Clicky

Hello,

I'm new to Illustrator and still learning my way around, and I've run into a brick wall. I need to subtract multiple paths through the pathfinder, but when I select the group containing the 3 paths (black squares), open pathfinder and attempt to subtract (Shape Modes: Minus Front) using another layer with multiple paths (blue rectangles), it only applies to the first path in the squares group.

Is it possible to apply the subtract to all of the squares? Do I need to join them somehow? I've tried grouping them together, but that doesn't seem to help.

I've posted a file here illustrating my problem: www.idealboyinteractive.com/ee/subtract.ai

I've been stuck on this all day, if anyone has a tip I'd very much appreciate it.

Thanks!

asked 07/24/2011 09:17

Spiderstave's gravatar image

Spiderstave ♦♦


11 Answers:
Try the Shape Builder tool. Hit Shift + M to select it.

Select the shapes you need to work on and drag with the tool to join shapes. Add the Alt key (you see the cursor adds a minus sign) when you need to subtract.
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sigurarm's gravatar image

sigurarm

I am not sure of the result you want, but you may be using the wrong tool within Pathfinder, you could try using the Divide tool instead. Select the elements you want apply the Divide.

After this use the Direct Selection tool (with the plus sympbols and shift select the elements you want. Cut them cmd//crtl x, delete the extraneous elements and then paste crtl/cmd v or paste in front/in back (crtl/cmd f/b) that you want.

Another idea for this circumstance is just draw the elements you want and then group them. delete the rest.

Good luck on your path to path understanding in Illustrator.
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jmpg_70's gravatar image

jmpg_70

Thank you both for your replies! Both of your methods work with the example I posted. Unfortunately, though, they are not working with my actual project.

I can't post my project file, but it is using a complex grunge texture path, and that is what I need to subtract. I can use both of your methods to join the paths, but unfortunately there are thousands of anchor points in the grunge texture, so I cannot manually remove each of them.

I created a simple example, which I posted earlier, as i thought that would be easier to explain my issue. I see now that I need to post my grunge pattern, so I've made a 2nd example closer to what I am dealing with in my project. I need to "punch out" the grunge texture from the black squares:

http://www.idealboyinteractive.com/ee/subtract2.ai

Do either of you have any ideas on how I might accomplish this? I tried "Dividing" in the pathfinder, but there were too many anchor points to delete manually and I couldn't figure out how to select them all without selecting the black squares underneath.

Thanks for your help!

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Spiderstave's gravatar image

Spiderstave

Try if this works for you:

Select a portion of your grunge pattern, just about the size of one box using the white arrow, the Direct Selection tool. Do not include the box.
Copy.
Paste into a new Illustrator document. Make sure there is no grouping. Object>Ungroup.
Change the color of these particles to black.
Make a black box the size you want/need.
Object>Arrange>Send to Back.
Select all.
Object>Compound Path>Make.

This will make the pattern make see-through holes on the black box.

Make a colored box and send it to back to see if the holes are there and the color is seen.

Isn't this what you were trying to do?
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sigurarm's gravatar image

sigurarm

Additional to siguarm's post. When using the method discribed in the slash post you can refine your selection using the selection menu. You can pick up items by a variety of methods. Good post btw siguarm
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jmpg_70's gravatar image

jmpg_70

I could also add, that if you need to trim off some of the grunge that falls off the box, you can use the Eraser tool (Shift + E) Hold down the Alt key and use the tool to "draw" up to the edges of the box, one side at the time.

(thanks jmpg_70)
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sigurarm's gravatar image

sigurarm

Thanks for the thorough post! That was very helpful.

I followed your steps and it worked perfectly when creating a box, but unfortunately it is not working with my actual project file. I follow the same steps exactly, but when I make the compound path it doesn't do anything.

I went ahead and posted the project file here:

http://www.idealboyinteractive.com/ee/logo.ai

That is at the point right before I "Make" the compound path. There are no groups, everything is arranged as you specified. As you can see, it's a lot more complex than the boxes. Is it because the object has compound paths?

Also, because there are so many curved shapes, I'm worried that even if this did work I wouldn't be able to erase the left over particles without accidentally messing up the design. Do you have any thoughts on how you would approach that?

Thank you both for your help, I'm learning a lot! I didn't realize this effect would be so difficult to achieve.
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Spiderstave's gravatar image

Spiderstave

One last thing you could try. Raterise  the elements and trace them.

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jmpg_70's gravatar image

jmpg_70

I'm not sure I follow. Rasterize the design element or the grunge elements? And wouldn't tracing them just create what I already have?
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Spiderstave's gravatar image

Spiderstave

I cant download that file. Can you zip it?

In the mean time after you do the Make compound:

Open the Attribute panel. Up in the corner, in the middle you see two icons with arrows. Ok.

Now, with the Direct Selection tool select only the square box. Then try to click one of these icons in the Attribute pane and if there is no change hit the other one. No change?
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sigurarm's gravatar image

sigurarm

I ended up being able to accomplish this by first making the elements into a compound path, then subtracting them. Thanks for the help, all!
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Spiderstave's gravatar image

Spiderstave

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Asked: 07/24/2011 09:17

Seen: 2729 times

Last updated: 08/25/2011 09:13