How can I clip the image to change from this:

enter image description here

To something like this (edited it with a drawing brush):

enter image description here

Like how clipping mask work on Photoshop. I tried every pathfinder option on Illustrator and there's no result i want.

Basically I want all objects that will be only visible inside the black circle and nothing goes outside.

How can I make that way with Adobe Illustrator?



1 Answer 1


You are thinking "I am going to clip this red rectangle with a black circle" but that is where your problem is.

The clipping object has no color, so you'd have to think of this as three objects. An invisible clipping circle, a black something-bigger-than-the-circle, and your red rectangle. Once you realize that it will solve the problem.

So make a big black square, a red rectangle, and then put a green circle on top. Do a multiple select where you start with the circle, then select the other two. Then make the clipping mask.

Let me also point out that pathfinder won't help you with this kind of problem. It only makes one path - so one fill folor. The moment you want to make two colors of fill you have a problem that needs multiple paths.

If that's okay, you could use pathfinder. Just make a copy of the circle, and then intersect the copy with the red object. Then have the intersected red object on top of your circle. You could make a group so they'd move together, but you couldn't resize the circle and have it show more or less of the red, because you've cut the red up. Obviously not as good as a clipping mask but sometimes you have to do it.

Another thing you can try is live paint. What that does is it basically takes all the shapes and the points they intersect define the lines and areas you can paint. So if you draw a black circle and red rectangle, then select them both you can say "Object-Make Live Paint Group". Then you could tell it to make the bottom half of the intersection of the rectangle with the circle white, and still move the rectangle. Another option.

  • Thank you for the response. I did what you said. I made this from your description. I selected green circle, then multiselected red rectangle and black square and clicked Clipping Mask (Ctrl+7) and got this. This is certainly what I did not expect. Did I do anything wrong?
    – dmxt
    Aug 13, 2014 at 1:56
  • @Whitegirl That seems to fit what I said. Green circle is what you picked first and becomes your "invisible" masking object in this case. It overlaps a little of the black rectangle so that is what you get, green circle becomes a peephole into the rest of what you grouped for the masking. If green circle were bigger and overlapped the red rectangel you'd see that revealed. Make sense?
    – Cakey
    Aug 14, 2014 at 2:44

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