Using a pattern to cut out areas from a group of shapes in Illustrator


I have an image that's been image traced. All I want to do is cut out horizontal stripes out of the image.

Since I want to cut out a lot of evenly spaced stripes, I thought the easiest way would be to make a pattern with a horizontal line. Then I drew a box with the pattern, placed it over the image, and clicked "minus front" in the pathfinder tools. Of course, this did not work. I've tried many, many, different things to get this to work, but I'm having no luck. So rather than explain everything I've tried, I'd just like to ask the easiest way to achieve this result?

This seems like a really simple thing. As a Photoshop veteran, Illustrator is very frustrating, as nothing seems to work as you would expect. Thanks

3/29/2013 12:11:00 AM

Draw your box filled with your pattern over the artwork.

From here you have a couple options:

  1. This assumes your pattern has "holes" in it and is not a solid-filled pattern. Select all and click the Make Mask on the Transparency Panel. You may need to uncheck the Clip option on the panel or check the Invert option on the panel.
  2. Select the pattern box and choose Object > Expand, then Pathfinder > Crop, then Pathfinder > Unite. Now, Select All and Choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make.
  3. May or may not work depending upon artwork. Follow #2 above -- draw pattern box, Object > Expand, Pathfinder > Crop, Pathfinder > Unite, esxcept now Choose Object > Compound Path > Make, then select all and Pathfinder > Minus Front.

For my money... #1 is the easiest and there's really no reason to use #2 or #3 unless you need to specifically edit or chop up the artwork. And if you do need to chop up the art, after following #1 you can choose Object > Flatten Transparency, move the slider all the way to the right and click OK.

3/29/2013 3:41:00 PM