I'm having some trouble with the compound path tool, when I have multiple shapes I want to cut of the parent-shape, they're not turning out as transparencies but rather just black over black, looking as though I've just grouped them rather than compounding them.
1. I select the parent path and the largest interior cut-out paths and hit compound path> create
2. I select the three smaller interior cut-out paths and the existing compound path and hit compound path> create
3. The three smaller compound paths turn into overlays of the same color and thus invisible.
I've tried selecting all five paths and hitting compound path> create at the same time with the same result. I've tried cutting and pasting all the interior paths to make sure that they're 'above' the parent path and then hitting compound path> create with the same result. Every way I've done it, the three smaller paths keep ending up just sitting on the top instead of cutting out transparencies. Also, when I try to create a compound path with just the parent path and one of the smaller ones (tried it with the section between the head and the first arm) it gives me that black-on-black problem too, so it seems to be a problem with those child-paths. How do I reset them so they'll take cut-outs instead of overlaying?
The subpaths are probably going the wrong direction. Select the sub-paths that aren't reversing with the white arrow and then click on the non-selected of the two "Reverse Path Direction" buttons (the two center buttons in the Attributes panel).
As larry Indicated that is the problem.
When yopu a cutting out the shapes from multiple shapes to make i appear to be one shape you use the even odd rule as opposed to the non zero winding rule.
Read about the difference in the help files.
Here look the even odd fill rule all the shapes knock out so to speak
Here the Non Zero Winding rule works differently respecting each shape as its own object.
There are times you would want the Non Zero Winding rule