I should probably be embarrased or ashamed for what I'm about to ask.
I've been a professional photographer for 19 years and deep-etched well of 15 000 images in Photoshop.
I've always just saved the working paths that I create with the pen tool as a Path and never a clipping path.
I've used the deep-etched objects in hundreds of Photoshop files and AI files successfully.
Why would one save a clipping path?
What's the difference between saving as a normal path versus a clipping path?
Please point me in the direction of a tutorial that can explain.
And also, how one edits files that you get that have clipping paths.
Your help will be much appreciated.
When you clip a layer to a layer the clipped layer is visible only where the its lower layer it is clopped to would be visible. Basically the layer is masked to the lower layer transparency. The lower layer could have a vector mask, a layer mask; or just have a smaller them canvas size layer bounds. The layer you clip can also be masked.
Way back Clipping Paths were for eps – a pixel image that can be clipped by a Path when placed in a layout application.
I think they are currently also used by Indesign when placing a tif, but Indesign can use non-Clipping Paths as well.
"eps – a pixel image"
Curious about pixel? I only used eps for vector coming from CorelDRAW and Illustrator in the days before we could place native Illustrator files.
And a curious detail about Clipping Paths (as used in eps): The Flattness-setting would determine how the Path would be interpreted on a postscript-output device (like a platesetter).
Wikipedia gives this definition for clipping path: "A clipping path is a closed vector path, or shape, used to cut out a 2D image in image editing software."
Years ago, we dealt with issues such as no transparency in tiffs or psds, pngs did not yet exist, and psds could not be placed into desktop publishing applications. The way to simulate transparency was to draw a path in PS on tiffs and jpegs, name the path, then place the image into the DTP app.
This workflow continues today because a clipping path is a non-destructive way to simulate transparency. In InDesign you can apply a path that was created and named in Photoshop with this command: "Object > Clipping Path". (Alpha Channels are another choice, btw.) By default, Text Wrap automatically uses whichever path (or alpha channel) is set in that dialogue.