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Adobe Fireworks CS5 : Extra Credit (part 1) - Applying blending modes for image correction

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8/8/2012 3:25:36 PM
For extra credit, you can make some additional changes to the Fireworks document.

Creative and corrective techniques

You will use a couple of techniques to alter the look of both bitmap images and vectors: image correction and stroking text. The majority of the work has been completed on this file, but there are still chances for you to practice the techniques.

Applying blending modes for image correction

There are many ways to improve the look of bitmap images. Sometimes, though, as here, a quick fix is all you need.

1.
Switch to the Site C page.

The photo in the console screen lacks color and contrast, due to the sun shining on the lens. You will use blending modes and Live Filters to improve the image.

2.
In the Layers panel, expand the screen layer. You see a masked photo.

3.
Select the photo thumbnail in the screen layer. On the canvas, you will see the telltale blue control handle on the image, indicating this photo has been masked. The blue outline indicates the true size of the photo.

4.
Choose Modify > Ungroup.

This breaks the mask apart into its two original objects.

5.
Hide the rounded rectangle by clicking the Show/Hide icon ( ) in the Layers panel.

6.
Drag the photo to the New Bitmap Image button at the bottom of the Layers panel, or press Ctrl+Shift+D (Windows) or Command+Shift+D (Mac).

A duplicate of the photo appears in the screen layer.

7.
Making sure the topmost of these two images is selected, change the blending mode from Normal to Soft Burn in the Layers panel.

The image darkens noticeably, but not so much that a lot of detail is lost.

Before Soft Burn After Soft Burn

8.
Click the Add Live Filters (+) button in the Filters section of the Properties panel, and choose Adjust Color > Hue/Saturation.

9.
Set the Saturation to a value of 30, and click OK.

The new image appears much more lush and green. And because the manipulation was all done using Live Filters and blending modes, the effects are completely editable in the future.

Original image Image with Soft Burn blending mode and Hue/Saturation Live Filter applied

In this case, though, you also need to mask the image combination, which means you’ve got a decision to make. You can’t apply a single mask to a stack of objects in the Layers panel. Grouping the two images together would let you mask the group, but would remove the blending mode once the mask is applied. If you convert the objects to a symbol, the blending mode is also removed. Flattening the two images together (to maintain the appearance of the effects) would rasterize them, so they will no longer be editable.

The solution is to create a duplicate set, then hide and lock one set and flatten the other for masking. Doing so means you can always go back to the images and make changes.

10.
Select both image objects in the Layers panel.

11.
Press Ctrl+Shift+D (Windows) or Command+Shift+D (Mac) to create backup copies.

12.
Press Ctrl+G or Command+G to group the duplicates.

13.
In the Layers panel, rename this group to enhanced group.

14.
In the Layers panel, hide and lock the group.

15.
Hold the Ctrl key (Windows) or the Command key (Mac) to select the remaining two images.

16.
Select Modify > Flatten Selection to merge the two images. The effects are now a permanent part of the new image.

17.
Rename the new flattened image enhanced flattened.

18.
Reveal the rounded rectangle path in the Layers panel by clicking the empty square to the far left of the object name. This will also select the object.

19.
Choose Edit > Cut.

20.
Choose the enhanced flattened object, and then select Edit > Paste As Mask.

If you need to edit the effects later, you can unlock and ungroup the duplicate, make your changes, and then walk through the same steps to put the new version in place.

21.
Save your file.
Other -----------------
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