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I have a circle object and a fish object.

Now, the fish is half-way through the circle so head should be in front of circle and vice versa end of the fish behind the circle.

How to do this? I've tried clipping and opacity masks, but cannot figure out this combination. What is the layer order? How to create a mask and what should it cover?

Can I duplicate the fish object and use some gradient to use it as mask? I would make to mask fit perfectly.

1
  • Place your fish over the circle (=Arrange the fish to be the top object)
  • Make a copy of your circle at the same place, but bring it to the top
  • Draw a shape X that can be used as a clipping mask for the top circle. Use it to hide that part of the top circle which is not needed not be visible

The X can be simple, no need to follow the outline of the fish. See an example. There are 2 circles (actually rings); one is behind the fish and one is in front of the fish. The shape X is the rectangle at the left.

enter image description here

X is placed, but not still used as a clipping mask:

enter image description here

X is the clipping mask for the top circle:

enter image description here

As well you can have only one circle. Take a piece of the fish to hide the unwanted part of that circle.

Not asked, but maybe interesting The fish is taken from MS Office clipart. The ring is a little circle which was revolved to a ring using Effects > 3D > Revolve. See the settings (the used circle is visible as thin blue outline in the middle):

enter image description here

  • Great, I'll try this. And extra points for the 3D ring since it is also part of depth as suggested in question. – user1271930 May 27 '17 at 20:10

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