What is a clipping path?
In Photoshop, a clipping path is a vector graphic that describes an object, as a trace around its edges. Clipping paths are generally used for one of two purposes: clipping an object or wrapping text around it.
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How are clipping paths used for eCommerce?
In product photography, the most common use of a clipping path is to remove the background from a product image. The clipping path revolves around the product, which can then be placed on another background or saved as a transparent image. Cropping product images is also known as “etching”, “cutouts” or creating a “silo” (short for “silhouette”).
Why Outsource to a Clipping Path Service?
Creating clipping paths or layer masks (there are strong opinions on the superiority of layer masks over clipping paths, for making image cuts, is a time-consuming job – infinities of zooms and clicks in Photoshop o Illustrator.
It is a repetitive and boring job, which can turn e-commerce retouching into a bottleneck, although it is a very necessary activity. Fortunately, because the images of the products are digital, the clipping can be outsourced.
The best clipping path services will save you time and money by allowing you to focus on more creative and income-generating work. The worst photo cropping services will cost you more than money; They will also cause you to miss deadlines and cause endless headaches.
Pixelz clipping path service for product images
- Delivery in 3 hours.
- Hand drawn clipping paths.
- Multiple clipping paths.
- Includes natural shade.
- Intuitive online interface.
- Used by leading brands, retailers, and photo studios.
- Scales with volume and retouching needs.
How much does a product photo clipping path service cost?
Don’t just look at the price per image when choosing a Photoshop clipping path service provider. Look at the total cost of operation (TCO). A race to the bottom in terms of prices per image will generally end up costing you more in the long run.
If your purpose is to save time and make your product lists grow faster to sell more, you need to think about onboarding, management, lead time, scale, and quality.
There are many empty promises when it comes to clipping path outsourcing. If an unnamed company with a homemade WordPress site promises you 1 ¢ per image, they won’t deliver it to you.
It will be a spectacular failure that will consume hours of work and cause you to laugh darkly, the next time someone encourages outsourcing at a reduced rate.
Before you entrust your clipping to a subcontractor, you need answers to the following questions.
What to Order from an Outsourced Clipping Path Service
- How am I giving instructions?
- How are clipping paths drawn?
- When and how will I get my images back?
- Is there a quality guarantee?
- What communication methods are available?
- Who are you working with already?
- Can the service scale with my needs?
If the clipping path service cannot provide satisfactory answers to the above questions, you should not outsource them.
What do the best image clipping path services do?
Let’s take our Photoshop clipping path service provider checklist one by one.
1. How am I giving instructions?
Actually, this question can be rephrased as “is there an online system for communication?” If you rely on emails, PDFs, or even version control cloud services like Google Docs, you’re in trouble. While it may seem obvious what needs to be done, if you leave room for error, the error will appear.
For example, if an image contains a product, a model, and their combined shadow, you must define which (or all) of the three should be outlined by the clipping path.
And you need the flexibility to change that on a per-order and per-image basis, without requiring extensive round-trip travel with an account rep on time shifts.
Plus, you likely want more than just the background removed from your product image. Even if you’re not looking to outsource the retouching, it’s worth getting another basic image edit while your product is being cut.
An online system that allows you to create specifications that define whether a clipping path is generated automatically or manually, set image size and aspect ratio, margins, cropping, file format, shadows, etc., will prevent your orders from becoming chaotic time sinkhole.
The best clipping path services will have their own interface that allows for specific and detailed instructions at the order and image level.
2. How are the clipping paths drawn? (automatic clipping path vs. hand drawn clipping path)
This can be a “what’s right for you” situation. There is plenty of software available and in use, cutting back on route services to automate the process. An automatic clipping path will save a lot of time, which in turn reduces the price, but comes at a cost.
Many solutions are very similar to the magic wand tool in Photoshop: it is fast, but works best with high-contrast images, and can be inaccurate near the edges. And when it gets bad, it can be really bad.
A hand-drawn clipping path will take longer but will be much more accurate. The best clipping paths are still created by humans, who use the zoom and Photoshop Pen tool to draw lines around your product.
You know your product and your product photography setup. If you’re shooting a black product against a white background with no shadow, perhaps the savings from an automated clipping path are worth it.
The best clipping path services will give you the choice between automatic routes and hand-drawn routes on one level per image, so you can manage cost and quality.