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Using Fireworks files for Illustrator

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using Fireworks files for Illustrator

There're going to be times when you need to pass on vector artwork to someone who works in Illustrator. Maybe the file needs to be converted to CMYK, or scaled up for use in print material. Fireworks does have the option to save as an AI file, but the support is limited to Illustrator version 8.0. And this means a lot of the more robust features you can use in Fireworks will be lost when you save the file as AI. Moving complex vector files to Illustrator has become a whole lot easier in CS5 though, thanks to the new FXG 2.0 support in Fireworks. This is a format that Fireworks supports for export and that Illustrator supports for importing and editing.

Using Fireworks files for Illustrator

There're going to be times when you need to pass on vector artwork to someone who works in Illustrator. Maybe the file needs to be converted to CMYK, or scaled up for use in print material. Fireworks does have the option to save as an AI file, but the support is limited to Illustrator version 8.0. And this means a lot of the more robust features you can use in Fireworks will be lost when you save the file as AI. Moving complex vector files to Illustrator has become a whole lot easier in CS5 though, thanks to the new FXG 2.0 support in Fireworks. This is a format that Fireworks supports for export and that Illustrator supports for importing and editing.

So let's take a look at the file we've got onscreen here. These are all vectors. I can grab my Subselection tool, and you can see a whole range of different paths and so on. I've even got couple of other special effects. I've got one that's set to a lower opacity, and I've got an elliptical gradient fill on this one particular olive. And down below, where we see the avocado, I've got a couple of things going on here. I've actually made a change to the blend mode. You'll see the front facing avocado has a blend mode of Darken. There's a whole range of different blend modes you can use in Fireworks.

And we've also got a nice gradient running through the skin of the other piece of the avocado. Now, if we were to export this as Illustrator format only, let's see what happens. So I go to File > Save As, and we'll change this to Illustrator 8 (ai), and I'll just call this olivestuff.ai. So the save happens pretty quickly. Now, we'll just go down to Illustrator, and we'll open up that file.

There's olivestuff, and we'll open that up. And what you can see here is you've got the general concept is fine. All your vectors are here. They're all supported. We've got the individual elements and so on. But things like our opacity, gradient fills, blending modes - all of the stuff was literally tossed out because Illustrator 8 doesn't support those kinds of effects. So while we do have all of our vectors, we don't have quite the same kind of look that we had in the original Fireworks document. Now, let's hop back over to Fireworks, and we'll export this out as FXG and Images.

So File > Export, and we'll change the Export Option to FXG and Images, and I'll create a new folder for this, just to keep everything grouped together. And I'll keep the same file name, and again, it's a pretty quick export process. So I'm going to hop back over to Illustrator one more time. We'll go to File > Open, open up our fxg folder, and you'll see in here, we've got a couple of elements.

We've got the olivestuff FXG file itself, which basically contains all of the vector information, and we also have a folder for any assets that couldn't be converted to vectors. So let's open this file up and see what we get. And there's our FXG version, significantly more robust in terms of its support for the effects we're working with inside of Fireworks. Take a look at the avocado. We've got our gradient fill. We've even got our Blending mode on the top half of the avocado. All those things have been supported. Even our Drop Shadows are maintained quite nicely.

Now, the one spot that didn't come in as a vector was this one olive. You notice as I mouse over all the other vector elements, they show up with an outline. I mouse over that one olive, and it shows up with an indicator that says that this is a bitmap. And the reason for this is that the FXG 2.0 format only supports a couple of types of gradient fills: linear and radial. So anything else, like elliptical, like we had here, isn't supported, and that particular object is exported out as a bitmap graphic. But everything else, I can go ahead and select, for example, my avocado, and I can scale this, and you can see everything's maintained.

There's no rasterization. It's still a nice, high-quality file. So moving forward, this may be a really great option for you. If you're working with vector files inside of Fireworks, you need to move them out to a program like illustrator for CMYK separations or for printing, the FXG format does a good job of maintaining many of the effects that were part of the original file, and supports them inside of Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29425 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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