I have some white lines (converted to path) on top of my star shape (rasterized) as shown in the picture. I am trying to "delete" the white lines from the shape so the shape gaps can be seen in transparent if that makes sense. The rectangle on top right shows what I am trying to achieve.

I tried to select both the star and the lines path and use Minus Front from Pathfinder and although there seems to accept the command nothing happens. What am I doing wrong? Can this also be achieved using clipping masks?

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Illustrator can't do Pathfinder effects on rasterised files it has placed.

To achieve this effect, you will indeed have to use a clipping mask:

  1. draw a circle snugly around your star;
  2. unite all your white lines to a single shape;
  3. subtract the lines shape from the circle using the Pathfinder;
  4. ungroup the result...
  5. ...and make it a compound path: Object > Compound Path > Make or Ctrl / Cmd+8 or right-click > Make Compound Path;
  6. remove fill and stroke from the compound path;
  7. select both the compound path and your star;
  8. choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make or right-click > Make Clipping Mask.
  • I think the issue is my star shape. I kept the original but the reason I rasterized it is to see if the issue gets fixed. I used the Live Paint Bucket tool to colorize the star shapes so maybe it has something to do with it? I tried making another star shape and it worked correctly on it.
    – Tasos
    Dec 17, 2014 at 12:49
  • If the star is a vector group or somesuch, you'll run into problems as well: Pathfinder doesn't work with groups. Ungroup, make compound paths for as far as it will go, and subtract your lines from each of those compounds paths.
    – Vincent
    Dec 17, 2014 at 12:50

you can achieve the desire effect without redraw your star. using clipping mask and it can work perfectly with rasterized shapes.

  1. unite all your white strokes (after your convert it to outline) and color it to black.
  2. cut the united shape CTRL+x
  3. click on your star and make a mask in the transparency panel by clicking on make button.
  4. now your star is ready to have a mask
  5. in the transparency panel step over the white square, it is the place we draw the mask. and in your artboard past your mask CTRL+F to be pasted in the same place. make sure to uncheck the clip check box.

That's it.

  • 1
    Nice idea, that way is more familiar to me since it's like the method Photoshop uses :)
    – Tasos
    Dec 17, 2014 at 13:17

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