A clipping path (or “deep etch”[1]) is a closed vector path, or shape, used to cut out a 2D image in image editing software. Anything inside the path will be included after the clipping path is applied; anything outside the path will be omitted from the output. Applying the clipping path results in a hard (aliased) or soft (anti-aliased) edge, depending on the image editor’s capabilities

By convention, the inside of the path is defined by its direction. Reversing the direction of a path reverses what is considered inside or outside. An inclusive path is one where what is visually “inside” the path corresponds to what will be preserved; an exclusive path, of opposite direction, contains what is visually “outside” the path. By convention, a clockwise path that is non-self-intersecting is considered inclusive.