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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.
Filters, be they standard filters from the Filters menu or those from the live filters collection in the Properties panel, are a creative playground. Add to that other techniques such as masking, and your options for creativity are virtually limitless. Here is an example file we're going to be working with. All the assets are on the screen at the moment. We're going to be playing around with them quite a bit. I just want to show you what this actually looks like when it's done. Here I have a start page here. I also have a finished page. So I'm just going to click on the finished version. You can see things have changed significantly.
The text has been styled differently, a very soft fade to a blurry background where we muted out the color. And we played around a bit with adding some Noise and other effects to the lemons. Now we're going to concentrate, at the moment, on the Background. So you'll see everything I've got here is all in one big layer. And I think what I'm going to is just sort of separate things a bit. So I'm going to click on layer 1 and call it foreground. I'm going to select elements that are all part of my foreground, my logo, and my text, and I'm just going to drag those guys into my foreground area, just trying to keep things organized. There.
I'm going to collapse the foreground. And then I'm going to take a look at these two images here. Now both of these are the same image. So I'm going to start off by hiding the top object. I'm going to grab the lower one, select it. And what I'm going to do here is apply a Blur. Now I'm going to do this with my live filters. Again, I like working with the live filters when I can because they are editable at all times. So I'm going to choose Plus sign and go to Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. Now how much Blur you choose is really up to you. Again, the great thing is I don't have to make up my mind right now.
I can leave it at this default setting of 4.1 and I can change it later on. So I'm going to leave it as it stands for the time being. I'm going to click OK. So now we have an out of focus orange grove, not to worry. We're getting to the point where these two tie together. I want to do one more thing with this particular image. And I want to de-saturate it. Again, another live filter, go to Adjust Color and choose Hue/Saturation. I'm going to set the Lightness back down to the mid 0 value here. I just want to suck out some of the color here.
So I'm going to reduce this color down to about -60. And you can see how it's turning into a very pastel type of image, almost like an old faded photograph, and that's the effect I'm going for here. I'm going to click OK. I'm going to bring back my original image, make it visible. So we've hidden the other one completely from view. Now here is where the masking comes in. I'm going to do this really quickly and easily. I'm going to use my Auto Vector Mask tool. So I'm going to go up to my Commands > Creative > Auto Vector Mask. And I want to go from solid on the right -hand side to transparent on the left.
So I'm going to grab that particular version. If I move the dialog box out of the way, you can see what's happening at the moment. We're seeing that fade from nice colorful image into a more muted out of focus image, and that's a general goal I'm aiming for. So I'm going to click Apply. And I want to make a couple of more changes to the way this mask is affecting the image. I'm going to go and reposition things. I'm going to change the angle of my gradient. I'm going to drag it up towards the upper corner, and I'm going to adjust the starting point as well. And then adjust the length of the gradient again, too.
And you can see what's happening here. As I move this starting point, you can see how it fades more or less of the image into that background image. Now the other thing I want to do with this top image is I think I want to make it even punchier, add a little more Saturation to it. So I'm going to go to my live filters, and I'm going to choose Adjust Color. And I'm going to work with Hue/Saturation again. And this time though, I'm going to increase the Saturation, and I'm going to click OK, so a fairly subtle effect. And again, if I want to double check that setting, I can always go back down to my live filters, and I can deselect the option or reselect it.
And as I do this, I'll see the change hidden from view. So I'm going to keep it I think for now. I think that works out fairly well. Next up is our Text. Now as it is, it stands out fairly well, the white text against the darker background, but I would like to do more with this. And I'm going to use a style to change my text. So I'm going to select the text. Go to my Styles panel and style that I want to work with is in my Text Creative Styles here, and there is quite a few to pick from. And one of the ways I normally work with Styles is I just start clicking until I find something that I like.
And I think I am liking that one, but we'll just try a couple of other ones here, not so much, definitely not. So that's a style I can work with. Now a Style is basically a collection of different effects. If you take a look over in the Properties panel again, you'll notice that the live filters panel has gotten populated with a whole bunch of different live filters, and these are all the different Filters that were needed to produce that effect. Tie that in with things such as this text color, and the text stroke, all these things work together to produce that final result.
And the great thing is, if I want to customize that Style, I can go into any one of these Filters and make changes and basically make it my own. All right. There is my Text taken care of. The next thing I'm going to do is mask the lemon down at the bottom right corner. Now you can do this with any of the Bitmap Selection tools. I use the Magic Wand to do it, but for expediency's sake, I've already saved a bitmap selection that we're going to apply to this lemon. So I'm going to go up to my Select menu, and choose Restore Bitmap Selection. And inside of here, I have a bitmap Selection called lemon, and all I need to do is click OK.
And I get my bitmap selection running around my lemon. Now you will notice it's not a perfect selection. And that's because I also feathered the selection so I get a slightly blended effect. So once the selection has been put into place, I can just go to my foreground images, select my lemon and click on my Add Mask icon in the Layers panel. And right away, I've removed the entire background so that's not too bad. Now I'm going to zoom out a bit again, and let's do a little bit more with that lemon.
I want to add a bit more texture to it. Again, make it more of a stylized kind of thing rather than just the actual fruit itself. So I'm going to Select the lemon, and go to my Filters panel, and I'm going to choose Noise this time, and I'm going to select Add Noise. We get this real pebbly texture throughout the bitmap image, which is a bit extreme at the moment. I'm going to tone this down to a significantly lower Amount, maybe something in there just to add a little bit of roughness to it. Maybe I'll type in a value of 10 and click OK.
I want to add in another one of them, and just sort of stack them together. So I'm just going to go up to my Edit menu and choose Duplicate. And Duplicate gives me an exact copy, but sets it off from the original so I can easily find it. Now - right now it's an exact copy. It's the exact same position, exact same size and everything. I'm going to rotate the lemon around a little bit with the Scaling tool, change the angle a little bit, like so. And I'm going to add in one more live filter on this specific lemon to add in a Drop Shadow and an Inner Shadow to add a little more depth to things.
So we'll go to my live Filters menu, and I'll choose Shadow and Glow, and we'll start off with the Drop Shadow. Now, by default, it's in the wrong place. It's over on the right-hand side. I want to change that around. I can do that by changing the Angle. I basically want that shadow to sort of fall on top of the other lemon. I can also increase the size of the shadow. I think I'll make it a little bit larger, and I think I will adjust the angle a little bit more. There were go, something along that line there, and I'll just click away from that editing box to lock in the changes.
And I'll add in one more live filter here, back into my Shadow and Glow, and I'll choose Inner Shadow. And again, this one also is not quite in the right place. So I'm going to go ahead and change that angle as well. And I'm going to increase the size, and maybe make it a little bit softer. And then adjust the angle yet again. All right. I'll just click away from that dialog box. And I've got the three Filters added. Now if I want to check the effect again, I can just hide the Inner Shadow. And this is basically where I want it to be, which is great, and it's overlapping the other lemon.
I could also scale the lemon too, if I wanted it to be a different size. Again, keep in mind, this is a bitmap object. So you don't want to make it bigger than it started out as. You can certainly make it a bit smaller, but don't make it any larger. So I'll zoom out. We'll take a look at the whole production again. So we've done quite a bit here: masking images, applying and customizing Filters, all with the stock features of Fireworks. Now keep in mind, you can also download many third-party Filters, often called plug-ins, from the Web and often they're free. Adding these other plug-ins to your Fireworks inventory is going to expand your options significantly.
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