Clipping Magic masks images quickly, easily and for free (at least for now)
posted Monday, May 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM EST
Clipping Magic is a website that has been making some waves over the last few days for doing one thing simply and extremely well: clipping images. It's a single-serving web app to which you upload your image, broadly mark the foreground and background areas, and out comes a handy, clipped PNG for you to play with.
It's an incredibly simple and fast tool, and doesn't require fine painting of edges or marking of large swaths of the image to find the most appropriate place to clip. That does mean you don't have quite the same degree of fine control, and it's not quite as powerful for really hard-to-define edges as a professional tool such as Photoshop. (For example, it had trouble differentiating the duck from the rock in the image posted below.) But if you don't have a copy of Photoshop, or want something that's fast and easy, it seems to do a remarkably good job.
Clipping Magic is in alpha right now, so there might yet be improvements to the service while bugs are ironed out. Unfortunately, it's not clear if future versions of the website will remain free or not. The site warns that "the service is free while in alpha. Sign up now to get freebies when the service comes out of alpha!" So you might yet have to pay for it when its in the final form. Clipping Magic is made by the same people as Vector Magic, which costs $8 a month, or $295 for a full desktop license.