Fireworks MX: Bitmap Selections: Combining Tools to Isolate and
Duplicate Objects (Lesson from the Fireworks MX: Selections and
Masking Techniques Training CD)
Level: Intermediate-Advanced Objectives: Create a selection around an object
by combining several bitmap selection tools. Tools & Techniques: Lasso Tool, Oval
Marquee Tool, Magic Wand Tool, Isolating and Selecting Objects, Bitmap
Selections, Adding and Subtracting Selections Preview
final | View
the QuickTime Movie
Often when creating more difficult selections, you'll find by
combining your bitmap selection tools you can more efficiently
create your selection.
If you previewed the final
example you can see how beneficial selections are. By creating
the bitmap selection around her hat, we were then able to duplicate
the hat selection and modify the colors of each copy.
We finished the project by using the Swap Image behavior in Fireworks
MX to add the interactivity to the page.
Step 1: Selecting the Right Tool
for the Job
In this example the object we want to select is this woman's
hat. We're not going to select it to delete it. We only want to
create a selection around the hat for the purpose of creating multiple
copies of the hat and then changing the color of each of the duplicate
Since this example is working with the selection tools, the Lasso
Tool (L) will most likely be our best tool. But before we
begin creating a detailed selection around her hat using the Lasso
Tool (L) (which can be a tedious job for even the most seasoned
designer) we should take a look at the area just outside the
For the most part, the area behind her hat is monochromatic. There
is the grayish/off white sand area and then there's the sea or
sky behind her. With the exception of the subtle texture in those
areas as well as the slight gradation between them, we can treat
each area as a solid color.
This is helpful to know, especially if our goal was to remove
the woman from the background. Let's take a moment and review the
steps we'd take if we wanted to remove the woman from the background.
Selecting the Magic
Wand Tool (W) with a Tolerance of
20 and the Edge set to Anti-Alias,
click once in the sand area (Depending on the image and type
of new background, you may find setting the Edge to Feather
with an Amount of 1 would work better)
Hold down the Shift key and click again in the top area (light blue, sea area)
Continue Shift-Clicking until
you've selected enough of the background that would enable you
to remove it
In this example we now have enough of the background that we
could easily remove it using the Eraser
Tool (E) to remove the extra area.
But we're not selecting the the background in this example. We
only want to select and duplicate the woman's hat. We can use one
of the background techniques to assist us in creating our hat selection.
Select either the Lasso
Tool (L) or one of the Oval
Marquee Tools with the Edge set to Anti-Alias and create
a loose selection around the woman's hat as show in the example
Step 2: Creating Reverse Selections
Once the loose selection is created we can apply the same selection
technique we used earlier when we used the Magic
Wand Tool (W) to add selections. This time, however, we'll
subtract from the selection
Set the Edge to Anti-Alias and
the Tolerance to around 20 (this
number will vary depending on each image and situation but it's
a good starting point in most cases)
Click and hold the Alt Key with
Wand Tool (W) selected and begin clicking inside the selection.
You will see a minus sign next
to the Magic Wand Tool indicating
you're ready to begin subtracting from the selection
Continue Alt-Clicking until
you've selected everything inside the original selection
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