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Clipping Mask - Multiple Objects

Jan 18, 2013 4:30 PM

Tags: #illustrator #tool #outline #pen #compound_path #clipping_path_issues #clipping_paths #clipping_masks

Hi, I'm trying to clip this image as an example.


I was successfully able to clip one sandle completely. IMG_1057_ed.jpg (On the left, note that the area under the strap has been clipped.)


When I originally made the outline using the pen tool, the two sandals on the right are their own path. Then I made separate paths for the sections underneath the straps. I selected all of the paths and made them compound paths, then selected everything (paths + image) and made the clipping mask to create what you see now. How come it did what I wanted with the sandal on the left, but not the ones on the right?


The section under the left sandal is a separate path as well as the other sandals. So, what is the difference and how do I fix this?

As far as I know, once the clipping mask has been made you can't add additional clipping masks on top.


I would prefer staying in Illustrator than Photoshop just as a personal preference.


Please advise.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2013 6:42 PM   in reply to lotrismylife

    All paths have a direction.


    All subpaths of a Compound Path have direction.


    The subpaths of Compound Paths are governed by their winding direction in combination with their fill rule (Even/Odd or Non-Zero).


    The same applies to paths in Photoshop, and the same behaviors occur in Photoshop if you don't have the winding direction and/or fill rule of the paths set correctly.


    First: Make sure that all four subpaths are closed.

    Then, make sure that the winding direction and fill rule are correct. In Illustrator, you control this in the Attributes palette.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 3:39 AM   in reply to lotrismylife

    diagnose your paths with the document info panel.


    Read about fill rules in the manual: 7d0100196cbc5f-6462a.html

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 11:14 AM   in reply to lotrismylife

    Hi Lotrismylife,


    My working method would be to first outline and identify all the areas that I want to clip, and then create one compound path which I will use to make a clipping mask only once. You can't add a normal path to a compound path once it has been used for a clipping mask.


    If you anticipate that you would have to add to the clipping mask at a later stage I would create a compound shape rather than a compound path with the outlines (hold ALT while clicking on the Unite option in Pathfinder). I would then create the clipping mask with the compound shape. If you look in the layers panel you will see that you can easily drag an object added at a later stage into a compound shape, which will immediately add it to the clipping mask.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 5:03 PM   in reply to Kadut

    You can't add a normal path to a compound path once it has been used for a clipping mask.

    I can.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2013 10:19 AM   in reply to lotrismylife

    Hi lotrismylife,


    In Illustrator there are always numerous ways to get the job done. For instance, you could have used an opacity mask to mask out the unwanted areas as well. Some techniques might be better than others, but as mentioned in the previous reply I would make use of compound shapes and then create a clipping mask.


    1. I would start by creating all the paths. This includes outlinining the shoes as well as all the little areas between the strap and the shoes. If you think ahead you will agree that these areas will need to be SUBTRACTED from the outlines of the shoes - because you are forming a 'cookie-cutter' shape to clip with. In my example below the outlines of the shoes are red, and the little areas that need to be subtracted are yellow (I did the pen-work very fast - please excuse ).




    2. Now you need to create a bottom compound path (because there are two separate paths outlining the 3 shoes). So select the two red paths and go to your Pathfinder palette. To create a compound shape you need to hold in ALT while clicking on the UNITE mode:




    3. Now to subtract the yellow parts from the bottom compound shape. Select ALL the paths (including the bottom compound shape), and hold down ALT while clicking the subtract mode:




    4. You should now see the completed compound shape (all the areas should now have a red outline):




    5. Now go ahead and select the newly created 'cutter' path, and make the clipping mask:




    6. So, if I later want to add to this compound shape that is acting as the clipping mask, I can just create the shape I want to subtract (e.g. the red circle on the left shoe), and drag its layer into the compound shape layer group using the Layers Panel:




    7. Now it's part of the compound shape and you just have to set the mode by ALT clicking on the Subtract mode in the Pathfinder panel again.




    Like I said - this is the way I would have done it - but there may very well be a lot of different opinions!

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