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Getting rid of the white in an object with the glass effect in Illustrator

Posted on 2008-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
There are several other effects as well that create nice effects but leave the white where the holes or jagged edges are created. Is there a way to get rid of the white or make it transparent so that an object or shadow beneath it shows through the holes and/or edges?

Thanks!

John
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Question by:gabrielPennyback
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by:Savong
ID: 21817512
Is this when exported to another program?  If so saving to a PNG file with the appropriate size should be viable.  If not some more info would be helpful.
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by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 21818791
No, this is for working within Illustrator. take a look at this file. I want all white areas to be transparent  so that any object below the glass-effected object would show through the white areas, and the shadow follows the shape of the object minus the white areas.

http://www.discretedata.com/Ex-Ex/GlassEffect.ai

Thanks,
John

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Savong earned 500 total points
ID: 21823606
I couldn't find a good clean way to do that.  I found two options that worked fairly well, but the compromise was either not getting quite the right effect, or several added steps.  Note that I'm using CS3 here, not sure which version you have.

The first way was to go with Effect > Distort & Transfrom > Roughen.  Tweak to approximate glass.  This gives something kind of approximate, but not really the same look.

The second way took several steps, not sure if there's a simpler way, but this did get the right final result.

1. Set fill to black, and no stroke on the object with the glass effect, remove the drop shadow for now.
2. Object > Expand Appearance, then ungroup once (this should give us a bitmap representation).
3. Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options, tweak until it looks about right.  Make sure to check "Ignore White"
4. Object > Expand, then re-apply your styles from earlier (fill, shadow).

This should give the closest result, but as you can see it's not the simplest.  Hope that helps some.
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by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 21833948
Thanks, Savon. I couldn't figure out (I should know by now!) how to convert my object to a bitmap, and I never got Tracing Options as an option. BUT your mention of bitmap gave me the idea of copying and pasting my object into Photoshop as pixels, not a smart object or path (after removing the shadow of course).  From them it was a simple matter of using color range to get rid of the white, and exporting the image as a png, opening it in Illustrator and adding the shadow!  A little inconvenient, but worth it for the perfect results.

Thanks!

John
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