In computer graphics technical words, clipping paths is a process that refers to making an image with combining one or more images in it.
Basically, outlining a shape by pen tool in Photoshop is termed as applying clipping paths to that image which refers to cut it from the background in order to use it in some other background image.
On the other hand, the alpha channel keeps the selection like a grayscale mask which is editable.
ALSO READ: When To Use Clipping Path?
For example, if a part of an image is selected, the unselected part is masked or you can say it is protected while you perform editing on the selected image and apply effects on it. This selection can be saved forever with an alpha channel.
People apply alpha channel or simply transparency to objects having soft edges, and feathering whereas they use clipping paths for objects that have hard edges and strong corners.
Clipping paths are used to separate or protect part of an image while those masks are saved in the alpha channel.
Clipping paths is a one-bit mask that actually does not have any presence but the alpha channel is actually a mask and it is a 32-bit graphic transparency procedure that is made up with four channels including an 8-bit channel each for red, green and blue and one 8-bit for alpha channel.
Mask made with clipping paths having sharp edges but alpha channels create soft edges and gradation level of transparency.
Clipping paths cannot preserve the softness of a photo having feathered ends but masks stored in alpha channels can be edited just like other images.
When you want to hide a portion of an image, such as the background, you can make clipping paths to hide the unwanted or unnecessary objects of the image or by alpha channels which is a different kind of photo masking, which defines a selection in black, white, and varying shades of gray pixels.
These are two normally used techniques to remove photo background. Do you want to know the difference between the alpha channels and the clipping path?
The clipping path is a non-printing line that encloses one or more parts of a raster image. They are isolated objects within an image.
One mutual use of a path is to remove the background of a photo and make the illusion of transparency.
Paths can also be used to cut specific objects or create non-rectangular outlines. Clipping path is beneficial for usual simple photo background editing.
Alpha channels are known as bitmap masks with transparency. They have both transparent and cloudy areas. Naturally, alpha channels are used in a photo or video compositing.
Some programs can make a clipping path from the alpha channel data stored in an image.
Alpha channels are basically particular selection processes and they are used to create, store or edit selections created using tools such as Lasso, Magic wand or Pen tool. Alpha channel is a different type of photo masking.
When we say mask, it is an 8-bit channel using 256 levels of Gray, reaching from 0(black) to 255(white).
With that being said, the alpha channel is a masking procedure that defines a selection in black, white, and varying shades of gray pixels.
White acts as the selected pixels; black acts as the unselected area and the levels of Gray define what is partly unselected or selected reliant on your viewpoint.
Alpha channels are perfect for more complicated photo editing such as hair masking and etc.
In Design can crop an imported TIFF, EPS or Photoshop graphic using the clipping path or alpha channel stored with the file.
When an imported graphic contains more than one path or alpha channel, you can select which path or alpha channel to use for the clipping path.
An alpha channel is an unseen channel that describes transparent parts of a graphic. It’s saved inside a graphic with the RGB or CMYK channels.
Alpha channels are usually used in video-effects applications. If the graphic has a dense background, you must use Photoshop to eliminate the background or create and save one or more alpha channels with the graphic.
You can make alpha channels using background‑removal options in Adobe Photoshop, such as layer masks, the Channels panel, the Background Eraser, or the Magic Eraser.