A clipping path is a vector object that masks any object below it, so only what’s inside the clipping path is visible. Clipping paths can conceal things or hide all but one part of an object.
It doesn’t sound straightforward. If you picture a clipping path as a mountain-shaped mask, think about how much of the paper would be visible when you place this clipping mask over an image. Only what’s in the shape of the clipping path will show up in your final product—in this case, your image will reveal just the face of the mountain beneath it. Any area within the clipping path but outside the shape becomes masked out and invisible to viewers. You’ll see clipping paths used most often in images composed of multiple shapes, like logos.
Clipping paths are helpful because they let you accurately control what is visible in complex illustrations with many different objects and layers. They also allow clipping to happen along the path of anything; clipping used to be limited to clipping along straight lines or using built-in clipping paths (like circle or ellipse). Illustrator CS5 introduced customizable vector clipping paths, which allow clipping to follow the shape of an object and let you have multiple clipping paths on one layer.
Creating Custom Clipping Paths Using Photoshop’s Vector Mask Tools
Putting a vector mask over another shape helps you precisely control what part of that image can be seen through your clipping path. If you’re putting together an idea that will include clipping paths, you can use Photoshop’s vector mask tools to add clipping without needing additional software.
The same clipping path looks different when placed over a posterized image and when placed over an un-posterized image—it’s clipping by color instead of clipping by shape in the un-posterized version.
The clipping path in Illustrator is like a clipping mask, but it’s more powerful because you can create clipping masks directly in Illustrator without the need for extra software.
You can use a clipping path with a clipping set to create a clipping object that you can quickly move and transform just as you would any other vector object.
The clipping path will follow your Object as it moves.
There are two types of clipping paths:
-Making a clipping path from linked shapes Making a clipping path from embedded raster images or text objects
Making a clipping path from linked shapes :
You’ll need to place all of the elements on separate layers so they don’t overlap, or else they will show through each other when you make a clipping path.
Step 1: Select the element (shape, image, or text) that you want to turn into a clipping mask and go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make or press Ctrl + 7.
Step 2: The clipping path has been generated automatically according to the shape of the clipping object, and it is now visible on top of all objects in your layer.
Making a clipping path from embedded raster images and text :
Sometimes, if you use some font not available in Illustrator or want to add an image that is already flattened, there’s no other option but to embed them. So how do we generate clipping paths for such elements? Well, it works just like a clipping path for shapes, but instead of clipping the clipping set itself, you need to clip your embedded part with it.
Step 1: Make sure that all elements are on separate layers, so they don’t overlap; otherwise, they will show through each other during the clipping process.
Step 2: Place clipping path on top of the artboard and beneath content.
Select both the clipping set (the small box on the left side of your layer panel) and the element (shape, image, or text which you want to turn into a clipping mask).
Go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make or press Ctrl + 7/ Command + 7 depending on whether the two objects are selected using click-and-drag marquee selection (Mac OS) or click to select, hold Shift and click to select (Windows).