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Clipping mask making everything just disappear

Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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I am trying to make a gear have that nice mettalic shine using the clipping mask, but everytime I make the command the whole thing just dissapears.  I am using the pen tool to make 4 triangles with different shades of grey. I then group the triangles, put a radial blur on them and place them under the gear that I created.  I select them all and do the clipping mask command, but instead of it being a gear with that radial shine, the whole thing disappears except for the outline of the triangle.  HELP!!!  I'M STUCK AND I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING (except the right thing)!!!

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Elias,

To keep the fill etc of the top object, you need to use a copy of it as the Clipping path for the Clipping Mask.

Do you have more than one object on top, such as a Group?

What happens if you create the copy as a Compound Path (of objects with no overlap) or a single path made with Pathfinder>Unite?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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ok, when you say a copy, you mean "control c" and erase the gear I already have?  (I'm sorry, I'm pretty new at this)  Yes, I grouped the triangles, but they are on the bottom.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Elias,

The Clipping Path, which clips the objects, must be at the top.

I mean Ctrl/Cmd+C+F to copy and paste in front, then move it beneath the original and have it selected along with the path(s) to be clipped, then apply the Clipping Mask.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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thank you! it worked!

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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You are welcome, Elias.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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I am having the same issues and I am very new to Illustrator. Is there a visual representation of what you just did to make it work?

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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There is no need to create a copy of the mask shape in order to get the color back. Just direct select the mask after it is created and reapply the color.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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?? I don't know what any of that means. I have 2 layers, and want to create a clipping mask to put one layer into the other. When I select both layers and create the clipping mask, everything disappears or I get a message saying that it is too complex.

I am a total NOOB when it comes to Illustrator, so visual or very detailed steps would be appreciated.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Please show.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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There are too many points on your paths. You need to simplify them.

Also I'm not sure what is to mask what. The masking path must be on top. The other paths and objects below it.

How to create a basic clipping mask in Illustrator | Adobe Illustrator CC tutorials

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2022 Nov 20, 2022

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that didn't help my case. i'm designing a glock slide and need to clip the design so it only shows inside the slide, so, of course, i'm trying a clipping mask.  but i'm trying everything in this thread and none of it helps.  i have the same disappearing problem

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Make your Grunge Streak shape a compound path by selecting only it and hitting Command-8. Then try your mask again.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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THAT WORKED! I duplicated the Grunge Streak and made it a compound Path. Then I put my Fish layer under the Compound Path and created a clipping mask. It worked!

Thank You Kris

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Not sure why you duplicated it first, but okay. Glad it helped.

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Kris, I'm also new to Illustrator CC. I'm havin the same type of problem as Waffles87 but when I select "Make" everything turns to a one point line with anchor points. Thanks in advance. Cliff

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Please show before and after, but please make a new thread of your own, because your post got inserted into a running discussion and just makes everything very difficult to read.

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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‌In your defense, there's no reason Illustrator should happily accept a group of objects as a mask, and then display nothing as a result. It should at least give an error message explaining that your mask either needs to be a single path or a compound path. It would be even better if the error dialog would also have a button with the option to convert the group of objects to a compound path and then complete the mask.

Hmm... I feel a feature request coming on...

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2020 Dec 20, 2020

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4 years later.... No change.

 

Cheers for sharing Kris!

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2021 Jan 31, 2021

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For real. Ps makes it so damn easy. I got it to work and I'm still not sure I understand how. Thanks, Kris!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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I mean this is super easy to do in Photoshop. I don't know why it's so difficult in AI

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Because your mask is not a compound path like it should be. Illustrator doesn't know which one of the 200 paths in your Grunge Streak is supposed to be the mask.

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I'm using a gradient applied to anchor points so there isn't a single color to apply. Any suggestions? 

 

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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I can't apply the color as I'm using a custom gradient. Any tricks for that? 

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