Clipping Path from Selection in Photoshop

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by joe_gibb, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    macstudent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    Drawing the paths is the best way to do it. After a while you get a lot better at it.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #3
    Just out of curiosity, what do you need clipping paths for? (I know what they're used for, but what's YOUR use?)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    at the end of the hall
    #4
    I've actually had better luck setting the device flatness to 8 rather than a lower number, at least for print work.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #5
    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."
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #8
    Joe, is there a reason you can't use alpha channels? Are you putting it in a Quark document?
     
  9. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    Bingo ;) there's just something fundamentally wrong with designers using mouses. :p

    That was going to be my suggestion too. :)

    yep... buy KnockOut 2 Photoshop's stock masking abilities are frankly sh*t. ;)
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    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.
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    Ahem... I'll take the credit for that suggestion. :D
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #12
    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.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I'm terribly sorry Blue Velvet, you did mention it first :)

    Joe.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #15
    usually to separate an element from its background.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Mickel Clark

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    You just use pen tool and path your all images, then you have to change color, pixel, size etc.
     
  18. citizenzen, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015

    macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #18
    I've worked as a pre-press technician and graphic designer for 25 years. I never use clipping paths. I save Photoshop files with layer masks (alpha channels) as .PSD's, place them in InDesign, and get perfect results. This technique allows you to control the transition between transparency and image in ways that clipping paths cannot provide.


    I use the pen tool when I need a nice round curve, otherwise I use the polygonal lasso, (not magnetic) as it allows me the most speed.

    It really becomes a question of which one you're most comfortable and used to using.
     
  19. Larry-K, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #19
    I've been using clipping paths since they've existed, and they are incredibly useful in photoshop. The choice to use a layer mask, a vector mask, a clipping path; or all of them in conjunction is a very powerful solution to selecting and isolating things.

    How did this thread get jumpstarted again?
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #20
    They've existed a long time. And back in the olden days there weren't the alternatives that we have today. I don't use Quark, so things might be different in that realm, but using InDesign removes any need for them. I'm not saying you can't have an alternative workflow, but they just not a necessary part of one.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #21
    Indesign, Quark? You have an obsession with page layout.

    There are many ways to use clipping paths in many workflows, just because you're unaware of them, doesn't make them unnecessary.

    I get a lot of sloppy Photoshop files in where people are just too lazy to clean up their alphas, especially from iMac users who don't know how badly their monitors perform, you can tell by the crappy shadow work (well, you can on a good monitor).
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #22
    Yes. I've been a pre-press technician and graphic designer for 25 years.

    You call it an obsession. Some might call it a career.

    In my world, the print world, they are unnecessary.

    YMMV.
     
  23. Larry-K, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #23
    Didn't know you were claiming the "Print World" for yourself, but I beat you by over a decade on that point.

    Page layout is just one part of the print world.

    I'll forgive you, since you're a newbie.
     

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