I'm trying to create a clipping mask using something I've imported with the adobe capture app which into illustrator - this has shown up as a contour group.

I've looked at other answers on here which suggest using the Object=>expand appearance, object=>expand, object=>clipping mask make etc. Only thing is I don't have access to these for some reason (Is it because it's a contour group?).

3 Answers 3


You most likely would need an Opacity Mask in Illustrator, and not a clipping mask. They are two different masking features within Illustrator.


I solved this by importing into photoshop where a normal clipping mask worked.

  • You can only make a clipping path using a path or a compound path.
    – LeoNas
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 16:05

I personally don't like masking in illustrator (because they are algorithm generated they are not really masks, and if they mask they create an insane ammount of extra code under the hood).

Unless you need to make some special effect with gradients and complex decorations, I suggest to use the Trace tool, to create the shape you want by adding or cutting elements with other elements.

For example if I want an half moon, I take a square and a circle, I align them in a way that the square cut in half the moon, and extract the difference from them. The result is an element that is not the combination of the two, but an object with his own path. If you mask a raster in illustrator you might want instead work on photoshop.

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