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Some steps to achieve the best results by Clipping Path

Photoshop is very popular software, majorly used for photo editing and manipulation. Clipping Path to use them in a different way or place for a better effect is one of the most common activities performed in the very handy software.

Images are clipped to isolate them from the unwanted background, or to use the clipped part in some other setting to enhance the former or the later. This way, the shadow accompanying the product can be omitted and selective part of an image can be put to desired manipulation or correction. There are various other tools and shortcuts through which similar effect can be arrived at- for instance, using the background eraser tool varying its tolerance to induce color differentiation and selection; using magic wand tool to delete the background; using the magnetic lasso tool, or depending upon eraser to do the job.

But none of these is as full proof as clipping the desired area using the pen tool. It is done manually. The edges remain sharp and there is no mess during the selection process of the picture. The clipping path, thus formed is a vector area or shape. Anything enclosed inside the shape is automatically included for further processing while everything outside is excluded.

The following steps can be followed for clipping images.

Step 1:

Open the desired file to be worked upon.

Original image to create clipping path

Original image to create clipping path

Step 2:

Select the Pen Tool from the toolbar. Alternatively, the same can be located under the tools menu. Make sure that “Path” option is selected in the pen tool menu.

Photoshop pen tool

Photoshop pen tool

Step 3:

Magnify the image for ease and better selection. Click on an edge, hold and drag the pointer to the next required edge and click. Using the handle that appears when clicked, the path thus formed can be manipulated to imitate the edge of the image. The distance between two points should be kept small. It eases the process of path manipulation to suit the snap. Continue in similar manner, until the whole image is covered.

Starting path with pen tool

Starting path with pen tool

Continuing path

Continuing path

Continuing path more...

Continuing path more…

Continuing path more and more...

Continuing path more and more…

Step 4:

When the path approaches closure, an “o” symbol appears. The symbol means that the starting point has been reached and the now the path can be closed. Click on it. Multiple closed paths can be created using control key while selection.

Got O symbol and completed the path

Got O symbol and completed the path

Step 5:

Now, go to the layers window and find “path” tab on it. Double click on the “work path” to save the path and the name will automatically be changed to “Path -1”.

Photoshop path layer

Photoshop path layer

Saving the created path

Saving the created path

Path layer saved

Path layer saved

Step 6:

From the pop- up menu from the Paths Palette select “Clipping Path”.  The required path and flatness can be selected from the resulting dialog box.

Selecting clipping path option from path palate

Selecting clipping path option from path palate

Doing flatness to device pixels

Doing flatness to device pixels

Step 7:

Flatness refers to the blur on the image edges. The more the value of the integer more is the blur at the edges. Ideally it is left at 0 or blank for crisp edged photo.

Clipping path made

Clipping path made

Step 8:

The file can now be saved in .psd or .tiff format, to be used later. The ensuing image will be free of any background.

Final image without background

Final image without background

Clipping images is used by organizations and individuals involved in the business of advertising, graphics, design, printing, e-commerce and photography to name a few. The day-to-day objects where clipped images can be spotted are catalogues, magazines, newspapers, brochures etc. Using the pen tool not only ensures high quality results, it is also a fuss free method as compared to other tools and shortcuts and cuts down on a lot of time.

About the auther 

Rokaiya is a creative graphic designer, Internet marketer, and a blogger. She joined the team of clippingpathspecialist.com is a brand of Outsource Experts Ltd on 2010 as a head of it’s marketing department, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks on photo editing and graphic design!

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