The clipping path is the basic and most important photo editing strategy of editing photo by using Photoshop. In some cases, it’s called deep etching or vector mask. It’s used to cut out or select any portion of a photo. Any unwanted portion of an image is excluded while drawing clipping path. It is the most useful Photoshop technique that is needed to accomplish various image editing applications like cutting out an object, Photoshop masking, Photoshop retouching, Photo manipulation, drop shadow, mirror effect etc.
Generally, clipping path is drawn by using Photoshop pen tool. In order to get the best quality of clipping path the drawing should be initiated to the images with 300% zoom. In some cases the color of the background bleeds into the selected portion or the subject. To avoid this problem clipping path should be drawn inside one or two pixels of the product or subject. Normally, 0.3 feather is applied before cutting out the subject to ensure smooth edges which may vary on the basis of image quality or resolution.
Firstly, clipping path is done to cut out the subject of a photo from its original background to use any other background that suits best. In a single word it can be said as ‘changing background’. But only clipping path is not enough to change background of all kinds of photos but only the images with hard or clear edge like books, plates, bags, garments, shoes, jewelry, electronic equipment etc. On the other hand, the photos with soft or hairy edge like fur or hair requires masking along with clipping path to isolate from the original background.
Further photo editing like Photoshop masking, Photoshop retouching, Photo manipulation, drop shadow, mirror effect require clipping path as well. Suppose, we need to apply making technique to an image, it requires clipping path as well. The solid portion except hairy area is clipped to keep untouched while making the hairy or furry area. While doing retouching the designers have to clip certain portion to retouch or match it with the rest part. In order to create reflection or drop shadow effect the DTP can’t but apply clipping path first to bring certain shadow or reflection effect.
No doubt, clipping path is the first step to learn Adobe Photoshop. Each and every designer has to have good command on clipping path to be a good designer. Even, it’s the basic tool for designing any creative art. There are several shortcut methods of drawing clipping path like lasso tools, magic wand etc but these techniques don’t bring desired quality. Clipping Mask Asia(CMA) always prefer hand drawn clipping path to ensure the best quality of cutting out or selecting the subject of an image.