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Opacity Masks in Illustrator CS

Using images and objects to define transparency in text
Miscellaneous tips
Here are some final tips to help you work with opacity masks.

1. If you're effect looks inverted--if, say, you have the masked object on top of a light background, you can select the "Invert Mask" option in the transparency palette, which will flip around the luminance values of your opacity mask.



2. If it still doesn't look quite right, you can continue to make adjustments to the image in the mask. One way would be to select the mask, and adjust its transparency in the Transparency palette. Reducing the mask object's opacity value will make the text less transparent, which can help in certain circumstances. (Note: If you have multiple objects within your opacity mask, you can select individual objects to adjust their transparency values.)



Similarly, you could also apply an Adjust Colors filter to the mask image to adjust individual color channels, accentuating and deemphasizing portions of the image as you see fit.




3. If you wish, you can use the "Clip" option in the Transparency palette, which will cut off (or "clip") your object outside the bounds of your opacity mask object(s).



4. Finally, you can also disable and delete opacity masks. To disable them, simply choose "Disable Opacity Mask" from the flyaway menu in the Transparency palette. To delete the mask and its contents, select the opacity mask in the Transparency palette, then select and delete the objects within the mask. After this, choose the flyaway menu in the Transparency palette, and select "Release Opacity Mask."



Alternately, if you wish to keep the contents of the opacity mask but not use them in an opacity mask, simply release the mask without deleting the objects.

If you have any further questions, visit me in the Adobe Illustrator user forum here.

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