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Wrap background grid around multiple foreground objects

Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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Hello,

 

Thank you in advance for any help on this — 

 

I’m wondering whether there’s a (relatively simple) way to do this on Illustrator:

 

I'm working on a form of music notation in which grey lines go vertically throughout the whole score, forming a rhythmic grid as the background on which the music (image 1, notation) will be written (image 2, notation with grid in background).

 

But for the end result, I would like the music notation in the foreground to be on top of the grid, with the grid cut out where the notation is + a set exclusion zone, so the image doesn’t quite touch the background grid (image 3, finished score) — so similar to text wrap, but where the notation is an image and the rhythmic grid is the text wrapping around it.

 

A further complication is that notation is that the wrap could be around lines or shapes, depending on what is at the edge of the image — so even if there’s a way of wrapping round some elements that would still save quite a bit of time!

 

And if there’s no quick way to do this — is there a feature on Illustrator that shows all (or selected) positions/dimensions of the objects in the artboard? Or does this require an add on such as CADtools if you don’t want to click on every object and view it’s properties?

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Draw and design , How-to , Third party plugins , Tools

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Community Expert , Jun 04, 2023 Jun 04, 2023

David,

 

As I (mis)understand it, you wish to have one and the same specific gap everywhere between the musical notation as a whole and the vertical rhytmic lines, although the gap is shown narower above and beneath the staves in the 3rd image. And in addition I believe the staves are open paths with a certain width.

 

If that is the case (otherwise it is a bit more complicated), to avoid interference between the different parts of the musical notation and get the desired appearance (without bit

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Community Expert ,
May 31, 2023 May 31, 2023

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I don't know how you will do the typesetting with musical notes. so I used text.

 

https://youtu.be/Irgpp8Gvto0 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 04, 2023 Jun 04, 2023

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Hi Monica,

 

That looks exactly like what I want to do, but I'm having some problems following what you did in the video. Not sure if it's just trying to translate it into English, or if something's not working properly — I'm finding that when I click on outline stroke (click to edit effect) it doesn't bring up a window where I can change the position of the stroke to the outside of the shape?

 

I've tried resetting the preferences and then uninstalling and re-installing and I can't get that to work.

 

Is there any chance you could do a version with Illustrator in English, so I can make double sure I know what to do?

 

I've attached a very quick illlustration of what the notation will be like. Eventually I want to do everything on Illustrator, as in the attached example — so the notation will just be made up of lines and shapes as in the attached — but I want the exclusion zone around the notation to be precise (I've just used the scissors tool in the attached to break up the grid).

 

Many thanks,

 

David

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Community Expert ,
Jun 04, 2023 Jun 04, 2023

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"Pfad verschieben" is "Offset path"

You could check out this for translation

https://www.vektorgarten.de/illustrator-polyglott.html

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Community Expert ,
Jun 04, 2023 Jun 04, 2023

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David,

 

As I (mis)understand it, you wish to have one and the same specific gap everywhere between the musical notation as a whole and the vertical rhytmic lines, although the gap is shown narower above and beneath the staves in the 3rd image. And in addition I believe the staves are open paths with a certain width.

 

If that is the case (otherwise it is a bit more complicated), to avoid interference between the different parts of the musical notation and get the desired appearance (without bits of rhythmic lines between the staves), you can:

 

1) Select the whole set of vertical rhytmic lines (you can ClickDrag across them al with the Selection Tool), then Ctrl/Cmd+G (hold Ctrl/Cmd and press G) to Group them, then press X and then B to bring all the vertical rhytmic lines beneath the entire musical notation (now some are above, others beneath), then lock it in the expanded Layer in the Layers panel;

2) Select the original entire musical notation, then Ctrl/Cmd+C+F to copy it directly in front of itself, then Ctrl/Cmd+G to Group the copy set, then Hide it in the expanded Layer in the Layers panel;

3) Working on the original musical notation, with the Direct Selection Tool ShiftClick the left end Anchor Point of the topmost stave and then the left end Anchor Point of the bottommost stave, then Ctrl/Cmd+J to join them;

4) Repeat 3 for the right ends of those staves; now you ought to have a closed path;

5) Give the closed path a black Fill in addition to the Stroke; now the whole musical notation within the staves ought to appear solid black;

6) Select the entire musical notation (you can ClickDrag over it with the (normal) Selection Tool), then Ctrl/Cmd+G to Group it, then Object>Path>Offset Path with an Offset equalling the desired gap; now you ought to have an oversize musical notation with a lot of black;

7) Unlock the vertical rhytmic lines Group and ShiftClick it to select it with the oversize musical notation Group from 6), then in the Transparency panel Click Make (Opacity) Mask; now you ought to see the vertical rhytmic lines Groups with gaps;

8) Show the entire musical notation copy from 2); now you ought to have the desired appearance;

9) Enjoy.

 

The steps 3) - 6) are to make a black area to mask out the unwanted parts of the vertical rhytmic lines round the musical notation (copy).

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 05, 2023 Jun 05, 2023

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Hi Jacob,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that, and it looks exactly what I want to do. It looks as you say it will until step 7 for me — then when I apply an opacity mask both the oversize notation + grid disappear — and if I show the original notation it just appears as 'normal', with no grid lines.

 

Do you have any idea what I might be doing wrong? I've attached the file where I've stopped after step 6, if you're able to help me out on this.

 

Best wishes,

 

David

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 05, 2023 Jun 05, 2023

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David,

 

It sounds, and looks, as if Clip is ticked in the Opacity Mask options, and that will make the remaining parts of the vertical rhytmic lines invisible too, so nothing remains visible.

 

Both Opacity Mask options (Clip and Invert Mask) must remain unticked, or actively unticked.

 

"both the oversize notation + grid disappear"

 

The oversize notation is supposed to disappear because it serves as the mask, leaving the unmasked part of the grid visible.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2023 Jun 13, 2023

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Hi Jacob, just to say thanks for your help here!

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2023 Jun 13, 2023

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You are welcome, David, and thank you for your reporting back.

 

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