Apply Effects on No Fill, No Stroke

Explorer ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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Hi all,

I would like to have just the effects only applied to a shape/path i.e. no fill and no stroke. We can do that in photoshop but I've not figured out how to do it in Illustrator

e.g. a Rectangle shape that only has drop shadow/inner glow.  How can we achieve it?

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Explorer , Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017
I found a work around. (I'm on a Mac with CC 2018)1. Create any path shape. (rectangle, ellipse, free form)2. Fill the shape with a gradient fill and no stroke3. Set both gradient colors to opacity: 0%, but keep the fill opacity at 100%3. Group the single object4. Apply the effect to the Group (not the shape).You can put as many shapes as you want in the group, they will all get the effect. It worked for me using inner glow, outer glow, and drop shadow.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 02, 2017 May 02, 2017

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For the most part you can't. AI simply works differently and doesn't know these blending tricks. Feel free to experiment with the transparency and appearance options.

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2017 May 03, 2017

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depends what you want... you can sort-of do something similar by having two fills, the top one with 0% opacity, apply knockout group, then give a drop shadow to the lower fill:

nofill.png

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Explorer ,
May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017

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Hey Doug,

That's some creative workaround there, a 'Why didn't I think of that' eureka moment!

I've used Knockout on groups of objects but never as a stacked Fill this way. Thanks for the creative tip.

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Contributor ,
Feb 20, 2020 Feb 20, 2020

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Thanks so much for posting this!

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Contributor ,
Jun 30, 2020 Jun 30, 2020

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Great idea too! Thanks Doug.

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New Here ,
May 21, 2021 May 21, 2021

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Fantastic! This worked perfectly for me to create an outer glow around a transparent graphic - thank you thank you!

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Participant ,
May 21, 2021 May 21, 2021

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I would like to offer one more step to get this to work. At least one more step that gets me the final result. You need to select "Isolate Blending" on the bottom fill in addition to the "Knockout Group."

 

Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 2.21.21 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-21 at 2.21.32 PM.png

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Explorer ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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I found a work around. (I'm on a Mac with CC 2018)

1. Create any path shape. (rectangle, ellipse, free form)

2. Fill the shape with a gradient fill and no stroke

3. Set both gradient colors to opacity: 0%, but keep the fill opacity at 100%

3. Group the single object

4. Apply the effect to the Group (not the shape).

You can put as many shapes as you want in the group, they will all get the effect. It worked for me using inner glow, outer glow, and drop shadow.

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New Here ,
Sep 26, 2019 Sep 26, 2019

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This was perfect. Thanks!

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Contributor ,
Jun 30, 2020 Jun 30, 2020

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Excellent suggestion Janduza. Thanks. I wonder why this feature, as described by the original poster, is not part of Illustrator's standard functionality. At present, whether a fill or stroke is made invisible OR is visible with a fill or stroke set to "None" produces the same result. I would expect the effect applied to a visible fill or a visible stroke set to "None" to produce the same result as the workaround, as a standard functionality (it is not the case, unfortunately).

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2020 Mar 15, 2020

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You're a genius! Simple solution that never came to my mind.. Thanks

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New Here ,
Oct 01, 2020 Oct 01, 2020

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Wow. Genuinely clever. Many thanks. I think Adobe owe you for this one.

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Participant ,
Oct 02, 2020 Oct 02, 2020

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This doesn't work as you describe. Can you provide a working file? I have followed your steps for a drop show and it fails. Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 11.48.44 AM.png

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