What is the difference between clipping path mask and retouching?
These are terms used in digital image editing but they were practiced before desktop computers and applications like Adobe Photoshop were in use..
Clipping path is also a mask. Mask are used many ways in graphic arts and image creation and editing. Mask can be opaque or have transparency, they can have a hard edge or soft edge. Mask can isolate parts of an image. Clipping path mask is typically used to isolate a desired part of an image or object in an image. Mask can reveal or hide(mask).
Retouching is done for many reasons. Repairs in photo images of different causes, stains scratches, then retouching is done for removal or replacement of image elements, these are some applications.
The image project workflow may include both techniques or one. These can be applied destructively or used in a non-destructive manor.
Masking and retouching are practices of image editing used by graphic designer, photographers and other professional visual communicators. Image compositing, portraiture refinement are example of some deliverables.
You have been looking at the result of masking and retouching since you first looked at a book, magazine an advertisement with images or watched TV or a film.