WEB 215 Chapter C Lecture Notes -
Objective #1: Work with imported files.
- While Fireworks' strengths mainly lie in its ability to handle vector graphics, it allows you to import and combine bitmap images (aka pixel-based or raster images) with vector graphics. Importing bitmap images increases the size of a Fireworks document.
- Other Fireworks images can be copied and pasted or dragged into another Fireworks .png file. You can often copy and paste or drag images from other graphics programs into a Fireworks file.
- You can use the File/Import menu command to import bitmap graphics into a Fireworks file. The new graphic is usually inserted into its own layer. You must click the corner icon somewhere on the canvas to actually place the imported graphic or image.
- You can also use the File/Import menu command to import vector files from programs such as Macromedia FreeHand, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDraw into a Fireworks file. Sometimes, you can edit objects or layers within the imported vector file. Or, you can use the Vector File Options window to choose various options with regard to importing the graphic.
- Files from programs that use CMYK colors (e.g. FreeHand or Photoshop) will be converted to RGB colors when they are imported.
Objective #2: Work with bitmap selection tools.
- Fireworks is not as powerful as Photoshop when it comes to editing and creating bitmap graphics but it's useful for a number of tasks.
- A marquee selection (aka marching ants) indicates a selected region of a bitmap image.
- You can save a bitmap pixel selection while a document is open using the Marquee, Lasso, and Magic Wand tools.
- You can copy or move a bitmap pixel selection using the Edit/Bitmap via Copy or Edit/Bitmap via Cut Insert menu commands.
- The Marquee tool can be used as a rectangle or an oval. Hold down the Alt key to draw a selection from the center outwards. Hold down the Shift key to create a perfect circle or square. You can choose Normal, Fixed Ratio, or Fixed Size from the Style menu on the Property Inspector. You can also choose Hard, Anti-Alias, or Feather from the Edge menu. Anti-Alias will give you a smoother edge while Feather blurs the edges of the selection.
- The Scale tool resizes objects. Avoid enlarging bitmap images if possible because Fireworks may have to resample them, causing them to look blurred and chunky.
- The Skew tool slants objects.
- The Distort tool changes the size and proportion of an object giving it perspective.
- The black sizing handles can be used to transform or rotate an object.
Objective #3: Create and use selection areas.
- The Lasso tool allows you to more accurately define a bitmap selection rather than simply creating ovals or rectangles with the Marquee tool. You trace the outline that you would like to select. Or, you can click specific spots to rather than dragging the mouse in a freeform manner.
- Use the Select Inverse menu command to select the pixels outside of the area that you originally selected.
- After making a selection, you can press the delete key to erase it.
- After making an original selection, you can hold down the Shift key to add to it. (Look for a plus sign.) Hold down the Alt key to remove a selected area.
- The Expand Marquee and Contract Marquee menu commands allow you to enter the number of pixels to add to or subtract from the border of a bitmap selection. This may be necessary when deleting the background area of a cropped graphic to avoid a halo effect.
- Use the Save Bitmap Selection menu command to save a more fine-tuned selection. Use the Restore Bitmap Selection menu command to ignore a recent selection in favor of the previously saved one.
- At anytime you can deselect a selection area by clicking the Select/Deselect menu command.
Objective #4: Select areas based on color.
- The Magic Wand tool can be used to select pixels based on color. By specifying the edge and tolerance settings of the magic wand, you can select pixels that are within a narrow range of color hue. The greater the tolerance the more of a range of color hues will be selected.
- You can flatten or merge various sets of selected pixels into one bitmap selection to simplify your Layers Panel. This also decreases the size of your Fireworks file. But you can no longer break apart or ungroup the flattened selections.
- The Modify/Merge Down menu command merges selected objects with the bottom-most selected bitmap object.
- Choose multiple vector or bitmap objects and click the Modify/Flatten menu command to combine them into a single bitmap object.
- The Flatten Layers menu command converts all of the layers into one single layer.
- The Select/Select Similar menu command can select one shade of a graphic. This can be used to remove a background and crop a bitmap image.
- If you successfully remove a background from a desired bitmap image in the foreground, you should set the canvas color to the same color as the background of the web page where you plan to use the cropped bitmap. Otherwise, artifacts will appear around the image. Artifacts are small off-color pixels created when an edge mixed with the wrong color is used in anti-aliasing.