• Illustrate a fake "painting" to go in a scene, and apply a clipping mask to bound it to the frame.
  • Group whole scene and apply clipping mask to the layer, or to the group if there are multiple versions, so I can show a coworker/my boss how they'll look for the final.
  • Now need to get rid of 1-20 clipping masks that contain other clipping masks that I don't want to get rid of, or re-mask.

If I release the masks by highlighting the group/layer in the layers panel and clicking the make/release mask button at the bottom, it will release not only the mask on that group, but every mask contained in the group. I will then need to re-mask them all manually.

If I just delete the masking object from each group/layer, the problem goes away, but the layer/group is still technically masked, just by nothing. If I try to add a mask later and forget this is the case, I will still need to re-mask every sub-group, as the first click will release every mask.

I do illustration and some website mockups and my work flow is to work mostly in one layer until I need to output/hand it off to someone else. I ended up doing some animation assets/storyboarding in the program (long story), so I had one master artboard with everything layered on it, and 10-25 artboards as storyboard frames. This is all descriptive of what I do, not prescriptive for what I should do.

  • I tried do duplicate your steps. When I use Release Clipping Mask, it only releases the top mask, I have to release again to realease the group mask.
    – LeoNas
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


Here I have four clipped objects, in a group, and the group itself is also clipped.

enter image description here

If you open the layers palette, you can simply hide the clipping mask layer for any of the layers you want. There's no need to delete or release any clipping masks, or ungroup anything.


Another method is simply to move the group to a layer above the clip group. Then you can delete the left over/empty Clip Group if you no longer want it.

enter image description here

  • It would be nice if the downvoter explained the downvote.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:23
  • I'm aware I can hide the masks (very useful way of working that I use frequently), but for my purposes I need to get rid of or at least release them.
    – ASKrahn
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:24
  • Then delete the clip shape layer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:25
  • I explained in the original post above why that doesn't work.
    – ASKrahn
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:27
  • @ASKrahn see my edit.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 10, 2018 at 17:36

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