4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2016 12:47 PM by Rick Gerard

    Mask one path within a shape layer


      Hi I'm having trouble which something which is probably extremely basic..


      I've brought in a comp from Illustrator, created shapes from Vector Layers and now I am attempting to mask 1 path within the Shape Layer.




      When I attempt to mask the path it masks the whole layer... Can anybody help me with this?


      Cheers in advance,



      Ae CS6

        • 1. Re: Mask one path within a shape layer
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Apply a Merge oprator and draw your path within the shape group. Otherwise duplicate the layer, delete the other items and use a mask. Several ways to go about this...



          • 2. Re: Mask one path within a shape layer
            sobei_ Level 1

            Cheers, I ended up having to duplicate the layer.. I was just trying to figure out was there a better way. Thank you

            • 3. Re: Mask one path within a shape layer
              sillybomb Level 1

              yes a 'merge operator' would be helpful in this circumstance.

              They can be confusing but no time like now to start learning them


              add another path inside wave shape that you want to be the mask.

              For this situation to make it simpler make sure you only have the path and not the whole shape group added within 'Wave'. You can cut the path out of another layer or drag it in but it has to be in the 'wave' group place it above Fill 1 and under 'wave'. You can call it anything, for now just call it Wave Mask. You will see it is filled in and not acting like a mask just yet however----


              click on Wave group so that it is highlighted as per your picture above and above to the right hit the little arrow next to the word

              Add >

              you'll find a long list of options.  Find the one that says Merge Paths. It has to go underneath the new path you have added in.

              Open it up to find a drop down box. You can use any but I believe you will want 'intersect'.

              'subract' will cut all paths under the top path out of the original. There are a lot of videos online if you wish to learn more about the merge paths 'operator'.


              Good luck.

              • 4. Re: Mask one path within a shape layer
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                First question: Are you using the shape animators on the illustrator art you converted to shapes? If the answer is no then you are wasting time and energy and loosing a lot of the features available to vector art.


                Second question: Is there any reason that you can't just apply trim paths to just the Wave shape. I'm not sure what kind of a shape this is but apparently it is some kind of closed path with a fill applied.


                Third question: Is there any reason that the Wave shape cannot be on a separate layer? It is at the top of the stack of contents so you should be able to select it, copy it, start a new shape layer by clicking anywhere with the pen tool and paste to get this Wave shape on it's own layer.


                Since we can't see the illustration but can only guess it looks like you have a bunch of objects that you carefully labeled in Illustrator and that you want to animate in some way. It may have served you better to put the Wave, Logo, Large Control 1, 2 and Small Control, Light, Rim and other elements on separate layers in Illustrator and imported the whole thing as a comp. As I said before, if you are not planning on specifically applying any of these tools to your illustrator artwork

                Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 12.45.15 PM.png

                or you intend to use Ray-traced rendering to extrude the shape there is no advantage at all in converting vectors or text to shape layers. It's a waste of time.