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Why is clipping mask in illustrator not working for me?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2012

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I have a vector skull and crossbones on top of several images. I want the images to become the skull and crossbones shape so I have them below the vector skull in the layer group and I select the skull and the images and go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make but it makes everything disappear. All i'm left with is the invisible outline of the skull. This is supposed to be sooooo easy and i'm getting incredibly frustrated! I'm using illustrator CS4 if that helps any.

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Correct answer by Jacob Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

Sara,

What happens if you:

1) Select all/any mutually overlapping bone parts and Pathfinder>Unite,

2) Select all the bone parts and Object>Compound Path>Make,

3) Select everything and Object>Clipping Mask>Make?

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Why is clipping mask in illustrator not working for me?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2012

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I have a vector skull and crossbones on top of several images. I want the images to become the skull and crossbones shape so I have them below the vector skull in the layer group and I select the skull and the images and go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make but it makes everything disappear. All i'm left with is the invisible outline of the skull. This is supposed to be sooooo easy and i'm getting incredibly frustrated! I'm using illustrator CS4 if that helps any.

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Jacob Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

Sara,

What happens if you:

1) Select all/any mutually overlapping bone parts and Pathfinder>Unite,

2) Select all the bone parts and Object>Compound Path>Make,

3) Select everything and Object>Clipping Mask>Make?

Views

76.2K

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Apr 20, 2012 4
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 20, 2012

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Sara,

What happens if you:

1) Select all/any mutually overlapping bone parts and Pathfinder>Unite,

2) Select all the bone parts and Object>Compound Path>Make,

3) Select everything and Object>Clipping Mask>Make?

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Apr 20, 2012 17
Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2012

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Thank you that worked!

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Apr 20, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 20, 2012

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You are welcome, Sara.

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Apr 20, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Mar 26, 2016

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Hi,

I have the same problem as Sara - but Jacob's solution doesn't work in my case:

My overlapping parts are in different colors, and they all merge into one color if I use Unite.

Is there any other way to make this work?

EDIT: OK, got it now: It is necessary to make a Compound Path for each color group/layer. After that, Clipping Mask works as expected.

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Mar 26, 2016 0
New Here ,
Apr 20, 2017

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thank you (Y)

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Apr 20, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Oct 26, 2020

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esaeo-nyc-pdx_0-1603735479892.png

esaeo-nyc-pdx_1-1603735528607.png

I've tried several times to get these swirls to be clipped.  Been doing the same action for well over a decade, and now it doesn't work.  I cannot have the swirls compounded.  I tried grouping then clipping, and that also did NOT work.

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Oct 26, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Oct 26, 2020

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Never mind.  Stripped the structure for the third time and now, for some reason, it works.  Never had this finikiness (sp) before with clipping.  I could not delete my previous message.

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Oct 26, 2020 0
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