enter image description hereI want to keep the overlapping portion of the caterpillar and the half circles. Shape builder is not letting me do that. I have arranged, rearranged their position (bring front, etc). But they are not intersecting at all. I have checked all of them in outline mode, they all are drawn in usual shape. I do not understand. Please help. enter image description here

  • Are you trying to keep the caterpillar as a solid shape, but break the half circles? – Alith7 Aug 12 at 19:25
  • Indeed my caterpillar is a solid shape. I want to draw a stripe-like tiger... – Suraiya Abedin Aug 12 at 19:38
  • How are you using Shape Builder?? There's no information on anything regarding your procedure. Are you dragging with Shape Builder? Clicking? On what? Merely choosing the Shape Builder Tool does nothing until you tell it to. – Scott Aug 12 at 19:39
  • I drew the caterpillar with stroke, then cut a portion from that using the eraser tool. converted from stroke to fill, got the shape. added spike selected all applied pathfinder to make it a solid shape. took two circles, applied minus front, got the half-circle. set anchor point and rotated that 3/5 times. Select entire thing (caterpillar and circles) and then, only then I clicked shape builder holding alt tried to delete the unwanted part. – Suraiya Abedin Aug 12 at 19:45
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    Hard to say.. My guess would be that rectangle, whatever it is, is the issue. The rectangle generally means a mask, a raster image, a mesh object... Shape Builder won't work on any of those. My suggestion.... use the Direct Selection Tool to select the shapes individually in Outline Mode.. copy, paste to a new document and try again with Shape Builder. – Scott Aug 12 at 20:32

if you just want to divide all the pieces so that you can change them separately, I would use the Divide Tool, instead of the shape builder tool. See attached photo.

Illustrator Divide Tool

If you use the shape tool and just single click in the middle of the overlapping area that you want to separate, it essentially cuts it.

Here I have some overlapping shapes which are currently solid rectangles:

Solid Shapes

Here I highlighted the overlapping part that I want to cut, with the shape building tool:

click with shape builder tool

After single clicking with the Shape Builder tool, you can see how the shapes are now separated:

after the shape builder separates

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  • I should add, I would do a copy and paste in front and move your original caterpillar shape to a different layer in case you want to go back to it. It's always better to work with a solid underlying shape, and place the different blocks on top of that. – Alith7 Aug 13 at 14:59
  • Thank you so much. wish I got this earlier. had to redraw everything. :'( – Suraiya Abedin Aug 14 at 7:52
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    I'm sorry, with the time difference, I commented right as I was leaving work and didn't see your answers until the next morning. but hopefully it will help you for future, and maybe someone else someday. – Alith7 Aug 14 at 13:29

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