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Creating a mask from transparancy? Importing from Illustrator

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Max Stein
Creating a mask from transparancy? Importing from Illustrator
on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:03:43 am

Hi!

There must be an easy way to do this. I have a vector file from Illustrator. I've used EXPORT to PS to render it out as a flat 300dpi RGB.

When opened in PS6. I have transparent boarders. I'd like to use the perimeter of the object as a mask for other layers.

Any way to create an alpha out of Illustrator?

Any way, what is the easiest way to create a clipping mask in PS to exclude the transparent (non pixels)?

Thank you


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Creating a mask from transparancy? Importing from Illustrator
on Jan 28, 2013 at 3:36:27 pm

There are a couple different ways to do what you're saying. For now, we'll say the Photoshop layer with the Illustrator item you want to use as a mask is called Clipper.

Command/Ctl-click on Clipper's thumbnail in the Layer palette. That will create a selection in the shape of the opaque pixels of the layer. Then choose the layer you want to mask and click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the palette (looks like a white box with a dark circle in the center). That will create a mask on the new layer in the same shape as Clipper.

Orrrr... Place Clipper below the layer you want to mask. Hold down Option/Alt and place your cursor between the two layers. Your cursor will change to a box with a downward arrow. Click and you'll create a clipping mask with the top layer only showing up where Clipper is opaque.

One final note: You might find more flexibility saving your Illustrator files as AI files, and then in Photoshop choosing File>Place... and placing the AI file. That creates a Smart Object that you can scale and manipulate with Photoshop re-rasterizing the source info to keep a constantly clean image. Plus you can change the Smart Object in Illustrator (in Photoshop, choose the object layer, right-click, and choose Edit Contents) and the changes will ripple back to Photoshop.

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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Max Stein
Re: Creating a mask from transparancy? Importing from Illustrator
on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:04:15 pm

Thank you. That was the exact info I needed. I'll have to play with placing the AI file. I may be wrong but experimenting with saving as AI, or Exporting as a rasterized PS file, I found the colors better with the export and antialiazing.

In any event this worked. I wanted to keep the somewhat ragged edge from the IA object, without messing around wqith the magic wand or quick mask that did not give me a pixel perfect clipping.

My last attempt was to make the AI file black in Illustrator and bring it in a second time as a mask.

You'd think Illustrator would allow an alpha channel when you export the vector.

Thanks


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Creating a mask from transparancy? Importing from Illustrator
on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:10:47 pm

Glad I could help.

If you save as AI, there's no need for an alpha as the object is its own alpha channel. That's one of the benefits of using File>Place. I'm assuming you're working with pure vector graphics and no background, correct?

If your colors are shifting, make sure you're working in the same color space in both Illustrator and Photoshop and attaching profiles to the AI files when you save.

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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