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How to Create a Perfect Clipping Path Using Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop Every Time

Clipping Path Image Editing

Clipping paths are essential in graphic design, photography, and image editing, allowing you to isolate subjects, remove backgrounds, and seamlessly blend elements. The Pen Tool is a versatile and powerful tool that empowers artists, designers, and photographers to achieve pixel-perfect results.

In this blog, we’ll take you on a step-by-step journey through the art of using the Pen Tool effectively. From mastering anchor points and Bezier curves to understanding how to close paths and make selections, we’ll equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to create impeccable clipping paths every time you open Photoshop.

Create Clipping Path Using Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop_

Creating a clipping path using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop is an essential technique for isolating objects or subjects from their backgrounds. This precise method allows for clean and accurate selections, particularly useful for e-commerce product images or graphic design projects. To begin, open the image in Photoshop and select the Pen Tool from the toolbar. Carefully trace the outline of the object, creating a path that encloses it entirely. Once the path is complete, right-click and choose “Make Selection” to turn it into a selection. This selection can then be used to apply various adjustments or place the object on a different background. Mastering this technique empowers designers with a powerful tool for creating visually stunning and professional-looking compositions. Remember to practice and be patient, as creating precise paths may take some time to master.

To create a perfect clipping path using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop, follow these steps:

Step: 01

 To open an image in Photoshop, you need to have the software installed on your computer, then you can open it by following these general steps:

Launch Adobe Photoshop.

Go to the “File” menu and select “Open.”

Browse to the location where your image is saved.

Select the image file and click “Open.”

Step: 02

In Adobe Photoshop, you can select the Pen Tool from the toolbar or quickly activate it by pressing the ‘P’ key on your keyboard. The Pen Tool is a powerful tool used for creating paths, shapes, and selections in Photoshop. Once activated, you can use it to create precise paths by placing anchor points and adjusting Bezier curves.

Step: 03

Zooming in on the area you want to clip is essential for achieving accuracy when using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop. By zooming in, you can closely examine the edges and intricate details of your subject, making it easier to place anchor points precisely along the edges. This ensures that your clipping path is as accurate and clean as possible, leading to better results when you use it for various editing purposes. Remember, you can zoom in and out using the Zoom Tool (press ‘Z’ and click on the image) or by using keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl/Cmd + “+” to zoom in and Ctrl/Cmd + “-” to zoom out. 

Step: 04

After zooming in on the area you want to clip, you can start creating your clipping path by clicking on the edge of the subject you want to clip. This action sets the first anchor point of the path. As you continue to click along the edges, you’ll create additional anchor points that define the path’s shape. The Pen Tool’s precision allows you to create a smooth and accurate path around your subject, making it easy to isolate and edit specific parts of the image.

Step: 05

When using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop, you should continue clicking around the subject’s edges, placing anchor points at important corners and curves. The goal is to accurately trace the contours of your subject, creating a path that closely follows the outline.

For straight segments, you can simply click to add anchor points. When you encounter curves, click and drag to adjust the Bezier handles of the anchor points, allowing you to create smooth curves that match the subject’s shape.

By strategically placing anchor points at crucial points along the subject’s edges, you’ll ensure that the clipping path is precise and follows the subject’s contours as closely as possible. This attention to detail is essential for achieving a clean and accurate selection or clipping path. 

Step: 06

For straight segments: Simply click to create straight anchor points. There is no need to click and drag for straight segments.

For curves: Click on the image to set an anchor point, then click and drag the mouse to create Bezier handles. Adjust the handles to shape the curve as needed. The Bezier handles control the direction and smoothness of the curve.

For adjusting curves: Click on an existing anchor point, and you’ll see the Bezier handles extending from it. Click and drag the handles to modify the curve and its direction.

By using these techniques, you can efficiently create smooth and precise clipping paths using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop.

Step: 07

To close the path you’ve created with the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop, follow these steps:

Ensure you’ve traced the entire outline of the subject with anchor points, leaving the last anchor point close to the first one.

Hover your mouse cursor over the first anchor point (the starting point of your path) until you see a small circle appear next to the Pen Tool cursor.

Click on the first anchor point to close the path. When you do this, the path will be completed, and the clipping path will form a closed shape around your subject.

Closing the path is crucial as it allows you to create a complete selection or clipping path. After closing the path, you can proceed with further editing or use the selection for various purposes

Step: 08

After closing the path (by clicking on the first anchor point), make sure the Path panel is visible in Photoshop. If it’s not visible, go to “Window” in the menu and select “Paths” to open the Paths panel.

In the Paths panel, you should see a work path that represents the path you’ve created.

To convert the path into a selection, simply click on the “Load path as a selection” button at the bottom of the Paths panel. It looks like a solid circle inside a dotted circle.

The path will be converted into a selection, and you’ll see marching ants around the subject. Now you can use this selection for various editing purposes, like applying adjustments, creating masks, or copying the subject to a new layer.

By following these steps, you can easily convert your closed path into a selection without the need to right-click

Step: 09

To ensure no feathering is applied to the selection:

Make sure your selection is active (marching ants around the subject).

Go to the “Select” menu at the top of Photoshop.

Choose “Modify” from the drop-down menu.

Select “Feather.”

In the pop-up window, ensure the “Feather Radius” is set to 0 pixels (which is the default value).

Click “OK.”

By doing this, you confirm that the selection has a precise and sharp edge, making it suitable for clipping paths and other accurate selections

Step: 10

Some common uses of clipping paths include:

Image Cut-outs: You can easily remove the background by deleting or masking everything outside the clipping path, isolating your subject.

Image Editing: Apply adjustments or filters selectively to the subject within the clipping path without affecting the background.

Image Compositing: Combine your subject with different backgrounds or place it into new scenes seamlessly.

Creating Image Masks: Use the clipping path as a mask to control visibility or transparency of your subject in composite images.

Printing and Design: Clipping paths are often used in graphic design for precise layout and placement of images in various projects.

Remember to save your work in a file format that supports transparency, such as PNG or PSD, to preserve the clipping path information. This way, you can make future adjustments or use the clipped subject in various projects.

Moreover, creating a perfect clipping path using the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop requires attention to detail and precision. By following the steps of opening your image, activating the Pen Tool, zooming in for accuracy, placing anchor points, creating curves with Bezier handles, and closing the path, you can achieve a clean and accurate clipping path around your subject.

After converting the path into a selection and ensuring no feathering is applied, you can use the clipping path for various editing purposes such as image cut-outs, selective adjustments, image compositing, creating masks, and more. Always remember to save your work in a file format that supports transparency to preserve the clipping path information for future use.


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