How To Fill Text With An Image In Illustrator | How To Put Images Inside Text Using A Clipping Mask In Adobe Illustrator

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How To Put Images Inside Text Using A Clipping Mask In Adobe Illustrator


Hi everyone, this is Anne with Graphic Design How To, and today I’m going to tell you how to add a photo inside text in Adobe Illustrator. And this is something you can do with something called a clipping mask. So when you’re doing this, you need to choose a font that’s pretty thick. A thick, chunky font would work really well and a photo that is not too detailed. You don’t want to have to, like, read text in a photo background or anything like that. All right, so let’s get started. OK, so here we are in Adobe Illustrator, and I’m going to come over here and just go to ‘Create New’. We’ll go up here to ‘Print’, and we’ll choose ‘Letter.’ It doesn’t really matter the size that you choose. And now we have a document open. I’m going to hit T for my Text Tool, which is right over here. And I’ll just click once and write, ‘WOW’. I’m going to select that and then hit CMD T to bring up my Character palette. And I’ll just change this to Arial Bold or Black, and then I’ll make it bigger by clicking on the edge and holding SHIFT, and that will constrain it proportionally. OK, so now I’ve got my text, and we’re going to be using the text itself as a clipping mask. So now we need a photo. So I’m just going to go to File>Place and navigate to this image that I found on Now I’ll just click and drag about the size of my text, and it put it right on top of it. So, I’m going to send this to the back so we can see both at the same time. So I’m going to hit SHIFT CMD and [ . Whenever you make a clipping mask, you need a mask shape. In this case, it’s going to be the text, but it can be any shape that you want, but it can only be one object. Whatever you mask into it can be made up of many different objects. And another thing to know is that your shape that everything is going to be masked into has to be on top. So right now it is. We’ve got our mask, which is the text and the shape. So all we have to do is select both. And then hit CMD 7 or CTRL 7 on a PC. And that is the easiest way to mask text. Now, if you have an older version of Adobe Illustrator, you might not be able to do this. Some of the older versions require you to create outlines on your text. So I want to show you that, too. But before we do that, I want to show you that we can still make changes to this. So I’m going to hit T to get back on my Text Tool. I’m going to click right here, and I’ll keep on typing ‘WOWEE’ with two E’s. You can’t see them though, because the text extends out past where our photo is. So we need to resize our text to be only over the photo areas. So with our text selected, I’m going to use my Selection Tool and click and drag on the edge while holding SHIFT all the way until it gets within that photo edge. You can also hit CMD Y to see where that photo ends. You can see it right here. And just hit CMD Y or CTRL Y to get back to the regular view. Right now when I click and drag with my Selection Tool, it takes both the photo and the text and moves them together. But if I only want to move the text, I can do that by using the A Tool. That’s the Direct Selection Tool right here. So I’m going to click off, and then I’m going to just click here on the text and move it. And you can see we have a different part of the painting behind the text now. I’ll do it again. And now we’re starting to get down to the bottom of the painting. We can CMD Y and see where the photo ends. Now if you want to move the painting around behind there, instead of moving the text, you can go into your layers. To get to your layers, just hit F7 and then click the little caret beside the layers. So here is our clipping mask. This is the text itself. And this is just the photo. So I’m going to click this little dot beside the photo, and that will select that photo. You can see I’ve selected it now. So we can move the painting around without the text moving along with it. All right, let’s say we wanted to manipulate part of the text to maybe extend into a swirl right here. To do that, we’re going to have to create outlines on our text. So I want to show you how to do that. I’m going to hit T to get my Text Tool, and I’ll just type the same thing. I’ll hit V, grab a corner and hold SHIFT and resize. Now I’m going to hit B to get my Brush, and I’ve got a 5 point round brush here. You might not see any brushes here, but you can always go up to the flyout and choose a Brush Library. So I’ve got my brush selected. And now I’m going to increase the size of that brush with the ] . So it’s about the same size as this. And now I’ll come down here and just extend this like so. And on my brush settings, if I hit B, I can get to my brush. I’ve got it really turned up towards smooth. So everything I draw really is smooth. I like it that way. We’ll say ‘OK’. And now I want the same painting to be inside all of this black stuff. Now here’s the thing, our mask, which will be the black, has to be one shape. And right now we have this shape and this shape. We need to first create outlines on the type and that’s SHIFT CMD O or SHIFT CTRL O on a PC. And then we need to expand this brush. If we hit CMD Y, we can see it’s only one line, and we need to expand it all the way out to the edges of that line. So I’m going to hit CMD E, and then I’m also going to hit SHIFT CMD E. Both of these are right here to ‘Expand Appearance’. If we hit CMD Y now, we’ve lost that single line, and now we have an expanded shape. I’m going to hit CMD Y again, and I’ll resize this a little bit. And now I’m going to select both, and I’ll come down here to my Pathfinder, and just unite them. So now this is more of one shape. Let’s zoom in a little bit here. I just hit Z on my keyboard and then drew a box around this part. And we’ve got a little problem here. So I’m going to hit N, which is my Pencil Tool. I’ll start on this line. And I’ll just kind of go up here like this to kind of smooth that out. I can also hold OPT while on the Pencil Tool to get to the Smooth Tool and smooth it a little more by just going over some of the lines. I’m going to CMD minus. All right, so now we have our one shape, hopefully. We’ll see in a moment. And I’m going to go ahead and place that file again, with SHIFT OPT CMD P, or SHIFT ALT CTRL P on a PC. We’ll choose the photo, and I’m just going to draw it right over the top. And I’m going to go all the way out past the edges. I’ll send that to the back with SHIFT CMD [ , and now we’ve got our mask shape on top…. that always, always goes on top. And then we’ve got our image on the back. I’ll hit CMD 7, that’s CTRL 7 on a PC. And as you can see, it is not working. And so I’ll undo with CMD Z. And the reason this isn’t working is because Illustrator is not seeing this as one shape, even though we combined it with Pathfinder. It’s seeing it as five different shapes. So to get Illustrator to see this mask as one shape, because it always has to be one shape, you have to make a compound path. And to do that, you can just go to Object>Compound Path>Make. It doesn’t change the way it looks or anything like that, but now Illustrator sees it as one shape. So you’ve got your one shape on top, and you’ve got your photo in the background. We’ll select both, and we’ll hit CMD 7. And now it’s working. We can still do the same thing. We can get our A Tool, click right on that background, and move it around. I’m doing that with my arrows right now. I can also click right on the edge of the text on a point and just change it however I want. I’m just clicking and dragging different points. Just don’t forget that if you go too far down, you’re going to get to the edge of your photo, and it will cut off right there. So you can hit CMD Y to see where your photo ends, move it, and then CMD Y again. Let’s say I wanted a little piece of green right here, but it’s not in my photo, and I just want to make something in Illustrator and then put it in there. So I’m going to sample that color using the Eyedropper Tool. And now I’ll hit B to get my Brush Tool. I’ll come back up here to Brushes and choose whatever brush I want. This one is fine. And now I can just draw a little more green wherever I want it. But now I want to get it inside that mask with everything else. We could undo this mask by going to Object>Clipping Mask>Release and also OPT CMD 7, or CTRL ALT 7 on a PC, but I don’t want to go to the trouble of doing that. So I’m just going to select the two pieces that I want inside the mask, CMD X, which is ‘cut’. And then I’m going to come over here to my Layers palette, find the layer with the photo on it. If you can’t find it very easily, just use your A Tool to click on that layer, and then it’ll have a little blue box by it. So once you find the layer with the photo on it, you can click on the little circle beside it, and that will only select that layer. And now you can paste in front, which is CMD F, and it’s pasted it right inside that mask on top of the photo layer. And you can see it that it’s added it right above that but it’s still within the clipping mask here. If you don’t want to deal with the Layers palette, you can just click on that photo with the A Tool and then paste in front, and it will do the exact same thing. I just put another copy right on top of the other one. You can see them in the layers. So you don’t actually need to open your Layers palette to do that. If you want to move just one letter, you can do that with your Group Selection Tool. It’s right here underneath your A Tool. With the Group Selection Tool, you really have to choose edges of things, especially in this case when you have a few different things inside each other. So I’m going to choose the edge of this W. And now I have that whole W. The thing about the A Tool is, if I use that, I would only be selecting one point. So now I can click and drag this and put it wherever I want. I can even hit R and rotate, or just whatever you want to do. And that’s pretty much clipping masks in a nutshell. All right, that’s my video for this week. If you liked it and you want to see more videos like this, you can just hit the subscribe button and you’ll get a notification every time I release a new video, which is once a week on Thursdays. All right, I’ll see you next week with another graphic design tutorial. Thank you!!!