Photoshop Clipping Path Technique for Real Estate Images

One of the demands of the real estate industry is the ability of photography to be creative and resourceful. Being creative means looking for different ways to do something and being resourceful means knowing where to find the aforementioned ways. Photographers and realty editor must learn how to work with very limited resources and control in the images. Hence, being creative in post processing will unlock many doors and move the ceiling of potential especially when working with Adobe Photoshop.

There are countless features available in Adobe Photoshop where no two tools are the same in what they do. In fact, when you seem to think there is a redundancy between two or three tools, think again. Photographers love to use Photoshop for these little quirks because they offer a lot of flexibility depending on the need. One such features it the clipping path tool which gives a whole lot of range of possibilities in photo editing. The clipping path technique is highly applicable to real estate image editing. Its versatility combined with the precision is sure to be a hit with the moving of objects here and there.

What is the Clipping Path Technique?

A clipping path in Adobe Photoshop is the tool that allows you to select the object and isolate it. After being enclosed in the path, the rest of the photo is then hidden where the selected object is the lone visible thing within the photo. Note that the term hidden is used over the term thrown away. This is because whatever has been hidden outside the path can still be recovered. This makes the clipping path technique very flexible. It gives a sense of recovery from the isolated image that anything within its surrounding can easily be surfaced on the canvas or layer by mere clicks and drags of a button. Real estate image clipping paths are mighty useful especially when there are major edits and retouches that need to happen. The clipping path technique is a process that can be used over and over again especially if there are very delicate movements that require utmost precision and yet impossible to perfect.

Executing the Clipping Path Technique

The Photoshop clipping path technique, while very tricky, is very simple to do. Make sure that the panel for paths is available in order to see the movement of the shape in real time.

  1. Select the pen tool – the clipping path technique requires the most precise tool there is on the palette. Anything larger may cause a larger selection area that will be difficult to separate the object from the background. For this Photoshop clipping path technique, there is a tolerance level that needs to be filled and there is a trade off in the values to be selected. If the tolerance value is higher, there will be less touch points that are needed to create a closed vector path while a lower tolerance value will create more points. More points will mean that the vector path can be drawn closer to the object, but the accuracy will be compromised. Check it out and see which one works best for you.
  2. Draw the path – This is the tedious part. Have a steady hand as you go around the object of your choice while clicking at milestone points to anchor the path. If you are using a computer, a steady hand with a steady mouse will help yield the results you want. However, if you are after pin-point accurate results then perhaps a tablet with a stylus will be your weapon of choice. Real estate image clipping paths will require a degree of precision since it needs to keep in touch with a realistic perspective to the potential buyer hence, the latter option of hardware will be a better choice.
  3. Save the closed vector path – There are a last few steps to be done prior to saving the image but all can be bypassed depending on your choice to fill them out. Once done, the image is ready to be placed on a different canvas.
  4. Adjusting the real estate image clipping paths – If for any reason, there are hiccups when it comes to the object looking like it was hacked or cut in a specific area, dragging the anchor points will reveal the rest of the photo. This is why the term hidden is used, and it is because the rest of the photo can still be accessed and surfaced depending on the anchor point availability. Therefore, a good thing to remember for the Photoshop clipping path technique is the more anchor points you have, the more adjustment points there will be.

What are the Applications?

The Photoshop clipping path technique is applicable to staging. Bringing in photos of furniture when the real estate company is constrained to bring in some actual furniture helps solve the problem of looking at empty interior spaces. Another application for real estate image clipping paths is sky replacement. If the property is shot under gloomy conditions, then this is an alternative option to the sky replacement technique. The last but not the least, this Photoshop clipping path technique can be used when there is too much noise. Backgrounds that have just way too much going on such as animals roaming, people crossing, cars passing, or even planes flying can easily use this technique to isolate the property image. Just get another background that looks highly similar to it and poof the background is much more quiet and simple.


As they say, if there is a will there is a way. This saying for photographers hits home especially when odds are stacked against them and where post-processing comes to the rescue. The Photoshop clipping path technique is very unique in itself. Its stark difference from the lasso tools is quite impressive in a sense that the photo is preserved to a certain degree. The uses for real estate image clipping paths are countless especially in situations where physically adapting these objects onto the frame is not possible during that time. The beauty of being able to use such techniques in real estate photo editing brings a lot of flexibilities and does not stop you from doing your photo shoot as you know very well that there is a way to fill the gap.


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