Easy Crop & Clip Images

Cropping and clipping images to complex shapes has never been easier. Simply double-click an image and adjust its bounding box and reposition image. Add a complex shape to clip the image with Intersect.

How To Clip Images with Complex Objects

Artboard makes it easy to clip your images with complex vector objects. Draw any shape and use the Intersect command. Here’s how.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OSX
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser and Intersect
Estimated Completion Time: about 15 minutes

Step 1 – Draw the Clipping Shape

Open the Image Browser and drag-and-drop from the Browser to your drawing canvas to place your image. Draw any shape – from a simple rounded rectangle to a complex outline of the area you want to clip. Here we’ve used the Bezier Path [b]tool to draw an outline around the girl in the picture. We used a simple red stroke with no fill to better see the outline as we traced over the picture.

Step 2 – Clip the Image

To clip the image with your shape, hold the Command-key and use the Select [s] tool to select both the image and the shape. Then click the Intersect icon on the Toolbar, or choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu. Clipping images is non-destructive – an image that is clipped still has the original image hidden behind the clipped area, and the clipping path can be removed later as desired. Double-click the image to reposition it or scale it within its bounding box. An image effects panel is also displayed. If you want to remove the clipping path, right-click the image and choose “Remove Image clipping path” from the contextual menu.

Step 3 – Mask and Resample Image (optional)

An image with a clipping path can be permanently cropped to remove portions of the image that are hidden, thus reducing overall file size. Cropped images are resampled to the clipped area. To crop a clipped image, right-clicking the image and choose “Crop and resample image” from the contextual menu.

Final Image

Clipping images in Artboard is as easy as 1-2-3! We hope you enjoy the simplicity of how it works just like the Boolean operations with any vector objects.

Vector vs. Raster Drawing

Computer graphics can usually be divided into two distinct categories: vector graphics and raster (or bitmap) images. Artboard is vector-based illustration software for Mac OSX. Find out what the differences are between vector graphics and raster images.

There are instances when working with vector tools and formats is the best practice, and instances when working with raster tools and formats is the best practice. There are times when both formats come together. Understanding the advantages and limitations of each technology and the relationship between them will help you choose the appropriate tools and plan your drawing strategies.

Understanding Vector Art and Raster Graphics

Example showing effect of vector graphics versus raster graphics. The original vector-based illustration is at the left. The upper-right image illustrates magnification of 7x as a vector image. The lower-right image illustrates the same magnification as a bitmap image. (source Wikipedia)

Raster images are based on pixels and thus lose clarity when scaled, while vector-based images can be scaled indefinitely without degrading quality.

Raster images are made up of a grid of dots, or pixels, with each pixel containing color information. Computer displays are made up from grids of small rectangular cells called pixels. The picture is built up from these cells. The smaller and closer the cells are together, the better the quality of the image. When magnified, the pixels are magnified and the image can become grainy, or pixelated.

Vector graphics use points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s) that are mathematically defined to represent images in computer graphics. A vector graphics program uses these mathematical formulae to build the best quality image possible given the screen resolution. Vector graphics are scalable to any size and detail, and the file size of vector data generating the image stays the same. The quality of a vector graphic is limited only by the resolution of the output or display. Read more