Clipping Path Transparent: How It Works & How To Make It
- December 17, 2022
The clipping path transparent is an excellent feature in Photoshop. It’s an effective way to remove the background of a picture and select the background you want in its place. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of expertise to be good at it.
This guide will walk you through the details of how clipping paths work to understand it well. You’ll know how it works and how you can start making your clipping paths.
However, a clipping path is not always the most effective solution to remove backgrounds. We’ll also discuss other options to get transparent backgrounds. Keep on reading to find out all about it. Let’s dive in!
What Is Clipping Path & Its Benefits?
Clipping path is one of the many ways of isolating a subject from its background. Generally, it’s done using the pen tool in Graphic editing software. Photoshop is by far the most used software for creating clipping paths. There are many background removal methods within Photoshop and other image editing software. But clipping path transparent tends to be the favorite for the following reasons:
Easy To Edit
Though images are rasterized graphics, the clipping path itself is vector based. It means that it stays intact and can be easily edited. The only requirement is that the editor properly understands the pen tool.
The clipping path feature in Photoshop is highly compatible. You’d be able to edit the path from any other software as long as it supports the pen tool. That’s how powerful the clipping path transparent feature is. After making the clipping path in Photoshop, you can view the full image. But when you export to other software using the correct file format, you’ll only see the clipped pixels. Isn’t that cool?
Using the clipping path will help you create the best product images. You can transport the PSD files with no loss of quality. The clipping path will already be in-built inside the Photoshop file.
It’s commonly used for product images, especially when there are a lot of products. The owner of the products can easily edit the image and add or exclude different parts of the image in the final selection. All of this happens while maintaining the original quality of the image.
How To Make Clipping Path Transparent In Photoshop?
When it comes to making clipping paths, Photoshop is hands-down the best tool for it. It’s also the most widely used due to its versatility. Here’s how you can make a clipping path transparent in photoshop:
- Import the image you want to edit to Photoshop.
- Choose the pen tool and draw a path around the subject you want to keep.
- The points you’ll make when using the pen tool are called anchor points. Each anchor point will have two handles. You can drag the handles to increase or decrease their curvature.
- It takes some time if you’re only starting to use it. But with some practice, you’ll be able to master using the pen tool and make perfect paths.
- Once you complete the path, you need to make it permanent.
- The two ways you can do it are – From the “Paths” window in Photoshop, you can click the flyout button and save the path. Or, you can rename the path, and it’ll be automatically saved into the Photoshop Document.
- Now, it’s time to make the clipping path. From the flyout menu in the “Paths” window, select the “Clipping Path” option.
- A dialog box will appear asking which path you want to clip. You’ll also get an option to choose the flatness. Leave it at 0 as it has to do with printing, and you’ll likely use the images digitally.
- You’ll notice that the path’s name will look bold when you turn it into a clipping path. That’s one way to be sure that it’s working. Now, all you need to do is save the File, and you’re good to go.
Remember that the background will not be transparent in Photoshop when you make the clipping path. But once you save it and import it to another editing software, only the area within the clipping path will be displayed.
What Are Some Other Ways To Get Transparent Background?
While clipping path transparent is one of the finest options to keep your subject and delete the background, it’s not the only one. There are plenty of other ways to select the subject and remove the background layer.
You can use different tools for this purpose. Sometimes, you’ll be using just one. But more often than not, it’ll take a combination of a few different tools to select the subject and get rid of the background.
Here are the most common ways of doing it:
The Pen Tool
Like making a clipping path, you’ll follow the steps up to complete the path. But instead of making a clipping path, you can turn the path into a selection. In Photoshop, you can do so by pressing “Ctrl+ Enter” on your keyboard.
Now, the path will convert into a selection. Remember this – you don’t want to get rid of the subject. Instead, you want to remove the background in Photoshop. At this point, you’ll have selected the subject.
So, you’ll have to inverse the selection. The shortcut for it is “Ctrl + Shift +I.” That’ll select everything else except the subject. You can press “Del,” and the background will go away.
Using Selection Tools
The pen tool is excellent for selecting subjects that have sharp edges. But when you’re selecting people or animals, it can get a little tricky. Things like hair and fur don’t have precise edges and can be tricky to select.
That’s why you can combine powerful Photoshop AI tools to get the job done. The most popular ones are the quick selection tool and the magic wand tool.
Some geometric marquee tools are excellent for selecting a circular or rectangular area. The latest versions of Photoshop also have a “Select Subject” option that can directly select the subject and isolate it from the background.
Of course, it doesn’t work all the time perfectly. That’s why you have all the tools to play around with it. Use them to make the best selection you can. Once you’re happy with the selection, inverse it and delete the background.
Using Alpha Channel
Another standard method of selection and deleting the background from an image in Photoshop is using the alpha channel. It’s beneficial when the background you want to remove is red, green, or blue.
These are the three colors that make up all the pixels you see. Open the “Channel” window in Adobe Photoshop to access the channels. Select the channel that matches the color of the object or background you want to remove.
Let’s say you want to remove a sky from an image in Photoshop. You’ll select the blue channel here, as that’s the color of the sky. The picture will appear in black and white while you do so.
The blue parts will appear lighter in this channel, and the parts with other colors will look darker. Hold Ctrl and click on the Blue channel to select it. Outer parts will also be selected at this stage but don’t worry about it.
Name the mask anything you want and press “Ctrl+D” to remove the selection. Now, use the Levels feature in Photoshop to turn the sky portion completely white. The rest of the area will be completely black.
Once you get the edges, don’t worry about the rest. You can paint over the areas using a white or black soft brush as needed. You’re ready to add a layer mask and complete the job.
Follow these steps carefully to do it:
- Hold Ctrl and click on the Alpha channel you created.
- Add a layer mask.
- Everything except the background you wanted to remove will disappear at this stage.
- While on the mask, press “Ctrl +I” to invert it.
- The background will disappear, and you’ll have a transparent background.
Note: When you export the image, save it as a PNG. If you save it as a JPEG, it’ll remove its transparency, and you’ll see a white background behind it. Select File> Save As>PNG from the options bar.
Is Clipping Path & Clipping Mask The Same Thing?
When dealing with amateurs, they may interchange the terms – clipping path and clipping mask. But transparent clipping mask Photoshop isn’t the same as clipping path. The main difference is that the clipping path can be easily edited, and the clipping mask cannot. By moving the anchor points and dragging the handles, you can change the clipping path transparent areas.
A transparent clipping mask in Photoshop can also be used to remove backgrounds. It acts similarly to clipping paths in that they only show what’s inside them. Bu editing a clipping mask isn’t as easy as it is with the path.Even if you saved the selection, altering it usually will take more work than dragging a bunch of anchor points around. A clipping mask, in practice, is rarely used for transparency. It’s mainly used to enhance the design.
FAQ About Clipping path Transparent
If you carefully carry out the instructions we provided, you ought to be alright. However, here are some frequently asked questions that can improve your productivity and gain an upper hand on clipping path transparent.
What is the unique benefit of using a clipping path?
The advantage of using a clipping path over other methods of removing the background is that you’ll have total control over the outline. It’s effortless to make changes to the path later on when needed.
When should you not use a clipping path?
When the subject or object you want to select has hairy or fuzzy edges, using a clipping path won’t work. The other options, like layer masking and using the alpha channels, are better in those cases.
When should you do to clipping path yourself, and when to hire a professional?
It takes a fair deal of expertise and practice to become handy with the pen tool. If you don’t grasp it well, you won’t be able to create good clipping paths. It would help if you outsourced the job to experts in such instances.
How to make a white background behind the clipping path quickly?
First, turn the path into a selection, inverse it, and delete the background. Then, take a new layer, put it behind the existing layer, and paint it white. You’ll see the change in the File in Photoshop if you do so.
Wrapping It Up
Now you know how clipping path transparent works in detail and how you can create it. It’s straightforward to edit once you understand how to use the pen tool. The fact that it’s so versatile makes it get used extensively in product images.
If you can’t do it yourself, you can opt for a service like Clipping Creations India, where experts can do it for you. Otherwise, you’re more than welcome to take on the job yourself. Let us know how it turns out. Leave a comment if you want to ask anything about clipping paths.