How to Make Perfect Clipping Path using a Pen Tool


A clipping path is a closed shape or vector path that is used to cut out an image in an image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. After creation of the path, a clipping path is therefore applied on it to emit anything outside the path. A clipping path is mostly used in a photograph, image or a photo for the preparation of a design such as magazine design. Most people struggle using a pen tool when conducting a Photoshop. A pen tool is not only used in a Photoshop, but it is also utilized in other graphics programs such as photo editing programs. The pen tool is located at the tools palette on the screen’s left side. If you want to create a perfect clipping path, you can follow the following guide.
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  1. Select and open the image that you want to use for the clipping path. You can open by going to the Photoshop menu, select open, choose the file desired from the open dialogue box.


  1. After opening the file in Photoshop, choose the “Pen Tool” from the toolbox and click on a blank canvas. You notice that for each click, anchor points are assigned. The anchor points can be used by creating a straight line when you click by holding swift. To remove the anchor points, right-click on the Pen Tool icon and select the “Delete Anchor Point Tool”.


  1. Create a path by clicking on the “Create New Path” button from the “Path” window. By default, it will create a new path called “path 1” but you can also rename it. If you want to rename it, double-click on the new path created so that the rename function is activated. Type the name of your choice and click the outside of the typing area so as to rename it.


  1. Click on the edge of the image and towards the next step drag the mouse pointer. It is recommended that the image be zoomed around 300% for finer details when clipping. After achieving the desired distance, click on the image edge again while carrying on with the same procedure until you have comprehended moving around the image. Carry on with the process until you see an “O” symbol. The “O” symbol means that you are about to close the path. Click on the starting point so as to close the path.


  1. From the Paths palette, head to “pop up” menu and select “Clipping Path”. Therefore, a dialogue box will appear requesting you to choose the desired flatness and path. Choose the path you desire to clipped and enter the flatness you want and click “OK”. The more flatness you add, the more bullish your image will be on edge. Hence, the Flatness box should be left blank (0) and this makes the image edge 100% sharp.


  1. After completing the path around the image and closing it successfully, head to the path palette (window menu and select “Paths”) click on your file name to save it.


  1. Go to the file menu select “Save as” and now the file can be saved in TIFF or PSD format and set to be placed into the program that you are working with for a design.


While creating clipping points using a pen tool the first important thing to is to look at your image closely and determine where you would like to place your anchor points. What is essential is to know the image’s actual shape for example where the image curves, where it remains straight, and where the curves change direction. When placing anchor points, you have to look ahead and see where you want to put the next one and so on. Looking ahead to place anchor points is important as it helps to build a smooth curve in your selected image.

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