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Clipping mask making everything just disappear

Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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I am trying to make a gear have that nice mettalic shine using the clipping mask, but everytime I make the command the whole thing just dissapears.  I am using the pen tool to make 4 triangles with different shades of grey. I then group the triangles, put a radial blur on them and place them under the gear that I created.  I select them all and do the clipping mask command, but instead of it being a gear with that radial shine, the whole thing disappears except for the outline of the triangle.  HELP!!!  I'M STUCK AND I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING (except the right thing)!!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Elias,

To keep the fill etc of the top object, you need to use a copy of it as the Clipping path for the Clipping Mask.

Do you have more than one object on top, such as a Group?

What happens if you create the copy as a Compound Path (of objects with no overlap) or a single path made with Pathfinder>Unite?

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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ok, when you say a copy, you mean "control c" and erase the gear I already have?  (I'm sorry, I'm pretty new at this)  Yes, I grouped the triangles, but they are on the bottom.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Elias,

The Clipping Path, which clips the objects, must be at the top.

I mean Ctrl/Cmd+C+F to copy and paste in front, then move it beneath the original and have it selected along with the path(s) to be clipped, then apply the Clipping Mask.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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thank you! it worked!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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You are welcome, Elias.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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I am having the same issues and I am very new to Illustrator. Is there a visual representation of what you just did to make it work?

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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There is no need to create a copy of the mask shape in order to get the color back. Just direct select the mask after it is created and reapply the color.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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?? I don't know what any of that means. I have 2 layers, and want to create a clipping mask to put one layer into the other. When I select both layers and create the clipping mask, everything disappears or I get a message saying that it is too complex.

I am a total NOOB when it comes to Illustrator, so visual or very detailed steps would be appreciated.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Please show.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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There are too many points on your paths. You need to simplify them.

Also I'm not sure what is to mask what. The masking path must be on top. The other paths and objects below it.

How to create a basic clipping mask in Illustrator | Adobe Illustrator CC tutorials

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Make your Grunge Streak shape a compound path by selecting only it and hitting Command-8. Then try your mask again.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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THAT WORKED! I duplicated the Grunge Streak and made it a compound Path. Then I put my Fish layer under the Compound Path and created a clipping mask. It worked!

Thank You Kris

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Not sure why you duplicated it first, but okay. Glad it helped.

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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‌In your defense, there's no reason Illustrator should happily accept a group of objects as a mask, and then display nothing as a result. It should at least give an error message explaining that your mask either needs to be a single path or a compound path. It would be even better if the error dialog would also have a button with the option to convert the group of objects to a compound path and then complete the mask.

Hmm... I feel a feature request coming on...

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New Here ,
Dec 20, 2020 Dec 20, 2020

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4 years later.... No change.

 

Cheers for sharing Kris!

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2021 Jan 31, 2021

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LATEST

For real. Ps makes it so damn easy. I got it to work and I'm still not sure I understand how. Thanks, Kris!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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I mean this is super easy to do in Photoshop. I don't know why it's so difficult in AI

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Mentor ,
Feb 04, 2016 Feb 04, 2016

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Because your mask is not a compound path like it should be. Illustrator doesn't know which one of the 200 paths in your Grunge Streak is supposed to be the mask.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2013 Jun 13, 2013

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Usually when everything dispaears then what you intended to use for a clipping mask, is not what happened. Your top most object in the selection is used for the clipping mask.

I fill my clipping mask with a dummy color, to confirm I have my layering correct, the color goes away after the mask command. You can also clean up your document by putting only what you wnat to mask, along with the clipping mask on a new layer, then hit the round button after the layer name to select all in the layer, and mask.

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