Using opacity masks to mask gradients or highlights inside of shapes and text.
When to use
If you wanted to add a gradient or a highlight inside of text or another shape, an Opacity Mask would be the ideal choice.
- Begin by opening the Opacity Masks - Exercise.ai file
- Use your Selection Tool (V) to select the first line of text that says 'Highlight' and then press Command/Ctrl+C to copy it.
- Hold down the Shift Key and select the gradient behind the text so that both objects are selected together.
- Open the Transparency Panel from the right side of the interface and select 'Make Mask' from the dialog box.
- Initially, both your text and the gradient will most likely disappear, so all you will see is a bounding box of a shape.
- You will need to check off the box that says 'Invert Mask' in order to reveal the gradient inside of the bottom portion of the text.
- Next, press Command/Ctrl+F on the keyboard to paste a copy of your original black text in front.
- Go to the Object Menu and choose Arrange>Send Backward, or press Command/Ctrl and the left bracket until your masked gradient is in front of the black text.
- At any point you can release the mask by going back to the Transparency Panel and selecting 'Release' from the dialog box.
- You can also modify the gradient being used in the mask by first selecting it with the Direct Selection Tool, and then opening the Gradient Panel from the right side of the interface.
- Once an opacity mask is applied, you can use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to modify the shape or contents of either the mask or the object being masked similarly to when we use a Clipping Mask as shown in the previous lesson.
- You can also click on the small link icon between the shape and the mask to unlink them from one another. This allows you to move the mask or the shape that you want to mask independently of one another.
- Remember that if you can't see the results of your opacity mask that you may need to check off the 'Invert' option from the Transparency Panel.
- Much like Clipping Masks, the object that you want to use as a mask must be placed on top of the object or shape that you want to hide. If you are having trouble bringing an object to the front, you can go to the Object Menu and choose Arrange>Bring to Front.
- If you are placing a gradient or highlight inside of another shape, you can also change the Blending Mode from the Transparency Panel.
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