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  • masks vs paths

    Hello all, this is my very first post. Please go easy on me.

    Having worked for many years making a path for nearly 90% of the images I've worked on, I have since converted that method to creating a precise mask. I really prefer making a mask vs a precise path due to the control of edge I have with making a mask.

    Recently on a job at an ad agency I was told that they use paths, old school thinking in my opinion, for all silo'd images because of the use of the image in InDesign for layout purposes.

    I am familiar with InDesign, but not quite schooled with its layering options, if any.

    Now, for my question to you all in pre-press or production, or any retouchers in the know, would you keep/apply a clipping path to an image to be used in InDesign that may go over a color or text, or do you keep with your mask and save the file so it will indeed work in InDesign over the text/color?

    Looking forward to any and all responses.

    Cheers
    MJ

  • #2
    Re: masks vs paths

    Um masks and paths are two different things, why would you think a path is an "old school" way of doing stuff? you can always convert a path to a selection and make a mask out of it. There are some things you can do in masks (like luminosity masks) that you can't do in paths. Each tool for what it's needed... In your example the client rules. If the client wants me to work in an "old school" way because he actually needs that for another purpose then I do what the client asks and fulfill that need.

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    • #3
      Re: masks vs paths

      hey thanks. In my opinion and experience, with making a path then selecting that path and setting a feather, you are not always going to have a precise mask, in the case of depth of field.

      If I followed every request a client ever gave me I would have never gotten to where I am. I believe in options, especially when it comes to PS. There are certainly more than one way to get from point A to point B.

      My question was more about InDesign restrictions/treatments for image placement than it was about the actual creating a path/mask.

      After working in NYC for over 15 years as a retoucher, I moved to Sydney, Australia and worked alongside some very good retouchers. They were all of the mask making school vs. making a path. They all agreed it was not as precise as a mask is. I then had to create masks for every silo I made. I began to realize how much easier and organic it was in comparison to making a path. I didn't just work with 1 company in my 2 years in Australia and they all expected me to use the mask making method.

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      • #4
        Re: masks vs paths

        that is old school, those designers are so used to working in quark they don't realize that indesign can handle psd files very easily

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: masks vs paths

          Oh thank you, pixelzombie. I knew I wasn't crazy. I know some places/designers/retouchers can get caught in the whole 'we've used this workflow for years and we like it' thing. But I knew that the software has expanded as it had to. I'm actually tryin to put together a presentation for 'the client' who is a very good friend of mine and fellow retoucher. She runs a retouching studio within a very well known Ad Agency and she was hard headed about a path vs my mask with respect to InDesign.

          We have to share our knowledge with our peers, especially when chances are we may be working side by side.

          Thanks again, pixelzombie

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          • #6
            Re: masks vs paths

            Originally posted by maryjane View Post
            hey thanks. In my opinion and experience, with making a path then selecting that path and setting a feather, you are not always going to have a precise mask, in the case of depth of field.

            If I followed every request a client ever gave me I would have never gotten to where I am. I believe in options, especially when it comes to PS. There are certainly more than one way to get from point A to point B.

            My question was more about InDesign restrictions/treatments for image placement than it was about the actual creating a path/mask.

            After working in NYC for over 15 years as a retoucher, I moved to Sydney, Australia and worked alongside some very good retouchers. They were all of the mask making school vs. making a path. They all agreed it was not as precise as a mask is. I then had to create masks for every silo I made. I began to realize how much easier and organic it was in comparison to making a path. I didn't just work with 1 company in my 2 years in Australia and they all expected me to use the mask making method.
            Then I don't see why you're undecided on what to do since you say you have allot of experience with this.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: masks vs paths

              Cuervo79, have I upset you or something? Thank you for your interest and support in my very first post here on RetouchPro. I appreciate all the input I can get from my peers and beyond.

              Again, I was mainly concerned with how InDesign treats masked files and files with a clipping path. There are certainly images that one can 'get away with' making a clipping path. But if my client and myself are looking to create a final product that is as close to the real thing as we can keep it without losing the integrity of the original image/photo then I would prefer to do that.

              Since I do not work with InDesign, I was hoping that they had made changes where a designer could use a layered file that has been masked rather than its hard, often clumsy, clipping path. I have, since starting this blog, created a sample of this using InDesign and 2 psd files and forwarded them on to my friend/client for her review in hopes of sharing with her a new option for her and her retouching team.

              Again, thank you for your kind support.

              Cheers
              MJ

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              • #8
                Re: masks vs paths

                Welcome to Retouchpro MJ.
                I can't help with your question as I do very little in InDesign, I just wanted to take a sec and say Hi.
                Now I gotta run, I just got up and havn't had coffee yet. I get grumpy without my coffee ya know.

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                • #9
                  Re: masks vs paths

                  nice to meet you Crazyfly1.

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                  • #10
                    Re: masks vs paths

                    Hey MJ. Welcome.

                    InDesign can do nearly everything and anything that PS can, as far as image placement. Many designers are used to, and familiar with, placing an image with a clipping path. They may not even know they can place images with regular paths or layers. They can set layers to "multiply" so they can overprint shadows, etc.

                    Problems always seem to arise when you try to "sell" anything new to somebody who's going to have to spend additional time to place something more than ONCE, whether it will look better or not.

                    Cheers!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: masks vs paths

                      Hello, my first post too! In indesign you could pull in an image that had been masked and had background deleted, but being given a clipping path would leave more options as to having parts of the subject busting out of a frame.

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                      • #12
                        Re: masks vs paths

                        Originally posted by Cuervo79 View Post
                        you can always convert a path to a selection and make a mask out of it.
                        So YOU'RE the guy who does this. Ah ha!

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                        • #13
                          Re: masks vs paths

                          Originally posted by robmac View Post
                          Hello, my first post too! In indesign you could pull in an image that had been masked and had background deleted, but being given a clipping path would leave more options as to having parts of the subject busting out of a frame.
                          Could be a layer labeled "soft head silo", or "elbow pop out".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: masks vs paths

                            oh yeah, true.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: masks vs paths

                              lol, right....

                              Comment

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