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Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
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Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools


From:

Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

with Jim Babbage

Video: Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools

If you're still coming to grips with the Pen tool but also want to edit or customize vector shapes, then the Reshape Area and Freeform Path tools may be just what you need. Now onscreen, I've got a file called peppers_working.png. And it has a couple of samples of the finished work here, the green and red peppers that we see here. And beside that I've got a much simpler version of the pepper. We're going to use the Freeform tool to adjust the shape of this and make it a little more similar to what we're seeing in our finished samples.
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
8h 51m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Fireworks CS5 Essential Training, author Jim Babbage gives a detailed overview of Fireworks CS5, Adobe's software for creating and optimizing web graphics and interactive prototypes. This course includes a detailed tour of the interface, the enhanced PNG format, and the image editing toolset in Fireworks. Critical concepts, such as prototyping for HTML applications and working with symbols, the heart of an efficient workflow in Fireworks, are covered in detail. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Customizing the workspace
  • Working with pages, layers, and states
  • Importing content
  • Comparing bitmaps and vectors
  • Creating and editing vector shapes
  • Converting artwork into graphic, button, and animation symbols
  • Animating in Fireworks
  • Maintaining crisp text in web images
  • Sharing content between pages
  • Optimizing images for export
  • Integrating with Device Central, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Fireworks
Author:
Jim Babbage

Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools

If you're still coming to grips with the Pen tool but also want to edit or customize vector shapes, then the Reshape Area and Freeform Path tools may be just what you need. Now onscreen, I've got a file called peppers_working.png. And it has a couple of samples of the finished work here, the green and red peppers that we see here. And beside that I've got a much simpler version of the pepper. We're going to use the Freeform tool to adjust the shape of this and make it a little more similar to what we're seeing in our finished samples.

Now, these tools are all located in one location in the Vector tool set down in the bottom-left corner. If I click and hold, you'll see I've got the Freeform tool. I've got the Reshape Area tool. I've also got the Path Scrubber tool - additive and the Path Scrubber tool - subtractive. The Path Scrubber tools are something we'll look at in a different lesson. So, I've got my Freeform tool selected, and the Freeform tool works with a brush size. So if you take a look down in the Properties panel, you'll see currently the size is about 5 pixels, which is actually a fairly small circle. We're going to increase the value here to about 60.

And this is the kind of thing you'll probably have to do with a bit of trial and error. I know 60 will work for me because of some testing. Now, if I move my cursor into my vector shape, notice I don't even have to have the vector shape selected, I'm going to click once and hold the mouse button down, and you'll see right away, we have all these control points all over the shape that weren't there before. These are all going to be used to help us to distort, or reform, or reshape the vector path. Now, when I start to move the mouse, you'll see that I get a brush size, it's that fairly big circle here, and that's fine. I just want to round off that left side of the pepper, and it takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable with this, and the idea here is we still want to retain the nice smooth curve.

Now, if I click away, we'll see how we did. That's not too bad. It's a little dip in there. But again, we're not - we want something that looks a little more organic. If I want to continue editing that, I'll just go ahead and grab the Reshape Area tool again, and because I'm working with a fairly big brush, it's a good idea to put your brush somewhere where you know it won't touch any of the sides immediately. There we go. Because of this little effect, any path that it touches. I can also go from the outside in, so I'm not stuck with just pushing out. I can also push in. There we go.

And I'll just reselect, and that's not too, too bad. We can certainly play around with that more. We actually now have more control points to experiment with this. So, I could use my Subselection tool to go in there and tweak those individual control points a little bit more as well. Now, the other spot that I want to adjust is down here at the bottom of the pepper. I want to take a little bit of the sharpness off of that, sort of hook in the pepper. And we're going to use the same tool, again, for this, and we're going to work with it from the inside and from the outside. I'm going to grab my Freeform tool again, and I'm going to reduce the size, in this case down to quite a small amount, somewhere around 10 to begin with.

And you might notice you have to get somewhat close to your object before the Freeform tool becomes available. Now, I think what I'll do, as well, is I'll zoom in a little. There we go. That's a little bit better. I'm just taking some of the sharpness off of that corner. And then if I zoom back out again, and click away from the pepper, you'll see I've got a little bit of a softer curve there. It's still a bit longer of a point than there are other samples here, and we can certainly play around with that as well, but we're getting the idea, and the point here is you can experiment with this and adjust things as you need to.

The Reshape Area tool is a little bit different. It's kind of like finger painting with the vector. You can literally push the pixels in the path around, customize your own shapes in that manner too. Again, I'm just going to check and see, my brush size is fairly large at the moment. So, I'm just going to go ahead and reduce the size of this down to about 10. There we go. And this gives me the ability to literally paint. I'm sort of pull and push the pixels around. It's a slightly different kind of effect than we had with the Freeform tool.

And just to give you more a exaggerating example of what this will do, I'm going to up to the top of my pepper here, and I'm going to just start from the inside out, and we'll see what happens if I really sort of push the limits of this tool. I think I'll make it a little bit bigger, and it's kind of like just sort of smushing everything around. Now, not really what we want there, but you can see you can do quite a few things with this to distort the overall image quite a bit. So, I'll zoom back out. We're seeing a little bit of redraw issue here. That's nothing to worry about. Now, basically you've got a couple of different tools here that can help you make an existing shape a little more natural-looking, a little more organic-looking.

So, if you're looking for a more of visual answer to making your shapes a little more realistic, then the Reshape Area, and the Freeform tools may be the way to go.

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