I would like to change some shapes in the drawing which I scanned, saved as png, and then opened in Illustrator. Some strokes are connected in a compound path. If I select it and then go Object - Compound path - Release, then it releases it but changes the area into black,

What am I doing wrong?

enter image description here

  • Hi Asha, you aren't doing anything wrong—that is the expected behaviour. What are you trying to do? Why do you need the paths not the be compound paths? – Cai Mar 30 '16 at 7:30
  • Hi, I'd like to be able to modify individual strokes and elements in that compound path. I'd like to click on the line creating the shape of the octopus head and body and be able to remove it so that I will only have these little scales showing with no border line. And also to work on individual scales e.g change their colours etc.. hope it makes sense.. – Asha Mar 31 '16 at 1:20

Everything appears black because when you 'released' the compound path it created hundreds of separate shapes, all filled black. Select everything and swap the fill/stroke and you'll see all of your shapes, and you should be able to work with them a bit more easily.

  • What I’d like is the original sketched black line to not be made of fill but of strokes. When I swap fill and stroke then each individual scale gets a stroke and it's all distorted and there are gaps between the scales. I suppose I can’t just change the original black sketched line from fill to stroke as it’s got different thickness everywhere when I scan it (as it was hand drawn) and that’s the problem :( – Asha Apr 12 '16 at 23:02
  • Ah, I see. Yes, this is going to be tricky. There may be an app or something that will let you do this, but as fast as I know there isn't any functionality built into Illustrator that will do it. – Alex Apr 12 '16 at 23:05

I know! It's a pain. What I've done in the past is instead of releasing the compound path is making a shape big enough to fit, let's say the scales,and then with the pathfinder do a Divide.

If you take the time to draw the exact shape in which you need the scales to be fitted in, then when you divide it and get a zillion paths, they will be all inside the shape. That way you could modify the color of each scale if you want to. As well you could delete any residual outline of the original drawing.

Hopefully this works out :). Nice drawing btw!

  • Thank you :) Shame I can't upload image but will try to explain.. So I tried to do it on a small part so I erased the whole octopus body and just left the top of the head with scales. Then I drew a red shape around, touching the edge of the head. I selected all and clicked Divide in Pathfinder. It didn’t give me any new paths. I selected it and clicked Ungroup but no change. I still have the same image with clipping mask like before. I moved it and underneath it there are the leftover bits of the red shape I drew earlier, no change :( – Asha Apr 12 '16 at 23:12
  • Hi! Send me a piece of the drawing to see if I can do something with it. sergio.urenaruiz@gmail.com If we can make it then, we'll rewrite the answer lol – Sergio Ureña Apr 14 '16 at 21:00

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