W3Schools is optimized for learning, testing, and training. Examples might be web design dreamweaver tutorial pdf to improve reading and basic understanding. If anyone tells you to use the Photoshop Magic Wand Tool to create Photoshop clipping paths, don’t believe them!

This article shows how to do it RIGHT – and WRONG! What are Photoshop Clipping Paths? The best way to describe an image cutout is visually, so below you’ll see two versions of the same image. If you’re designing something that requires an image cutout of some sort, there are several ways of achieving the desired result, depending on the type of image you’re working with and the background onto which it’ll be placed. The most common method is to use Photoshop clipping paths to cut out the image.

In Photoshop you can create a vector shape using paths, tracing over the top of a photograph. These vector paths are called clipping paths. It’s a great shortcut, but like most quick fixes, the results are often terrible, and it takes twice as long to fix it as it does to do it properly. The Magic Wand Tool selects large areas of similarly colored pixels and creates a selection area. If you SHIFT-CLICK on another area of color it will add the selection to the existing area. This works best when you have a large area of the same color to select.

Magic Wand Tool is selected. The default value is 32. For example, the image used in this tutorial would be a good Magic Wand candidate because there’s a large area of blue sky to select. All areas of blue are selected.

It will ask you what Tolerance to enter. For now, enter a value of 2. You will be asked for a ‘Flatness’ value. Now zoom in on the path you just created.

If you used a value of 2. 0, the image below left will show you how inaccurate the path was. If you used a lower value, say 0. Photoshop EPS file using the default values. Photoshop clipping paths with a lower Tolerance make the image edges appear jagged and poor. This is why you should never trust the Magic Wand Tool to help you make a Photoshop clipping path.

The ONLY time you should ever consider the above method is when you need a really quick, low resolution, positional cutout for proofing purposes. The BEST way to create a Photoshop clipping path: By Hand! When it comes to producing high quality Photoshop clipping paths, the truth is there is no quick and easy way to achieve a good cutout – you just have to do it properly by hand. If you click and hold the Pen Tool in the Photoshop Tools Palette you’ll see a list of all its subsidiary tools. And you won’t have to select them constantly from the Tool bar – you can flick between them by using the Command Key and Alt Key on a Mac.

It’ll become second nature if you persevere. Alt key and clicking on an existing anchor point. You’ll quickly pick up how the tools work. Anti-aliasing occurs when the computer blends the hard edges of an image object by using an average of the object color and background color in order to soften the difference between the foreground and background objects. In other words, put the path half way between the brown and the blue! This minimises the amount of blue ‘ghosting’ that might appear aroung the edges of the final image cutout. You’ll be asked for a ‘Flatness’ value.

Make sure the image is 300DPI actual size and CMYK. You may still get a ‘haze’ around an image, which the path has inherited from the previous background. This is where Photoshop clipping paths are limited. Because they are rigid, hard-edged vector shapes, they take no account of the fact that the object in question might be a little out of focus, requiring a softer edge. A softer, or ‘feathered’ edge to your cutout can be achieved in the following way.

Photoshop and the image you’ve cut out with your clipping path. This will create a selection of your path. A new layer will appear in your Layers Palette containing a cutout of your image. Select the layer containing the cutout. Hold down the Command key and click the layer thumbnail to make a selection.

This will soften the edge of the cutout object and anti-alias it with the new background, thus blending it in better. This will mask off a little more of the feathered edge, and it’s a nice way to fine-tune the image cutout. Save the file as a Photoshop EPS file, remembering to also save the working Photoshop PSD file so you can come back to it if alterations are needed. Here’s an example of the image cutout placed on a colored background in the layered Photoshop file. The color values used are C0 M15 Y58 K0.