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Old Apr 26, 2005, 09:04 AM   #1
joe_gibb
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Clipping Path from Selection in Photoshop

Hi,

I have a lot of images I need to make clipping paths for. I've been using the wand to select the background (they're sharp images on a white background) and then selecting inverse, making a work path, saving that path, then selecting that path as a clipping path. When I save the selection as a path it isn't as 'tight' as the selection even with the tolerance set to 0.5 pixels.

Is there a better way to do it, or do I have to go back to actually drawing the paths with the pen tool?

Thanks.
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 09:13 AM   #2
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Drawing the paths is the best way to do it. After a while you get a lot better at it.
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 09:56 AM   #3
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Just out of curiosity, what do you need clipping paths for? (I know what they're used for, but what's YOUR use?)
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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I've actually had better luck setting the device flatness to 8 rather than a lower number, at least for print work.
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 10:30 AM   #5
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I recommend getting a Wacom tablet - you can hand draw paths in no time with that puppy. After sing a tablet I can barely path or draw with a mouse anymore - everything becomes second nature. I agree with Macstudent - draw the paths yourself or clean up the "convert to path" outlines. you'll never get a really great path with "convert to paths."
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 11:20 AM   #6
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If it was me and time was of the essence, and I had clean easily-made selections from white backgrounds, then I'd save them as alpha channels and save the files as LZW TIFs.

File size, schmile size.
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primalman
I've actually had better luck setting the device flatness to 8 rather than a lower number, at least for print work.
I'll try increasing the flatness and see how that works. Otherwise I guess I'll just have to use the Pen Tool for the moment.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 07:56 AM   #8
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Joe, is there a reason you can't use alpha channels? Are you putting it in a Quark document?
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aricher
I recommend getting a Wacom tablet - you can hand draw paths in no time with that puppy. After sing a tablet I can barely path or draw with a mouse anymore - everything becomes second nature.
Bingo there's just something fundamentally wrong with designers using mouses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayscheuerle
is there a reason you can't use alpha channels?
That was going to be my suggestion too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_gibb
Is there a better way to do it
yep... buy KnockOut 2 Photoshop's stock masking abilities are frankly *****.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 03:58 AM   #10
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Hi jayscheuerle,

I guess I don't really need to use clipping paths, so I tried your suggestion using alpha channels and it works very well. I think be using them from now on and ditch the clipping paths unless I'm exporting to Quark or something.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 06:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_gibb
Hi jayscheuerle,

I guess I don't really need to use clipping paths, so I tried your suggestion using alpha channels and it works very well. I think be using them from now on and ditch the clipping paths unless I'm exporting to Quark or something.
Ahem... I'll take the credit for that suggestion.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_gibb
Hi jayscheuerle,

I guess I don't really need to use clipping paths, so I tried your suggestion using alpha channels and it works very well. I think be using them from now on and ditch the clipping paths unless I'm exporting to Quark or something.
I don't know how familiar you are with using alpha channels, but you can often find one grey scale color channel (either the R, G, B or C, M, Y, K) that offers the greatest contrast between your object and the background can be duped and used as a starting point for a transparency alpha channel.

OR invest in something like Knockout Pro.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 12:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Blue Velvet
Ahem... I'll take the credit for that suggestion.
I'm terribly sorry Blue Velvet, you did mention it first

Joe.
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Old May 6, 2005, 12:45 PM   #14
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What is the main point of using alpha channels and or clipping paths or masking? I was never really sure as to when one would apply these techniques.
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Old May 6, 2005, 12:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Espnetboy3
What is the main point of using alpha channels and or clipping paths or masking? I was never really sure as to when one would apply these techniques.
usually to separate an element from its background.
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Old May 6, 2005, 12:59 PM   #16
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If you do end up wanting to do it the way you do now, for some reason, wouldn't the magnetic lasso (hehehe I think of wonder woman every time I think of that tool...lalala, I'm such a 'tard) be a much better choice than the wand? It will give you a very well defined path, rather than having fuzz on it.
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