11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2010 9:00 PM by Shenzi1

    Clipping Paths - practical uses of?

    Shenzi1 Level 1

      Hello all

       

      So I have a clipping path around a repeat pattern created with Xtreampath. A square with what I can only describe as invisible edges. Mostimes I find Illustrator to be intuitive but I honestly have no idea what to do with this.

       

      So two questions please.

       

      1. what is a clipping path ?

       

      2. what are it's practical uses? please provide some examples of how you have used them, if i can find a practical use for it, then i'll be able to learn it!

       

      thank you

      -s

        • 1. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
          KC29 Level 3

          In the Illustrator Help pages, type in "Clipping Path" and read the results.

           

          It explains it all pretty well

          • 2. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            S,

             

            A Clipping Mask is a opening into the world of your artwork, only showing part of it, like a porthole, a window with bars, a keyhole, or any shape(s) you wish to decorate with the underlying artwork, such as letters.

             

            Make Compound Paths of individual parts to be used together as a Clipping Mask.

             

            It seems that Illy has a habit of sometimes creating unnecessary Clipping Masks when opening artwork from other applications/versions; in those cases, the Clipping Mask(s) may just be deleted.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
              Harron K. Appleman Level 4

              Open Photoshop Help and look up clipping path.

               

              Then, open Illustrator Help and look up clipping mask.

               

              ...please provide some examples of how you have used them...

               

              Assuming "them" refers to clipping paths... In the days of yore, before it was possible to simply import Photoshop PSDs into Illustrator with transparency intact, it was necessary to create a clipping path in Photoshop to silhouette objects. When saved as an EPS and placed into Illustrator (and page layout apps, like Quark), the clipping path would be used automatically to drop out the background on the raster image.

               

              Illustrator almost always sees clipping paths in placed objects created in other applications (and not just EPS), even if it does nothing with them. You'll usually find them as a sub-layers. Such path layers can be used in a number of ways within Illustrator, e.g., to create a clipping mask or a stroke on a portion of a raster image.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Harron, it is nice to at least know someone that can actually read.

                • 5. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                  Harron K. Appleman Level 4

                  All bets are off at Happy Hour.

                  • 6. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                    Shenzi1 Level 1

                    Thank you kindly for the lesson!

                     

                    Your words sting and inform!

                    • 7. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                      shunithD Level 3

                      Shenzi1 wrote:

                      Your words sting and inform!

                      Ah! An OP, thank God, with a sense of humour! 

                      • 8. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                        Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        For my part you are welcome, Shenzi.

                         

                        Shunith is right, as always, but any sting from me was aimed at myself.

                        • 9. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                          JETalmage Level 6

                          Then there's what the manual won't tell you:

                           

                          In Illustrator, a clipping path (the generic term for a common construct for which Illustrator inexplicably finds it necessary to substitute "Clipping Mask") is Illustrator's workaround for its 25 year old absence of a proper path cutting tool. So Illustrator users typically employ clipping paths far more often than should be necessary.

                           

                          One example: Illustrator provides this wonderful ability to apply multiple strokes to a single path (under the table, it's actually drawing several paths, but...). This is very useful for drawing road maps. Users draw big, elaborate road maps which include hundreds or thousands of open, unfilled paths. Said users then need to cut out a smaller portion or detail of said map. But all of Illustrator's path cutting tools are...well...junk, largely because Illustrator has some kind of mental problem with its own open, unfilled paths which manifests itself in the Knife's inability to cut them, and the ill-conceived Eraser's inability to leave the remainder of them undisturbed. The affliction also reveals itself in the use of common path combination commands which work correctly in other programs, but not in Illustrator. (Illustrator optimistically refers to these as Pathfinders because using them in Illustrator inflicts a state of confusion similar to being lost in the woods.)

                           

                          So said users throw up their collective hands and resort to using clipping paths...uh....Masks...which merely hide what said users would really rather be able to actually cut away, resulting in unnecessarily bloated PDFs and print streams. Just think of it as kicking stuff on the floor under the couch when guests are due to arrive.

                           

                          Mostimes I find Illustrator to be intuitive

                           

                          I would have that checked if I were you.

                           

                          JET

                          • 10. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                            Shenzi1 Level 1

                            shunithD wrote:

                             

                            Shenzi1 wrote:

                            Your words sting and inform!

                            Ah! An OP, thank God, with a sense of humour! 

                             


                            You should see me sing and dance

                            • 11. Re: Clipping Paths - practical uses of?
                              shunithD Level 3

                              Shenzi1 wrote:

                              You should see me sing and dance