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Opacity Texture Masks in Illustrator

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Experience Level: Beginner
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to apply a non-rasterized, vector-scalable texture to a vector using opacity texture masks in Illustrator

Video Steps

1. Open a vector in Illustrator. Black and white vectors work best, but this effect can also be used to add texture to colored illustrations

2. Opacity Texture masks work by defining the opacity of certain areas of a vector as more or less transparent. Black, white, and grey areas in the texture will be converted to opaque, transparent, and translucent areas in the vector

3. Select the vector to be Texturized and open the Transparency window (Window > Transparency)

4. With the vector selected, click "Make Mask". A black box will appear next to the thumbnail of the vector; double click it to edit the mask

5. Place the .AI file containing your vector texture in the document, making sure you are still in mask mode

6. Either scale the texture so that it covers the entire vector, or copy and paste it enough times to cover the entire area (the latter preserves more detail)

7. To return to regular document mode, double click the thumbnail of your vector

8. Now that the vector texture has been applied, the vector can be scaled, preserving the texture like any other vector element. Unlike rasterized textures applied in Photoshop, vector textures applied in Illustrator do not compromise the scalability of the vector

1 Comment

Expert Comment

by:victoria willis
lost me after step 5, nothing worked to place a texture file and then have it do what it's supposed to do to make the texture.

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