Masking in Adobe Illustrator CC

Masking is about hiding and revealing certain parts of an image or graphic. It is a key concept in graphic design and it is very useful to learn how to properly use it in Adobe Illustrator. In this video I will explain and compare the following 3 masking techinques:
– Clipping Mask,
– Opacity Mask
– and the Draw Inside mode.

This tutorial is part of a comprehensive online course called Adobe Illustrator CC MasterClass. You can check it out and try the free trial if you want to learn everything there is to know about this amazing industry-standard application:






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  • How do you get the Gradient adjusment tool to pop up like that at the 10:19 mark???? (people ask below). Answer: Press the G key. Awesome! That was bugging me. GREAT TUTORIAL! Thank you so much, going to watch several more. These basic things to get you started are SO important. Cheers

  • If I have a drawing of a desk a chair and a character. The desk is the group in front of the character group and the chair is the group behind the other two groups. the character seats on the chair…..that works, the character and the chair are behind the desk…..that works unless the character puts his hands on top of the desk, I need to mask the top of the desk with the portion of the arms of the character that covers the top of the desk… I copy the the arms shapes and use them as masks to make a hole on the top of the desk, that works but every time I make a change in the arm's position I have to go and alter the mask for the top of the desk…….isn't there a way of telling Ilustrator that the arm layer is the one that will alter the top of the desk…….with out taking the arms out of the Character group?


    How To Make This Clipping Mask (rectangle shape outside photo)….
    Please Give Me Answer…
    I Need it….

  • When i use the opacity mask i cannot mark any other objects and i cannot see the other layers……help

  • Thank you for this. I am starting to practice using Illustrator and this kinda tutorial help me make something awesome. Subscribed already.

  • Clipping mask SOLUTION FIX :

    1) Make all circles black.

    2) Select both objects, in the Transparency Window click "Make Mask"

    3) Then click on the "Invert Mask" checkbox.

  • HELP! What's the next step to do after the "draw inside" to convert the red ball into a LOGO? For a logo you don't want paths outside the red area, just the paths inside. Otherwise you could not plotter it, or print it with screen printing on a shirt.

  • 1:06 – Draw Inside

    3:55 – Clipping mask
    > Mask object always on top, select both objects when creating the mask
    > use ( Shift + Ctrl + ] ) to bring to front
    > use ( Crtl + 7 ) to make clipping mask

    8:07 – Opacity Mask
    > again, mask on top, select both
    > use ( Shift + Ctrl + F10 ) to open transparency panel > hamburger menu > *show options > make
    this also gives you some other cool options to play around with, like clip/unclip and reverse

  • Thank you for sharing! Valuable information that helped me understand the different types of masking! Thumbs up

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