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Make White Shapes in Artwork Transparent- Knockout Group?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Hi everyone,

 

I've been struggling with making an icon that I'm needing to have trnsparent to be able to go onto both black and white surfaces. I did the artwork on a white background and just used white shapes to make gaps between my shapes to have them not overlap instead of forming the shapes around other shapes or learning about knockout groups beforehand(I know, rookie move). Basically, my artwork looks the way I want it to on a white surface but you can see there are white strokes and shapes that really form this into what it is which is ruining any chance on a dark background. Screenshots below:

 

COAC_0-1676993968091.png

COAC_1-1676994022169.png

I've spent quite some time searching on forums and youtube videos to see how I can turn these white shapes into transparent, lots say using the knockout group function is where to go but notyhing has worked for me. Is a knockout group even possible to solve this? I've tried to follow tutorials on that and it hasn't worked at all. The reason there is a wgite stroke around the hammer and the wrench is that after I made the shapes, I decided I wanted them both a little skinnier and used the stroke. Is there any way to keep the black shapes, or do I have to manually change the shapes after deleting this white stroke?

 

I tried to upload an ai file for reference but it's not letting me. I know I did some stuff in a janky way, I am new and learning... Any help is much appreciated!! Thank you.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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The final part in this video is about knockout groups in a situation like yours: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68u6LlDF2x0

"Can you hide an object in Illustrator?" was the question ... glad, you asked! Depending on how this question is meant or interpreted, it leads to some interesting answers and to advanced techniques. How to (unknowingly) select hidden objects: https://youtu.be/Z1tEJahtGQc Knockout groups do also ...

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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I tried doing the exact knockout group process in the last part of the video and nothing changed:(

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Can you and set your View to View > Preview on CPU?

Does that change anything?

If not, please upload your file to Dropbox or the like and post a link.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Ok I was able to kake it work now for most of my artwork, but the hammer stroke won't let me change opacity. Here's a screenshot of what I have now, took me like 15 times to get it here haha: 

COAC_0-1676998994679.png

When I try to do the same process as you said which ended up working for the other shapes (make knockout group, direct select strokes or fills and then set corresponding opacity to 0), it just doesn't show any option for stroke in the appearance panel for the head of the hammer shown. It's almost like it doesn't think it has a stroke. Any idea on what this is? I feel like I'm probably doing something dumb...

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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More detail: this is what the stroke and trasparency options look like when I have direct selected the white around the hammer... I don't remember doing any live paint, is that what's messing it up? Lost on this one.

COAC_0-1676999345122.pngCOAC_1-1676999360394.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Live Paint will not work with it. You'd have to expand it first and then set up the opacity of those strokes

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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How do I even remove the live paint? I have no idea what I did to gtet it there... Do you mind explaining what I can do to remove it and what you mean by expanding?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Sorry for all the questions and updates- I figured out how to remove the live paint, but when I go through the same process to make the stroke transparent, it just gets rid of the stroke and doesn't keep the black objct the same size. AKA, now the black hammer head is a little bigger than it was before I took the stroke off. 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Please upload the file.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Does this link work? https://drive.google.com/file/d/16HS70w-bnO3K_FhlL93qym8eZ7oGYSyU/view?usp=share_link. See the shield below the artboard on grey background, that is the one I was working on.Thanks so much for your help with this

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Mentor ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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all your elements are selectable, just use the direct selection tool (white arrow)...

if you had a lot more items to change you should expand, select one stroke, then from the Select menu choose same, then same stroke colour to change all of them in one go...

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Thanks for your response, the problem I'm running into is that when setting the white stroke opacity to 0 it doesn't work as a knockout as the others did, and my black shape gets bigger when I want it to stay that same small size.

COAC_0-1677011125047.png

Aka, my black shape will now end at the blue line (expanded) from its original black shape.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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All you needed to do was selecting the shapes that form the head of the hammer using the direct selection tool and then setting the opacity of their strokes to 0% . Everything else worked just fine and was already set. 

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/69828a8f-f5de-4603-4825-e321a4063210 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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COAC,

 

Presuming you have used a full black and a full white, you can use what you have and get it to work straight away on both a white surface and a black surface in the following crude way:

 

1) Group the the entire black&white artwork that you have on top of the white surface;

2) Copy the white surface behind itself (Ctrl/Cmd+C+B, hold Ctrl or Cmd and press C then B), then change the surface colour to black, then lock the black surface which will be hidden behind the white surface until the next step; the locking is optional, just to avoifd your selecting it be mistake depending on how you select in the next step;

3) Select both the artwork Group and the white surface, then click Make (Opacity) Mask in the Transparency panel with both Clip and Invert Mask ticked, then unlock the black surface,

 

This ought to give you the exact complementary white on black appearance.

 

You can refine the way of doing it later.

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