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Illustrator: Apply Texture to Vector

Final Result

To apply a texture to a vector in Adobe Illustrator follow these steps:

Pick A Background

  1. In Adobe Illustrator, add whatever background you would like to use and then lock the layer. We won’t be touching this for the rest of the tutorial.

pick a background

Make Or Import Texture

  1. Switch to Adobe Photoshop and paint the texture you would like onto the canvas with a brush stroke (or other method).

pick a texture

Turn Texture Into Transparent PNG

  1. Make sure that you disable visibility for the background layer. We are going to be exporting this texture as a transparent PNG.

disable visibility of background

  1. To export the texture go to File>Export>Export As

export texture as transparent png

Make sure the Transparency box is ticked. Export the transparent PNG (preferably at a high resolution)

make transparent

  1. Go back to Adobe Illustrator and add the newly exported PNG as it’s own layer.

add png as own layer

Add Vector and Make Clipping Mask

  1. Add your vector onto a new layer on top of the PNG. Make sure that this vector is a compound path before you continue.

put vector on top on new layer

  1. Select the vector and the PNG (the vector MUST be on top), right click and select Make Clipping Mask.

make clipping mask

  1. To adjust the position of the texture, drill down into the clip group and select it individually as shown.

adjust texture position

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