Below I have an image of a bookmobile that I am creating in illustrator...

The main goal of this is to get the gradient shape inside the perimeters of the bus and not including the wheels. When I try to make a clipping mask it says, "The top object is very complex, and may fail the document to print or preview if used as a mask. Do you want to make it a mask anyway?". I click yes but the bus and gradient shape both disappear. Since the bus is made up of many different shapes, I attempted to ungroup them but to no avail have I been able to get this to work. What would be the best solution in this situation?

Thank you! Bookmobile

1 Answer 1


The best solution is to create a single path, either via copying and editing, or from scratch, which matches only the outline of the bus shape. Then use this new, simpler shape, to define the clipping mask.

  • Thank you this helped a lot! I ended up creating the rectangular shape and then just trimmed/outlined around the edges after I moved the layers around a bit.
    – Javi G
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 2:40

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