Adobe Illustrator/Clipping Masks/pngs


clipping masks
clipping masks  
This is tough to explain, but here goes...

Say I have a template for say a snowmobile hood (graphics) and I am designing them.  

First I design everything and place all the layers below my template (which is a eps. of a hood of  sled)  I then go OBJECT then COMPOUND PATH then MAKE.  then I grab all the layers and create a clipping mask...all super duper until I decide to move all the parts around to fit them on to say a 4'x5' board for vinyl printing.  I have figured out just simply to crop it but sometimes (almost every) I lose all my effects... but now I have a different problem.  I have a picture of a guys GF he wants on the side of his sled wrap and when I clip the wrap with the png in it it works perfectly but when I crop the png drops to the bottom layer and reappears and un clipped with the rest of the clipping mask....I am lost as to why this does this.  would it be easier to do this in Ps?  I can create all the art in Ai then drag it into Ps but even with 16gb of Ram on my laptop sometimes it freezes on me.  I hope you can somewhat understand what I am try to explain!  

Thank you very much Jesse

Hi Jesse,

Two simple solutions. A better way to create a clipping mask is to use your layers panel to do so. With complex images like you are describing the object money just won't work well. To do this place all your art in a layer and then add your hood outline as the top image in the layer. Then click the clipping mask button at the bottom of re layers panel.

Second if you want to add things to PS do not drag and drop or copy/paste. Go the PS and use file>place.



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Kevin Stohlmeyer


I am an Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Freelance Professional. I travel nationally speaking on Adobe Creative Suite applications, including Illustrator and design. I can answer questions about Adobe Illustrator version CS1 through the all-new Creative Cloud.


I am an Adobe Certified Instructor for Adobe Illustrator and have been teaching this software in college/higher education and for an Adobe Authorized Training Center since 2000. I have been an active user of Adobe Illustrator as a professional graphic designer since 1994. I am also the author of the Adobe Illustrator Certified Expert Exam. I am a published author for Adobe Inspire Magazine, writing articles on Creative Suite applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and the Adobe Touch apps.

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