Skip Main Navigation

Enter a query to search our site. Note that you can use "*" and "?" as wildcards. Enclosing more than one word in double quotes ("CSS Layout") will search for the exact phrase.

MASKS: Paste as Mask

Just like Paste Inside, the Fireworks Paste as Mask feature enables you to use anything that happens to be hanging around on your system clipboard as a mask. One of the differences is that Paste as Mask can transfer Live Effects from the target image to the clipping path. This exercise will demonstrate how this works.

  • Choose File > Open
  • Browse to the PVII_PhotoMagic directory on your hard drive.
  • Locate the munchkin.jpg file and click on it to select it.
  • Click on Open.

Figure1: The munchkin

With the image still selected,

  • Click on the Add Live Filters button [+] on the Property inspector and choose Shadow and Glow > Inner Glow.
  • The Glow settings are: Width - 6, Color - white, Opacity - 65%, Softness - 4

glow settings
Figure2: Adding an Inner Glow

A Drop Shadow is next.

  • Open the Live Filters menu by clicking on the [+] button on the PI.
  • Choose Shadow and Glow > Drop Shadow.
  • The Shadow settings are: Width - 25, Color - #996666, Opacity - 65%, Softness - 4, Angle - 211.

Note that you will not be able to see the shadow untill the image is clip masked. The clipping object will be a flower shape. To import it,

  • Choose File > Import.
  • Browse to the PVII_PhotoMagic directory on your hard drive.
  • Locate the mum.png file and click on it to select it.
  • Click on Open.
  • Click on the canvas to drop the imported file.

The final image will look best if the baby’s head is centered in the flower shape. To make it easier to position the flower over the baby’s head you can reduce its opacity to around 50%.

reduce opacity
Figure3: Reducing the opacity of the mum image

Once the flower shape is in position,

  • With the flower still selected, choose Edit > Copy to place a copy of the flower on your computer clipboard.
  • In the Layers panel, hide the original flower shape.
  • Click on the baby photo to select it and choose Edit > Paste as Mask.

At this point you can add a new canvas color, or even slip a new image or two onto the canvas under the mask group. To set the canvas color,

  • Click on an empty spot on the canvas to bring up the Canvas Color box on the Property inspector.
  • Click in the Canvas Fill color box to open the Swatches pop-up
  • Use the built in color picker to select the #CC9999 swatch.

To enable the stroke (which was part of the prepared clipping shape),

  • Click on the thumbnail of the clipping mask in the Layers panel.
  • Click in the Show fill and stroke box on the Property inspector.

flower child
Figure4: The masked baby photo. Could you say no to that face?:-)

The Inner Glow and Drop shadow you added to the baby photo have been transferred to the clipping path. Let's explore what happens if, instead of masking the photo with the flower, you mask the flower with the photo.

  • Click on the mask group and choose Modify > Ungroup.
  • Click on the flower image to select it, and then on the down arrow of the stroke type selector on the PI.
  • Choose None to remove the existing stroke.
  • Click on the baby photo to select it.
  • Remove the Inner Glow and Drop Shadow Live effects.
  • Choose Edit > Cut, to place the baby photo on the system Clipboard.

To create the mask group,

  • Click on the flower image to select it.
  • Choose Edit > Paste as Mask.

All of the color information of the photo has disappeared, leaving only the grayscale information. The bitmap has pasted in as an Alpha mask. If you still have the original flower image hidden in the Layers panel, unhide it now. You can use it to add a stroke to the mask group.

  • Click on the thumbnail of the original flower image and drag it above the thumbnails of the mask group.
  • Remove the Fill color of the flower.

bitmap mask
Figure5: The bitmap mask

Things to try: Change the canvas color, or add a rectangle of another color to the canvas and move it behind the mask group. Experiment with adding other photos to the composition. Create an embossed look by clicking on the flower thumbnail of the mask group to select it, and then adding a drop shadow.