Masks Illustrator | Ultimate Guide To Masking In Illustrator Cc

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Ultimate Guide To Masking In Illustrator Cc


If I had to pick one feature that most of our students are struggling with, it would definitely be masking. This is a technique. Even experienced designers are not utilizing enough in Adobe applications, however, this is a crucial element of working non-destructively or in other words professionally. So I decided that I will cover everything you need to know about masking in Illustrator Photoshop and InDesign in this miniseries in the first video. We will start with illustrator, and I will show you. All there is to know about opacity and clipping masks. Links to the other two episodes of the series will be available in the description below once they are published. I highly recommend to check those out too, even if you don’t use. Photoshop and InDesign much as learning masking in all, three applications will help you to get a better understanding of the similarities and differences between them as always. If you like the way I explain things, and you want to learn more from me, Make sure to check out our training platform where you can access over 200 hours of premium courses on tools like illustrator, use the link in the description below and get a three day free trial. Now, all right, so here we are in Illustrator, and I’m going to walk you through a couple of interesting examples, but first of all. I want to make sure that you understand the basic difference between a clipping mask and an opacity mask, so on the left side. I have this artwork which I created and in a previous tutorial and I have a rectangle on top of it. So this rectangle is just empty, so there’s no filled color. That’s just a simple stroke color on it and all. I have to do to turn this into a clipping mask is to select it together with the artwork behind it, and it’s important that the rectangle needs to be on top and once they are selected. I can turn it into a clipping mask by pressing command or control 7 or you can go to the object menu and choose clipping mask. Make from there now. Once you created a clipping mask. The easiest thing to do is to check what happened actually on the layer’s panel. So in this case. I’m just going to jump down here as you can see. We have the clip group. And within that, we have the rectangle. The name of the object that turns into a clipping mask in the layer’s panel gets an underline, so it’s always a visual indication that helps you to quickly find, which is the actual clipping mask, and whatever is going to be placed inside. This group will automatically be also masked by this object. So just to show that to you if I move this shape here, you can see that it’s not affected by the mosque yet, but once I drag it into the clip group immediately, it’s going to be affected and, of course, the same way. I moved it inside the group. I can also move it out, so I just dragged it out of the group and then move it back here in the middle. So in the group within which you have a clipping mask any other objects you a place in will be automatically affected by the mosque and in this case because we created a rectangle, use the rectangle as our clipping mask. It’s going to use that shape. Whatever falls into that shape will be visible. So if I want to move this around independently from the artwork, I would need to come to the layer’s panel and click on the little circle next to the rectangle this way. If I start moving this around notice that the actual artwork, the badge inside this mosque is not moving around only the mosque itself with which we can reveal parts of the badge. Now, of course, I can resize this rectangle as well, so I can move it around, resize it, So maybe just the top part of the badge. I can even rotate the mosque around and so on and so forth if I want to quickly switch to the artwork inside the mosque, I can use this icon here on the top, which says edit contents. Once I click on that, I can move the artwork around or make changes to it, and in this case, when I click away, you can see that. The mask was staying in place, and the artwork was moving inside the mask so by default. When you click on a clipping group, you will move both the mosque and the artwork together, but with the techniques. I just showed you. You can access individually, just a mosque or just the artwork inside it once. You don’t need a clipping mask anymore. You can use again a shortcut to get rid of it. It’s called release the feature itself. Its command option 7 or ctrl Alt 7 and what happens is that you get back your rectangle, so we can select the rectangle separately and I can just press D so we can see it again with its original colors, and if we don’t need it anymore, we can even delete it by pressing backspace. I’m just going to put it back here on the left, so we can see how it worked and before we move on to the opacity mask. I wanted to show you Another feature called draw inside and the reason for that is because it actually works with a clipping mask or it creates a clipping mask automatically so in this case, instead of creating a separate shape. If you have a shape already within which you would like to add elements, then you can use This feature called draw inside, so it’s almost like the other way around so using the shape or the container first so creating that first and then create the artwork that will go inside it, so having the container selected in this case, this blob? I can press shift D on the keyboard twice until I see these little dashed lines in the corners of the selection, or you can also go to the toolbar and choose draw inside there. So once you have that, you can even click away. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing it from this point on because you are restricted to work inside that selected object, so for example, if I select the pencil tool and I’m just going to choose, Maybe no fill color, but I’m going to use. Let’s say this orange stroke color, and I’m going to start drawing. You will see that the drawing will only appear inside the selected shape, so no matter what I am doing outside of it, That’s not going to be visible as simple as that now again. These shapes are created within a clipping, so if we check our layers panel again, we will find a clipping group and the original shape that was here turned into a clipping mask. Notice the underline and the reason. I showed this is because some users prefer to work this way, but also worth remembering that you are clipping paths don’t have to be transparent. They can have colors on them, So if I come back to the original example here on the Left, which we have a clipping mask, which is a rectangle. If I switch the fill color on this to something else. Let’s say something like that or that you can see it can serve two different purposes. One is to do the clipping and the other one to provide a background, color or background gradient, even which we can see here on the other example. Okay, which is going to undo this, and now we can move on to the third option, the opacity mask but first. I’m just going to make sure I get out of the draw inside mode by pressing shift D again. So now we are back to drawing normally just about checking here in the toolbar, so it says draw normal and the opacity mask is something that is very similar to a layer mask in Photoshop, where the shades of gray is used to hide and show details of a selected object or group so black hides and why it shows that the basic principle you have to remember and notice that I placed here a rectangle on top of the bench, which is agree the end, though it has a gradient on it, so on the top, it’s white on the bottom, it’s black. Now if I will apply this as a mosque, you can already think about what’s going to happen because we have white on the top. Those parts will be visible and as we move along down, we will have less and less details visible from the bench, so lets. Just try this out. I’m going to select these two together, so the rectangle and the batch behind it and then to be able to create an opacity mask. The best thing to do is to use the transparency panel within that you will find the make mask option. Once you click on that again, The topmost object will automatically be turned into a mosque in case and opacity mask and similarly again to Photoshop. You can keep track of what you have on the selected object or what opacity mask is applied on the selected object by checking your transparency panel here on the left, you see the artwork and on the right. You see the mask itself. Now let me show you a couple of shortcuts first of all. If you just simply click on the mosque as you can see. I just clicked on it. In the layers panel, you will be able to see the change so now we are only accessing the mask itself, so we don’t even see whatever is in the artwork and it’s important to remember to switch back to the artwork. Otherwise, you won’t be able to work with anything else. It’s almost like a special type of isolation mode in Illustrator, So if I want to go back and make changes to my artwork, I just have to remember to click back on this thumbnail here in the transparency panel so once. I’m there I should be able to see all my layers again. Another way you can tell that you are stuck in an opacity mask is by checking your tab So here in the document tab, It also says that we are within an opacity mask currently when I’m teaching in a classroom. This is one of the first thing that I check. If someone is stuck most likely, they are stuck in an opacity mask, and that’s why something is not working. So keep an eye on that once you start using opacity masks, but there’s a couple of other things that you can do first of all. If you shift-click on the opacity masks thumbnail, you can hide it so temporarily disable it and see the full object again, so this is without deleting the opacity mask, just simply shift-click on the thumbnail can show or hide the original artwork without the mask and the other shortcut is alt or option. Click on it. We’ll be able to show you what’s inside the mosque so actually seeing the object that’s inside the mosque, so this I would call the mosque view and the cool thing is that the same shortcuts are available in Photoshop. So if you learn them here, you will be able to use them in Photoshop as well whenever you work with pixel masks, but if you want to learn more about that, make sure you check out the video in this miniseries. When I’m going to cover everything about Photoshop masks, the links will be in the description once it comes out, So Alt, click again to switch back. I want to show you another feature. It’s called clipping or clip. Now this can get confusing because clipping masks. We already discussed the thing on the left that we went through, but when you use clip within an opacity mask or in the transparency panel, that means slightly something slightly different. So if I switch off the clip notice, what happens here? So instead of only showing details within the shape that we used as our opacity mask, the rest of the object will be not affected, so it will stay visible as normal while if we turn back the clip option, which is the default feature then only details within the opacity mask shape will be visible. Luckily, it is very simple to switch it back and forth, so you can experiment with it and see which one works best for the artwork that you are using it on. I’m going to just turn it off for now because this is a rectangle. When I’m starting to resize it, We can see how it’s going to affect the object, so we have agreed the end on it. Don’t forget if I drag it all the way up, We can get a very nice fade, more smoother transition from being visible to the hidden parts at the bottom, and because we are using a gradient on it. We can even press. G on the keyboard to access the gradient annotator and this is only going to be visible. If you are on the right Swatch. So you have to make sure you are on the field Swatch in these cases, and then you can drag it up and down even the end points, so not necessarily the actual shape. But you can really nicely control where you want the end point to be so where you want it to be completely disappear. I can move the white point down as well and then we can create a more abrupt transition or softer and so on and so forth and of course, we can also increase the width of this shape. So then we, in fact, the whole object. Now you can see that the main difference between an opacity mask and a clipping mask is the ability to have these smooth transitions while with a clipping mask, you will always have those hard edges between the visible and the hidden parts so now that we went through the basics of using masks in Illustrator. Let me show you a couple of cool examples, so first of all, we have a cool character illustration and what I would like to achieve is to place this artwork inside her dress so that it should be like a pattern in the dress now. The dress is going to be our clipping mask, so I’m going to move the pattern. Let’s say roughly around here and I already have the dress on top, so the the girl is standing in front of the pattern, and I can select the dress and then shift-click on the pattern and all I have to do is to press command or control 7 to create the clipping mask, but normally or by default, the clipping mask loses its original color, so we have to go into the clip group. Select the clipping path and then pick a color for it lets. Say this one here, okay, So now that we have the mask ready, we can select the artwork again. Move it around and I can even turn off the bounding box and the edges. So if I hide the edges, we can see better what we are doing so I can do rotation. I can use shortcuts the arrow keys on the keyboard and move it around, so you can see why masking is so cool and so important in illustration because you can just do so many different effects and completely non destructively, so we can always see the whole pattern again. We can move it around. We can change the color and so on and so forth, so here’s another nice example. In this case, we are going to create a reflection for this abstract logo shape all. I’m going to do first of all is to duplicate it, but by using the reflect tool if you select the object and then press all on the keyboard, that’s going to give you the reflect tool. Then just click on the tip of the object or wherever you the reflection to appear and start dragging the object itself and hold an option or alt shift together. Make sure you let the mouse go first. Then the shortcuts this is going to create a duplicate while using the reflect tool, and now all we have to do is to draw a rectangle on top of this, so let’s say something around here. And it’s automatically turned into a gradient because that was the most recent Swatch that I used, but I’m going to use the gradient annotator soon on this to adjust the gradient first of all, I’m going to select the gradient rectangle and the reflection object together and then click on make musk in the transparency panel. So as you can see that works the same way, we’ve done it in the previous example, and if I want to make changes to it, I’m just going to click on the opacity mask, and then I can use the gradient annotator by pressing G. I can adjust where I want the gradient to be visible now. Normally I would turn off the clip option and I would actually make the rectangle big enough to cover completely the object, or if you want to keep it within the artboard, you can also align it to that and just turn back the clip option, Whichever you prefer so now if I go back and use the gradient annotator, I can still adjust it, so I can drag it from the bottom up or from the top down and so on and so forth so that created a nice reflection effect, and of course, we can still reduce the overall opacity of this shape as well. So if you feel like it’s a little bit too strong together with the opacity mask, we can also reduce the overall opacity. Here’s a fun example when I’m going to use both a clipping mask and an opacity mask, first of all. I want this ribbon to be clipped onto the head of our ninja for this to work. We have to select both of them together, but I’m going to make sure the head shape is on top of the ribbon because remember, the topmost object is the one that defines the outline. So now I can select them together and command or control seven, and then I can go back inside the clipping group, select the object and just set it back to black. So that was the part when we created the clipping mask. Now let me turn on a couple of additional layers here, so we have these layers, and I also prepared another shape here, which is going to be my opacity mask so instead of having all of these lines just going crazy in the background. I’m going to tone them down with this nice radial mask. So now I can select these two together, So that group of the bursts of light and the radial mask on top of it and I go into the transparency panel. Click on make mask. And there you go a beautiful effect instead of that really harsh, strong background that we had before. Of course, whenever you use a radial gradient in an opacity mask, you will still have the control to go back and use the gradient annotator so you can see. I can increase how much I want to see from it. And also how much I would like to hide so really cool way of making changes to your illustrations and hide and show certain details and last, but not least let me show you another very cool technique, which not many people know. I think, and this is something also took me quite a long time to figure out. Sometimes in illustrations, you would have several layers with lots of different things going on it like here. We have the snow. We have people. We have the clouds so on and so forth, So the problem is if I want this to be a nice, tidy edge, which currently it is not then. I would need to create a clipping mask for it. So instead of deleting things, I would just like to hide everything else. Outside of the artboard, now, there’s no quick way of saying clip illustration to the artboard, although that would be a really cool feature, hopefully, illustrator developers are watching this video. If you like that idea, let me know in the comment section. But as I will show you something quite similar to that. And it’s my work around this issue. What, I normally do if I want to. Create like a global mosque for my whole document or the whole illustration I would create on maybe a separate layer. I can even call it mosque like that, and then I create a rectangle. In this case. I’m just going to create the rectangle, a little bit further in inside the artboard, something like that, and then here in the layer’s panel, having that rectangle selected, we can go into the drop-down menu or the panel menu it’s called and there we can choose make clipping mosque. Now only do this if you have nothing else on that layer. Otherwise, it just messes things up, but when you use it like this, it’s going to turn that shape. Whatever was selected into a clipping mask without having anything around it. So currently it doesn’t seem like we made any difference, but now comes the cool part. I’m going to now select all of my layers. Click on the top shift-click on the bottom one, and then look at this. If I drag this to the point where my mask is until I can see the little blue line appearing there If I let go now, all of my original layers will turn into groups inside that new mask layer and also at the same time now the mask is activated, and it applies itself to everything in my illustration. This is something that we covered in our 365 days of creativity, But I thought I included in this video as well and I go into a little bit more depth on it to make sure that you know how to use this feature. And let me give you one final bonus tip if you use a rectangle for masking, and it’s already turned into a clipping mask, you can just select it and drag these little corner widgets to set the radius on it, and then you can have nice, rounded rectangles as mosques and not only that you can even hold down the alt or option key and click on these little corner widgets to change the corner effect, so you can get these three types of corner effects and it’s just going to revolve go back and forth through these three options, so that’s all. I wanted to show you about masking in Adobe Illustrator, And if you are interested to get better at working with masks in Photoshop and InDesign, I’m going to put the links in the description once. Those videos are published. If you like the way I explain how to use masks, you can learn much more about illustrator from my illustrator. CC masterclass again link. You can find in the description below, which is a 12 hours long course, covering all aspects of Illustrator and masking is only one of 90 other big topics that I cover throughout That course. Let us know in the comments section. What would you like us to cover? Next time on this series, click on the link in the description or the join button to become a member if you want to work on future projects with us and see the whole design or illustration process live. Thanks a lot for watching like and share this video. If you enjoyed it. Have fun learning guys, and I will see you in the next one [Music] you!