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Nathan Onias
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Erasing portions of brush strokes that have effects

May 2, 2012 7:07 PM

Tags: #eraser

I have made some brush strokes and applied the 'gaussian blur' effect to them. I want to erase the portions of the brushstroke that extend over the outline of the drawing. I have tried the 'expand appearance' command but after doing so it will not let me use the eraser on the selected object. Not sure what to do! Very frustrated- I would appreciate any help, thanks.


Screen shot 2012-05-03 at 12.03.40 PM.png

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 7:14 PM   in reply to Nathan Onias

    You would need to use a Clipping Mask.


    You can't simply erase parts of brush strokes in Illustrator. It simply does not work that way.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 9:18 PM   in reply to Nathan Onias

    did you select the path with the selction tool before you exxpanded it there should be no reason that a brush stroke cannot be erased


    Screen Shot 2012-05-03 at 12.12.18 AM.png


    Screen Shot 2012-05-03 at 12.12.06 AM.png


    BTW showing us the layer panel like that actually only tells you have layers but nothing about the art on the layers.


    Also it does not look like that brush stroke is vector anymore it definitley looks like a raster image or some kind of grouping.


    Expand the layer in the layers panel so we can see some information.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 11:57 PM   in reply to Nathan Onias

    Basically, you're thinking of Illustrator brushes as if they were raster or pixel based like they are in Photoshop. They are not. You can not simply erase the "overspray" areas outside the keyline. That's just not how Illustrator brushes work.


    You would be better served by either A) using shapes and filling them with a gradient rather than using brushes at all. Or B) add a clipping mask to hide the overspray appearance of the brushes.



    The help files will explain Clipping Masks further. Using the brush+mask method will easily double or triple the amount of work needed to color any piece. Not to mention, eventually cause the app to get a bit slower becuase it will have to redraw all teh brush strokes as you add new ones. It's just not an efficient way of working much of the time if you want hard edges on shapes.


    Essentially, you're expecting raster-based results in a vector-based application. You need to reevaluate your workflow.


    Of course, you could always take your vector keyline into Photoshop and paint color there in the manner you are attempting. That's what Photoshop does.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 7:29 AM   in reply to [scott w]

    If you use shapes and need to work this way, and I agree with what Scott says using shapes might be your way and clipping paths are a good way but a better way for you to work is in a more visual and approach.


    The feature is still in its infancy compared to the masking feature in After Effects but here goes.


    1. Draw thye shapes


    2. Select it and near the bottom of the Tool Panel seeelct Draw Behind or Draw Inside  (the difference is if you draw behind and move the shape what's behind stays put  if you draw inside and move the shape the what's drwan inside moves with it)


    3. Now take any brush or drawing tool and brush away like crazy and it will be masked (you can also paste into or behind the shape now including images and vector art)


    It is a very handy feature. If you are use to making clipping masks it might be hard to change and clipping maks are appropriate in many other ways.

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  • Mathias17
    451 posts
    Feb 20, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 8:25 AM   in reply to Nathan Onias

    I think the real problem here is that there are better ways to achieve the desired results. And using masks for every little piece will probably slow you down too much, since working with masks takes more clicks than what's desirable.


    In order to create the seahorse's gradiently shaded belly segments I recommend a simple Gradient Fill, or Gradient Meshing.


    And if you don't like how that works out for you, why not just use Photoshop?

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