I'm trying to export some icons designed using shapes, effects, and masks to illustrator, but the problem is that the output is getting messed up. I believe this is happening because SVG only understands basic solids. If it was done in illustrator I would use "outline stroke" and get rid of all of the garbage. I have 500 icons and I don't have time to redesign them from scratch, so is there a method to convert the shapes inside photoshop to paths? so when I export from photoshop the SVG will not get messed up?
I've never done this with 500 paths, but it should theoretically work....
In Photoshop, choose
File > Export > Paths to Illustrator.
That should create an Illustrator file. Open it in Illustrator. The path will be there, but they will be "hollow" (no fill no stroke) so you'll need to switch to Outline Mode to see them (View > Outline). You can then select them and apply fills/strokes as necessary.
AFAIK, you can merge shapes, then export those shapes as paths to Illustrator, and use the pathfinder tools in Illustrator to unify everything - still labour intensive, but less painful than trying to do all that vector work in Photoshop.