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I am trying to create a clipping mask, but am having difficulties as it seems that the mask is applying to background layers. Here is how things look before I create the mask:

enter image description here

and here is what things look like after:

enter image description here

And here's what things look like when I take out the background:

enter image description here

I'd like to confine my clipping mask to the orange area in the before picture. How do I do this while keeping the orange color and without getting the "sky background" coloring blended into the mask?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to be very localized and file specific. If this could be edited to be more about theory or practice it may be a better fit for the site. – Scott May 20 '15 at 18:09
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    The actual details of the question might be specific, but the principles of illustrator that I'm requesting help with are certainly applicable to other situations. Besides, Stack Exchange is supposed to deal with specific questions. If you don't like the question then just don't answer it. – Danny May 20 '15 at 18:13
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    Help files will teach application basics. – Scott May 20 '15 at 18:16
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    Yes we are to cater to novice and expert users. But, my personal opinion is, we are not hear to teach users how to use applications. This question could not effectively be answered without seeing your file and understanding exactly how you have things constructed. While seeing the layers panel in the screen shots is somewhat helpful, it's not enough. I did answer the theory portion of your question. If I feel I need to see your file to effectively answer, then I feel this is just too localized and off topic. I am only 1 opinion though. – Scott May 20 '15 at 19:02
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    Common sense would say.. if you don't want the blue over the mountains... remove or hide the blue. How you do that is a matter of opinion and file dependent. Google does turn up 56,000 results for "How to use clipping masks in Illustrator" – Scott May 20 '15 at 19:04
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Your question is a little file specific, but I'm sure you're not the only one stuck at this basic point ...

Judging by the screens you provided, it appears that you have a couple of things going on:

  • The orange "mountains" consist of a fill and blending mode to create the color overlay on the "lake bed" texture.
  • You are trying to take that mountain shape, effects and all, and turn it into a clipping mask on the texture.

That ain't gonna work. At least not without some re-configuring. When you turn your lovely orange mountains into a clipping mask, it becomes a mask and nothing more: all attributes are removed.

There are two solutions:

  1. Turn the mountains into a clipping mask then reapply all the attributes to the mask object (you'll need to enter "isolation mode" via a double-click).
  2. Duplicate your mountains to create another object above both previous objects and use that as the clipping mask for the two below. The mountains on top will loose all attributes, but the one below will remain intact.
  • Thank you so much! You were right. It turns out that I needed to apply the coloring to the clipping mask after I created it. I also had to adjust the opacity of the texture so that it wasn't blocking out the coloring of the clipping mask. – Danny May 21 '15 at 23:59
  • That's one of those odd things about Illustrator that just becomes part of the way you think after a while. – plainclothes May 22 '15 at 0:06
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Clipping mask shapes should encompass the areas you want visible.

From your screen shot, it would appear you need to mask or remove the blue gradient from the areas outside your clipping mask. It is really difficult to understand what you are seeking to accomplish though.

  • Sorry, I'll try to be more specific. The <image> object of the Terrain layer is a texture that I'd like to have overlayed on the orange area encompassed by a path. As is, the texture is encroaching on the sky. I'd like to keep the texture within the path. If I remove the blue gradient in the background, then I see that the texture has been applied to the path area, but the orange gradient fill is no longer visible. – Danny May 20 '15 at 18:05

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