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.

VIGNETTES: Vector Mask Vignettes

One of the things that makes Fireworks a delight to work with is that there is always more than one way to accomplish a task. You’ve just learned the traditional method of creating a vignette. It's even easier to do with a mask. Here’s how:

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

You'll use the vector Ellipse tool to draw the mask ellipse.

  • Click on the Ellipse tool to select it.

ellipse tool
Figure1: Selecting the Ellipse tool

  • In the Property inspector, change the Edge setting from Anti-Alias to Feather by 20.
  • Drag out a 220 pixel wide by 330 pixel high ellipse.

Center the ellipse over the upper body of the woman.

Tip: Temporarily reduce the opacity of the ellipse so you can see where you are placing it.

  • Press Shift and select both the image and the ellipse.
  • Choose Modify > Mask > Group as mask.

mask group
Figure2: The masked image (shown at reduced size)

The feathered mask has faded the image edges as effectively as the Elliptical marquee tool. Vector masks come with a bonus too. Fireworks strokes can be applied to the mask path to create edge effects. To see how this works, you’ll need to give the canvas a color.

  • Click on an empty spot on the canvas to bring up the canvas setting selectors on the Property inspector.
  • Click inside the Canvas Fill Color box to open the swatches pop-up.
  • Select the white swatch, or sample a color from the image itself.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the thumbnail of the masking ellipse to select it.

Fireworks highlights both the thumbnail and path of the masking ellipse on the canvas in bright green.

green highlight
Figure3: Select the thumbnail of the masking object

  • In the Property inspector, click in the Stroke Fill Color box and select the black swatch.

Because the mask is an Alpha mask, only the grayscale color range is available in the Swatches pop-up.

  • Click in the Stroke Fill Color box and set the location of the stroke to Centered on Path.
  • Click on the Down arrow of the stroke type selector and choose Unnatural > Toxic Waste.
  • Set the Stroke size to 35, and the stroke Edge property to 100%.

The result is a lacy, double edged frame around the image that fades the edges into the background of the page.

Figure4: Lace edged image

Let’s try another stroke. Although it would be more appropriate for a photo of a child, you’ll do a “Pixie Dust” edge.

  • Click on the thumbnail of the mask ellipse in the Layers panel.
  • Click on the Down arrow of the Stroke category selector and choose Random > Squares.
  • Set the stroke size to 15, and the stroke edge softness to 100%.

pixie dust
Figure5: Pixie dust effect

Illumination effects are nice with this edge style. To create them,

  • Open the Image Editing panel (Window > Others > Image Editing.
  • Select the Dodge tool.
  • In the Property inspector, set the Dodge tool size to 60, the Edge to 100, the Shape to round, the Range to Highlights, and the Exposure to 50.
  • Click on the highlight at the top, front of the woman's hair with the Dodge tool. of the woman’s hair.
  • Click on the woman’s hand, her cheek, and the brass buttons of her jacket with the Dodge tool

Figure6: Mood lighting