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How to Create a Clipping Path in Photoshop

Ecommerce business depends largely on product photography. While purchasing a product, 75% of customers rely on product photos. Also, getting the product that doesn’t look like the photo is a big reason to return a product.

Post processing is a must while doing product photography. Knowing how to create a clipping path in photoshop is one of the most essential works you need to know if you’re a product photographer. This is the starter of post processing in product photography.

Some of the basic post processing for product photography are removing or changing background, adding drop shadow, color correction, product photo retouching etc. Whichever you do among these, you’ll have to know how to make a clipping path in photoshop. If the clipping is not perfect, the rest of the editing will be affected by that.

What is Clipping Path?

So, what is clipping path in photoshop? Clipping path is a vector path or shape that creates an outline around the edges of an object to cut that out. It is called deep itching too. This is basically the process of separating one part of an image from another.

In photoshop, we can mark the edges of an image by using a pen tool. The points that create lines around the intended area are called anchor points. Anchor points create clipping path by connecting one after another.

There are three kinds of clipping paths –

Single Layer

Single layer clipping path means drawing a simple easy path around the hard edge of an image. This kind of layer is usually used to remove or change the background of an image. In the case of a single layer, the clipping path is drawn on the same layer.

Multi-Layer

Creating multiple paths on different layers in photoshop is called multi-layer. Multi-layer is most useful for retouching images or editing specific parts of an image. While a single layer cuts out one single subject from an image, multi-layer separates more than one subject from the same image.

Illustrator Path

Illustrator clipping path is making one or more vector shapes following the subjective path of the image. When you need to resize an image but you’re also concerned about the resolution and you don’t want to ruin it, you can use illustrator clipping path for that.

Clipping Path vs Image Masking

A clipping path is used to separate a marked selection from an image. On the contrary, masking works as a covering on a particular area of an image. It hides the selected area and whatever you do on the uncovered part of the image, it won’t affect the masked area. Masking is really helpful to deal with more complex images.

Clipping path is useful for those images that have sharp edges. Now, there are other complex images too, which have blur fuzzy surfaces with so many small details. In that case, you have to use image masking.

As I mentioned before, clipping path usually works on images which have sharp edges. Blur or obscure edges won’t work well because of the unclear surface. For example, you took photos of some lifestyle products including a model and you want to remove or change the background of the image.

Now, your model has curly hair. If you do clipping here, it won’t produce a good outcome because you won’t get the clear points on hair. On the other hand, masking can easily change the background without losing the details.

Clipping path and masking can do the same thing but they’re different in techniques. While one is for clearly defined surface, another is for blurred edges.

Tutorial: How to Create Clipping Path in Photoshop

It’s not that tough to create clipping path in photoshop. There is one tool that you need to learn to control to do clipping, and that is pen tool. Here, is the explanation of doing clipping in step by step :

Step 1 : Open file

Launch photoshop on your pc and open the file in adobe photoshop.

Step 1 : Open file

Step 2 : Pick pen tool

Next, go to the toolbar menu and select the pen tool.

Step 2 : Pick pen tool

Step 3 : Create anchor points

After taking the pen tool, at first, zoom your image to see the edges clearly. You can keep it around 300%. This will allow you to draw the path accurately. Now, start pointing the edges of the object you want to cut out. These points are called Anchor points. Keep marking till you reach the starting point.

Step 3 : Create anchor points

When you’re separating one object from another, you need to be careful with the edges to give it a natural look. So mark as perfectly as possible.

Step 4 : Inside Path

The image that’s taken here, has another empty space inside the handle. So we’ll have to create another path inside.

Step 4 : Inside path

Step 5 : Save path

When you’re done with the marking, go to the layer panel. Then select the path tab. Now, go to the menu on the top left corner and select save path. And name the path as ‘Path 1’.

Step 5 : Save path

Step 6 : Clipping path

Go to the same menu and select Clipping Path.

Step 6 : Clipping path

A box will pop up showing some options. There is one box called Flatness. Flatness is the count of the closeness of the clipping path to the edge of the image. This determines the smoothness of the image.

An increased value of the flatness makes the edge blur. If the value is lesser, the edge will be smoother and sharper.

clipping path to the edge of the image

Step 7 : Save your photo

Finally, save your image. You can use this file later to make any changes there. Or you can send it to someone else too, the path will be there and they can use it according to their need.

Step 7 : Save your photo

Don’t forget to save both the psd and jpeg files. This will give you access to use this image in whichever way you want.

 

Save as

To Remove Background 

After saving the photo, you can use the image anytime for whatever change you want to make. For example, you can change the background from this image. Once you’re done with making the clipping path, click on the right button of your mouse and click on ‘make selection’.

make selection

Now add a layer mask and your background is removed.

Removed Background

What is the purpose of a Clipping Path

Being an expert on how to do a clipping path in photoshop is a must if you’re working in e-commerce product photography.

Removing Image Background

First of all, this is mostly used to remove the background of an image. If you want to remove the background, change the color of the background or to make an image transparent background, you’ll have to do the clipping before that.

Retouching or Color Correction

Another use is while doing retouching or color correction. Clipping path lets us select a particular area or separate that from the image, that way we get to edit that particular place separately.

Removing Unwanted Parts

Moreover, removing unwanted parts from the image is another vital use of the clipping path. It’s not unusual to have unnecessary parts in an image while shooting. If you want to remove those parts from your image, you’ll have to create the path first and then remove it from your image.

Restoration or Manipulation

The clipping path in photoshop is useful in the restoration and manipulation of the image too. Touch up in an image requires clipping. Same in masking. You’ll have to do clipping first if you want to do masking.

Removing background, color correction or retouching, all are necessary in photo editing. In e-commerce product photography, the purpose of doing all these is to produce a high-quality, clean yet natural looking image. The image plays such an important role in the e-commerce business to attract viewers and increase sales.

Let us create Clipping Path for You

Creating a clipping path demands lots of practice to reach a superior level. The process is simple, you just need to pick the pen tool and start marking around the image. Don’t you think you can do it on your own now?

If you’re not sure, don’t panic, there is always a way out. Plenty of companies work on post processing of product images at a professional level. One of the leading sites is Clipping Path Studio, which gives a great deal of photo editing solutions.

So, don’t think twice to reach out to us whenever you need to get clipping path service from our master designers. We have expert hands to deliver you professionally edited images. You can check free trial option to get first hand experience. Remember, your images will speak for you and we’ll take care of your images.

Final Thoughts

High-quality product images with beautiful light and color are the connecting dots between sellers and customers. Customers will only agree to buy a product if the product photos convince them to do so. Not that this is the only determinator, but this is the first impression.

Outstanding product images not just boost sales, but also help to gain the trust of the customers, which ensures the return of the customers and establishes a brand value. So maintaining a standard in images is an upper hand for any company.

Without creating a perfect clipping path in photoshop, you won’t get your other edits done too. Quality image requires standard editing. On the one hand, shooting good photos is important, as well as, excellent editing is required too. Don’t compromise anywhere as this is the question of your reputation.

 

Luis Ryan

Luis Ryan

Luis Ryan is a skilled graphic designer who helps clients of marketing and advertising agencies with his creativity in designing enormous expertise in photoshop. Before starting a professional career, Ryan has completely grasped Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and thus he is determined to become a versatile designer for clients.
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