So I'm going to change the Opacity value of just this one stroke to 0. Next, I'll target the entire path and I will come to the Transparency panel and click once on Knockout Group to turn it to the neutral setting and then click a second time and now I specified that middle area right now as completely transparent.

So now I can see through that part over here to the pattern beneath it or to the image that appears inside of this file or to any other color that stroke may overlap. So we've done two things here. First of all we've treated a single path as a group. We did that because the path itself has multiple attributes inside of it. So we're treating for example in this case here three strokes as if there were three objects inside of a group. Next, we're using the Knockout Group setting to actually take one of those objects and have them knock out the objects that appear beneath it.

So we can see now that this technical setting, Knockout Group, can be very valuable in solving everyday problems in Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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 learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
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.

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 ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

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.