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How to mask or trim off the end of a widened path the the outline of another shape

New Here ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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I'm a beginner with Illustrator.  I have a widened path representing a trail. At the narrow (far) end of the path it extends beyond the outline of the mountain on which it is overlain. See image.  I want to trim that widened path to the outline of the mountain.  I can't figure out how to do this.  Have tried using shapebuilder but it won't let me select a path, even a widened one. I have tried trimming the path, but then it leaves a gap on the inside of the mountain outline.  Any suggestions?  Thanks.

screen  capture trail end extends past mountain outline.JPG

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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If it needs to stay editable, you could mask it either with an opacity mask or a clipping mask.

If editability is not an issue, you can expand it (Outline stroke) and then shorten it.

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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I am not sure about expanding and shortening it, since it is not a uniform width.  Or maybe I am misunderstanding your suggestion.

 

I did try the clipping mask idea and that does cut off the end of the trail that sticks out past the mountain outline but it also puts the trail behind the mountain shape and when I try to bring it to the front, nothing happens...I cannot get it to the front.  Ideas?

 

Many thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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Copy the mountain shape and paste on top of your widened line, select both and then right click or go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make. This will allow you to do exactly what you are trying to do. Just make sure you are using a copy of the mountain shape.

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New Here ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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well, I tried that, and it did mask the portion of the trail that was sticking up past the mountain's outline, but when I make the mask, it sends the widened line (my "trail") to behind the mountain upon which I DO want it to show. I tried selecting it and Arrange:Bring to front, but for some reason this is not bringing it to the front.  Any suggestions for that?

 

Thanks very much for your ideas!

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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Could you please share the file or its part? I guess there is some misunderstanding between us about the workflow, so would be useful to show you what we mean directly on your image (or find what goes wrong if it's an Illustrator issue).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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Maybe we need to see a zoomed out view as that is very surprising!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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trailmapper,

 

What happens if you start over with just one trail in front of one mountain (follow things in the expanded Layers in the Layers panel), and using the normal Selection Tool:

 

1) Select the mountain, then hold Ctrl/Cmd and press C then F then X then F (to bring the mountain to the very top as seen in the Layer), then lock the original mountain in the Layer,

2) ClickDrag across the (copy) mountain and the trail, then hold Ctrl/Cmd and press 7 (to create the mask),

3) Unlock the original mountain?

 

I believe you may have copied the mountain just above the original but beneath the trail and therefore made a ghostly reverse clipping set, so that the trail has been on top and thereby making itself scarce and masking an invisible version of the mountain in front of itself; in other words, you are just looking at the original mountain.

 

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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I will see if I can try this. I'm afraid I am such a newbie that I was not paying close attention to layers initially and may have gotten myself really tangled up.  Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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You are welcome, trailmapper.

 

I believe we all hope you will report your findings.

 

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Advocate ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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Select path, go to Object -> Path -> Outline stroke, then hit A key and use the Direct Selection Tool, just to finagle the end

(Or, but you didn't hear this from me, draw a little green triangle above your brown path, but below your dark green path.)

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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I'll give it a try.  And, LOL, the little green triangle...that is my initial work around, but I know it is  messy and I am not happy with it.  If all else fails, I'll go back to that.  

 

Many thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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trailmapper,

 

Based on a reinterpretation, namely that you have a mountain formed as a single path with a dark green stroke (serving as a frame) and a (brownish) yellow fill, and that you wish to have the rail showing within the stroke/frame, here is a way to do it reversibly:

 

1) Select the mountain, then hold Ctrl/Cmd and press C then F then X then F (to bring the mountain to the very top as seen in the Layer), then change the fill to white and change the stroke to black, then lock the original mountain in the Layer, see link below;

2) ClickDrag across the black and white (copy) mountain and the trail, then in the Transparency panel Make (Opacity) Mask and click Clip (to hide the part of the trail stroke sticking out of the frame);

3) Unlock the original mountain.

 

With this, the trail is only shown in front of the fill of the original mountain.

 

If you wish to have the trail showing in front of the dark green stroke/frame, change both the fill and stroke to white in 1); but then you will have to extend the trail past the stroke of the mountain.

 

 

To lock, see here, and use Helpx pages search to work with Layers and other things,

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/locking-hiding-deleting-objects.html

 

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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I think this is what finally worked to trim the path at the mountain's outline, as someone earlier had suggested the same process.  However, initially when I did this, the path was "trapped" beneath the mountain copy and I could not bring it to the front.  I have dinked with it so much by now, I do not remember how I resolved that problem. I suspect I had something in there locked and so could not bring the path to the front.  I must have finally unlocked it and now the path is in front of the mountain but behind the bold black mountain outline (the transparent mountain copy).

 

At any rate, I seem to have gotten what I wanted...I will have to try to duplicate the problem in a scratch project so I can retain the process.

 

Thanks to all who made suggestions!  This community is great!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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For my part you are welcome, trailmapper.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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trailmapper,

 

To work irreversibly (always keep the original and destroy a copy, or it may be to work irresponsibly), you can select everything and Object>Outline Stroke, then use the Shape Builder to merge and remove unwanted bits, see link.

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/search-results.html?q=shape+builder+illustrator&scope=%5B%22helpx%22%5D&subs...

 

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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I tried electing the objects involved and using ShapeBuilder so I could do as you describe, but it will not let me select the widened path.  Since the path is not a polygon to begin with, it only appears as one when I widen it, I assume that is why ShapeBuilder won't work on that object.  Do you know of a way to convert a widened path to a polygon?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Select the path.
Object > Expand Appearance.
If this line is grayed, 
Object > Path > Outline stroke

 

This must work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Select and cut your path, then chose the (tan) shape. Go to the bottom of the tool panel and activate for that shape. Paste in Place with put your line inside the shape, clipped by its path (making a clipping path, but without removing the stroke and fill attributes from the outside shape)

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 2.13.11 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-10-26 at 2.16.05 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-10-26 at 2.14.06 PM.png

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Advocate ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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...if the path falls entirely within the tan (mountain) area and doesn't extend down into the forest (for the forest trail section of the hike)... ;-}

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Thank you,  I will try this in a test project. I am not sure what you mean by "activate for that shape".  I am still a real neophyte here.  

 

I finally did get the result I wanted, using a suggestion a couple of folks made, but it caused me confusion when my path ended up behind the tan mountain and it took me a while till I could bring it to front, as it would not let me select it.  Somehow I finally got it, but am not exactly sure what I did.  I just needs lots and lots more practice with all of this! 

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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@trailmapper wrote:

 I am not sure what you mean by "activate for that shape". 


 

I just mean to choose Draw Inside while that shape is selected.

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Advocate ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Try to get used to using layers, just remember that grouping and compound paths concatenate all selected items on to one layer, so doing a save copy is useful before you do something drastic and potential irreversible - you can't undo if you close out the file!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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trailmapper,

 

"At any rate, I seem to have gotten what I wanted...I will have to try to duplicate the problem in a scratch project so I can retain the process."

 

You can try out any and all suggestions as follows (forget about Artboard and just use as much of the Workspace as needed):

 

A) Create a rectangle with both stroke and fill and then a simple stroked path extending past the top and bottom (three different colours),

B) Select everything and move a copy to the right a number of times,

C) For each tryout, move a copy of the set downwards and start working on it in the suggested way and continue downwards step by step.

 

In that way you will have a full set of steps for each suggestion to keep/go over again/post here for further help; you can set an Artboard up as desired, covering one/more/all of them.

 

 

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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Great idea! Thanks, will try that.

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