WEB 215 Chapter B Lecture Notes -
Objective #1: Use the vector tools & modify multiple vector objects.
- A vector object is formed by a vector path. You can think of the path as being the outline of the object. A path can be a straight line or a curved line. It can also form a closed or open path.
- A vector path consists of anchor points which can be manipulated to change the path. The more anchor points contained in a path, the more precisely you can maneuver the path.
- A path can be drawn with the Vector Path tool or the Pen tool. The Pen tool is used to click separate anchor points. The Vector Path tool can be used to draw a path in one fluid motion.
- The anchor points on an object that has curves are called curve points. If an anchor point is formed by an angle or exists on a straight part of a path, the point is called a corner point. A corner point can be changed into a curve point and vice versa.
- Anchor points can be moved, added, or deleted from a path at any time. To delete an anchor point, double-click it with the Pen tool. You can move the points with the Subselection tool.
- A curve anchor point has point handles that can be dragged to change the size and angle of a curve. The curves in a vector object's path are called Bezier curves. It can be tricky to modify a Bezier curve by dragging the point handles. It may be easier to use the Reshape Area tool to modify part of a curve.
- To connect two unconnected paths, use the Pen tool to click on the end point of one path and then click the end point of the other.
- The properties of a vector path include shape, size, fill, and stroke. These properties can be changed at any time during the life of a Fireworks file.
- Vector objects can be resized at any time with the quality of the vector object remaining consistent. This is due to the fact that it is easy for Fireworks to mathematically enlarge a vector path.
- Multiple vector objects can be grouped or joined together in various ways.
- Use the Modify/Align menu command to align two objects. Shift-click to select two or more objects and then click the appropriate submenu command under the Modify/Align command.
- You can use the Modify/Group menu command to group multiple objects together after shift-clicking to select them. You can even group bitmap objects with vector objects. This is also an efficient way to modify the properties of multiple objects at once. For example, to set the fill color of multiple objects to the same color, you can group them and then set the appropriate fill color and then use the Modify/Ungroup command to ungroup them if desired.
- The paths of multiple objects can be modified in efficient and interesting ways using the Modify/Combine Paths submenu commands Join, Split, Union, Intersect, Punch, and Crop.
- Highlight two or more paths and then use the Join command to create a single merged object. If the two paths were closed, the result is one composite path. If the two paths were open, the result is one continuous path.
- Use the Split command to split apart paths that were previously combined using the Join command.
- Use the Union command to create a path that is formed by the outline of all of the sum of all the paths. The properties (i.e. fill, stroke, effects, etc.) of the resulting object will be the same as those that were found in the object in the lowest layer.
- Use the Intersect command to create a path formed by only those areas that the original selected paths have in common. Again, the properties (i.e. fill, stroke, effects, etc.) of the resulting object will be the same as those that were found in the object in the lowest layer.
- Use the Punch command to cause the outline of the path in the highest layer to cut out its outline through the paths formed by the objects below it.
- There are several ways to make a copy of an object in Fireworks.
- You can use the Edit/Copy and Paste menu commands. The new copy of the object is placed directly over the top of the original object in the same layer. You can paste the object to other layers or frames in your Fireworks document.
- You can use the Edit/Clone menu command. The new copy of the object is placed directly over the top of the original object in the same layer.
- You can use the Edit/Duplicate menu command. The new copy is placed 10 pixels below and to the right of the original object.
Objective #2: Use color effectively.
- Solid colors can be used as fill colors for vector objects in Fireworks. It is common to use hexadecimal values to denote specific colors in graphics programs, especially ones primarily used to create graphics for the Web or computers as opposed to printed documents.
- Gradient colors can be applied as the fill of vector objects. A gradient is an interesting blend of solid colors. Fireworks includes a number of preset gradients but you can create custom-made ones.
- Textures can be used as the fill of vector objects.
- Web dither colors can be used as the fill of vector objects. Other than the Web 216 palette of colors, a color may not dependably be represented on someone else's computer. Web dithered colors are created when Fireworks automatically blends two web safe colors to approximate one that is not websafe.
- A pattern fill is a bitmap image that is used to tile the fill area of a vector object. You can create a pattern in another program (e.g. using a custom brush in Photoshop) and import the bitmap into Fireworks for the purpose of using it as a pattern fill. However, Fireworks includes a number of preset pattern fills.
- The Color Mixer can be used to choose a fill or stroke color. You can select a specific color by typing its RGB or hexadecimal value.
Objective #3: Apply effects to objects and text.
- There are a number of built-in effects that can be used under the Filters menu command or by clicking the Effects button on the Property Inspector. Such effects include bevel, emboss, shadow, and glow. Other professional graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop have many more effects, filters, and plug-ins, which can be purchased and installed to work with most graphics programs.
- You can apply multiple effects to an object in Fireworks. However, adding effects in different order can cause different results for the object. If you add an effect using the Property Inspector, you can drag the effects so that they are applied in a different order.
- You can remove an effect that was added in the Property Inspector by clicking the minus sign button.
- Often, effects added by using the Filters menu command cannot be edited or undone afterwards. Live effects that are added using the button on the Property Inspector can be edited later.
- Realize that adding effects usually drives up the size of an exported graphic.
- Changing the transparency of an object is a very useful effect. An object is opaque if you cannot see through it. If an objects transparency property is low, like 10%, then you can pretty much see right through it.
Objective #4: Apply a style to text.
- A style is a set of effects and properties that can be applied to multiple objects. A style can be created and saved in Fireworks for reuse in the same or even a different document. This increases the consistency within a graphic file and also saves development time.
- You can create, review, or apply styles using the Styles panel.
- Text styles include properties such as font, size, and style.
- Object properties include fill, stroke, and effects.