I want to make an overlay for a video. I made two rectangular shapes in order to produce a gradient trim. Underneath is a picture. That part of the picture needs to be transparent so that I can place the video-feed under the overlay. How do I achieve that?


The grey box is supposed to be there, for the chat. Just the bigger rectangle where the church is needs to be transparent.

For reference, I'm looking to a result like this:

enter image description here

  • Use the knockout group parameter in transparency panel
    – joojaa
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 17:37
  • Thanks! I thik it doesn't work because the underlying image is not an object I can cut stuff out of. I probably must convert the image into an object somehow before that could work
    – Phil
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 18:00
  • knockout groups work with images aswell
    – joojaa
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 18:50
  • To throw in my two cents; Illustrator is fine, but I would've used Photoshop or even After Effects to make that. But then again, this wouldn't be any easier to make in those applications.
    – Joonas
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


A Clipping Mask using a Compound Shape is one way. There are others.

  • Draw a rectangle (or any shape) that defines the area you want transparent
  • Draw a second rectangle (or any shape) which encompasses everything you want the "hole" to be in.
  • Make certain the smaller rectangle is on top of the larger rectangle.
  • Select both these rectangles and choose Object > Compound Path > Make from the menu.
  • Select this new Compound Shape and select everything you want to "cut through"
  • Choose Object > Clipping Mask > make from the menu.

enter image description here

  • Ok, thank you. I have since achieved what I wanted following your steps. However, if I'm not drawing the shapes myself, if I'm "placing" a jpg-image as-is - it does not work. Would you be able to tell me the one (or two?) step that's missing.
    – Phil
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 7:59
  • The operations is the same. Imagine the pattern in the example above is a jpg... same steps.
    – Scott
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 8:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.