I have created a shape using the pen tool. I then use the shape as a clipping mask to cut a photo. However I am unable to use crop or trim to make the "cut" permanent. The error message states I must select one or more filled paths. My goal is to reduce the size of my document as I would like to create collages using filled shapes
How can I make the mask actually cut the photo?
You cannot use a clipping mask to cut a photo. You could use Crop Image to cut away the parts of the photo outside the clipping mask, but you will always have a rectangular image.
The Crop and Trim tools you refer to are for vector objects and paths, not images.
You COULD do what you want in Photoshop (in fact you can export your clipped-masked AI file to PSD and "cut" the photo that way, but since that's a destructive task, I wouldn't recommned it. It's better to work with masks that you can play with. But as Ton says, images are always rectangular object, even if you've close cropped an object; Transparent pixels are still pixels,
Thanks Brad. Can I ask why I should avoid a destructive task? My concern is a memory heavy file. I am a collage artist so even this small to me illustration with "only" 50 images was causing AI to crash and slowing my computer down. I have no idea how I would actually send it to a client.