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  • Subtracting Text...

    Hey, folks. So here I am in Illustrator once again, beating my head up against a wall.

    I have a speech blurb layer, below.



    On top of said speech blurb layer, I have a wall of text:



    Ultimately, I need the speech blurb layer to become a more complex path, with the places that the text intersects with it becoming transparent. But I don't need to see the transparent text on the outside of the blurb - only on the inside.

    So the question is, how do I make it so that the text, essentially, 'cuts a hole' through the speech blurb? I've tried using the Pathfinder - in theory, I would think putting the text in front of the blurb and using 'Subtract' should work, but for some reason it's not. (Perhaps I have the wrong layer on top? Perhaps it only works with outlines, not text?)

    Yeah. This is making me feel like a real moron. I love knowing I've done something before, and having no way of remembering how.

    I would try more combinations (layers in different spaces, converting to outlines, etc), but Illustrator CS2 is hogging resources on my 4 yr-old Powerbook G4-1GHz, so it takes literally forever to apply a filter. (Anyone else waiting on a Macbook Pro revision to upgrade?) Hence, I thought I'd ask for some help here.

    One more Q for You Who Are Much More Well-Versed In Illustrator Than I: Is there a better, more non-destructive way to go about this than using the Pathfinder?

    Much thanks!

  • #2
    Your text and graphic are on different layers obviously. Put the text behind the graphic and erase the white area by using the fill bucket. The fill bucket should not have a color (not white). It should be the white square with a red line through it. Of course this is a process that would live trace your graphic, but i don't see that being a problem.
    N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

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    Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.
    -Charles Eames

    Comment


    • #3
      assuming this is how you want it?

      Select our bubble shape.
      Copy and paste in front. Bring to the top layer.
      select it and your text, hit ctrl 7/cmd 7 (make clipping mask).
      Should do it.
      Last edited by Danger_Mouse; 06-26-2008, 03:19 PM.
      "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by (gra-ph!c-D'sig-nah)
        Your text and graphic are on different layers obviously. Put the text behind the graphic and erase the white area by using the fill bucket. The fill bucket should not have a color (not white). It should be the white square with a red line through it. Of course this is a process that would live trace your graphic, but i don't see that being a problem.
        Hey - thanks for the tip.

        Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to be a bit of an issue - when I've selected the text layer while editing the graphic layer, the Live Paint Bucket balks, telling me it can only work with paths, or compound paths.

        If I convert the text to outlines, however, it creates a compound path for each letter...making it difficult to use the Live Paint bucket on the whole thing (Live Paint doesn't seem to want to let me click and drag to select an entire group of outlines - it wants me to select individual compound paths, one-by-one.)

        Then again, I must confess, I've been a bit confused by the whole idea of LivePaint since it was introduced, so this could just be me misunderstanding...

        ...thoughts?

        Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Danger_Mouse
          assuming this is how you want it?

          Select our bubble shape.
          Copy and paste in front. Bring to the top layer.
          select it and your text, hit ctrl 7/cmd 7 (make clipping mask).
          Should do it.
          Hey, Danger Mouse! Thanks for your help, too!

          Unfortunately, I need the text to literally be transparent (through the graphic) - this is for a t-shirt graphic, so I *could* just give it a color, but I want the background to come through, as opposed to trying to mix the same color ink as the shirt. (Why spend the money on another spot color when you can just use what's already there, right?)

          So on your graphic, the black text would actually need to be white. (My bad - I should've been more specific about the medium in my original post).

          If I was working for the web, though, that would've been just the ticket...it can never be the simple answer, can it?

          Thanks again!

          Comment


          • #6

            There's a real simple way to do this. You were right to use the pathfinder, but there's a few more steps.

            First, convert your text to outlines.
            Then position it how you want on top of the speechbox
            Select both the text and the box and go Effects > Pathfinder > Exclude
            Now, using the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) select the nodes of the leftover text that are outside the speechbox. You can just do a basic selection and hit delete twice, no need to get super picky.
            Delete any leftover text or counters and you're done.
            In this post there are 47 people, none of them can be seen.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mac.FINN

              There's a real simple way to do this. You were right to use the pathfinder, but there's a few more steps.

              First, convert your text to outlines.
              Then position it how you want on top of the speechbox
              Select both the text and the box and go Effects > Pathfinder > Exclude
              Now, using the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) select the nodes of the leftover text that are outside the speechbox. You can just do a basic selection and hit delete twice, no need to get super picky.
              Delete any leftover text or counters and you're done.
              YES! That was it!!

              Incidentally, I realized what one of my problems was: I hadn't filled the text, so when I converted it to outlines & used the Pathfinder, suddenly the speechbox became transparent.

              (Duh. Should've seen that one coming. I've come to realize that if I spend too much time thinking about what the pathfinder does, I just wind up confusing myself. Let this be a lesson to me: less thinking, more doing.)

              Anyway, once I fixed that, your solution worked perfectly.

              Thanks to all of you for your help! Love this board - I always learn a great deal just by lurking & browsing, but when I finally had a problem that I needed help with, good Lord, y'all were on top of it in a heartbeat.

              Thanks again!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LloydDobbler
                I've come to realize that if I spend too much time thinking about what the pathfinder does, I just wind up confusing myself.
                Yeah, I usually just hit the buttons until I find the one that works

                Glad to Help.
                In this post there are 47 people, none of them can be seen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I misinterpreted what he wanted. Good that Mac helped you out.
                  "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

                  Comment

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