Embedded PathsPaths are vector masks or outlines with hard edges. They are separate objects within an image. The paths isolate portions of an image. One common use of a path is to remove the background of a photo and create the illusion of transparency. Paths can also be used to extract individual objects or create non-rectangular shapes. Embedded paths can be exported as a clipping path to use in page layout applications. EPS images support embedded paths.
Alpha ChannelsAlpha channels are bitmap masks with transparency. They have both transparent and opaque areas. Typically, alpha channels are used in photo or video compositing. Some programs can create a clipping path from the alpha channel information stored in an image. TIFF images support alpha channels and embedded paths.
In the next several pages of tutorials learn how to create clipping paths and alpha channels for use as clipping paths in an image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photo-Paint. Then learn how to access the clipping path or alpha channel information once an image is placed in a page layout application.