Adobe Fireworks CS4 How Tos: Staying on the (Vector) Path
- #30 using Vector tools
- #31 Using Shapes as Image Elements
- #32 Understanding the Transform Tools
- #33 Using the Transform Tools
- #34 Distortion-free Scaling with the 9-Slice Scaling Tool
- #35 Creating a Custom Shape
- #36 Understanding the Pen Tool
- #37 Masking an Image with a Vector Shape
- #38 Using the Auto Vector Mask for Quick Fades
Computer drawing tools use mathematical equations to draw lines and fills on the screen are known as vectors. A vector is simply the path between two defined points on the screen with properties applied to them, such as color and thickness. By combining paths and points, a computer can draw almost any shape using vector tools like those found in Fireworks and other vector-based applications such as Adobe Illustrator.
#30 using Vector tools
Fireworks has always had a decent and easy to use set of vector tools. Most of them are found in the Tools panel in their own section. A whole series of prebuilt Auto Shapes are also found in the Shapes panel (more on those later) shown in Figure 30a.
Figure 30a You will find many more shapes in the Shapes panel.
Using vectors is pretty intuitive in Fireworks, but to the new user, they may seem a bit intimidating. Just so you know, I cut my teeth on vectors using Fireworks. They’re nothing like bitmap images or bitmap tools. With a bit of practice you’ll be creating your own custom vector shapes and masks before you know it (Figure 30b).
Figure 30b Several vector tools have additional tools that appear when you press and hold the mouse button over the main tool icon.