No, you could contain a clipping path in a jpg for quite some time. Designers used EPS because it was a lossless format, and programes like Illustrator required an EPS in order to use the outline within the application.
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"In Windows, the Photoshop, JPEG, JPEG 2000, DCS, EPS, PDF, and TIFF formats support paths. In Mac OS, all available file formats support paths." - Photoshop CS Helpfile
This is indeed a neat feature of JPEG files. In fact, one of the questions on my Adobe Certified Exam asked "what file formats support vector paths?", and listed all the web formats which you wouldn't expect, including JPG. Fortunately, I had researched this before.
The JPEG 2000 file format has even more neat features, including being able to focus a Region of Interest as defined by an alpha channel. It supports LOSSLESS compression, as well as 16-BIT color or grayscale files, 8-bit transparency, and it can retain ALPHA channels and SPOT channels. Cool, eh? Macromedia has its money on PNG, but I would back Adobe with JPEG 2000, as I find PNG to compress poorly for the filesize, and look at these new JPEG options - 16 bit color, spot channels, and the same multiple layers of transparency as PNG. The only problem with it is that it requires an additional plug-in that most people don't have.
Demonlike: That article on masking techiques was very good.
I would like to add though, that it's oftimes a good idea to use multiple techniques to properly extract an image (ie, you might use the pen tool to extract one part of a body, then use the extract filter to add in wispy hair). My favorite technique is the Quickmask because it allows for many advanced techniques such as using filters and levels of transparency (either at a set value like 40%, or in a gradient).
In Adobe Photoshop CS4 or later version, you can save your desire clipping path image in any format you wish. Now question is which format you want to choose:
Let me just explain bellow:
Clipping Path for PSD File Format:
I think Photoshop PSD file format is better for clipping path or clipping paths since you can not only draw an outline of an image but also after finishing, the cutting path will be saved so that later you can edit your path also specify a different option such as from the path panel, the value of "flatness value", which is relevant because the more value indicates a more uniform curves deepest clipping shape of an image. The main drawbacks of saving a path in psd is, it requires more space. But comparatively advantage is huge since you can add many image manipulation or photo effects like "masks" or clipping mask. Fill/stroke âsub pathâ can be used when images / photos are compound or complex types. For simple path I do not think it necessary to use these anti-draft panel options.
Clipping Path for TIFF file/JPG File Format:
The main drawback in "TIFF/JPG file format" is when saving a path, you will lose the save path since these file format cant able to contain much information. On the other hand, these formats has advantage too for example it requires less space. So for better web experience these formats are well popular and useful.
So i think you get a clear idea what file format you choose when saving a clipping path image. I personally recommend you use PSD for your personnel image editing experience and JPG format for your web practice.
Another reminder - if you upload an image to DT with a real clipping path it will only be saved in the original version uploaded (large size). All other sizes, smaller and larger will NOT retain the path. So, the images with the words clipping path are not valid keywords. If the buyer thinks they will get the path with the image they purchase they are mistaken, it will only be available if they download the large size.