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This chapter is from the book

Blending Modes

You can further enhance an object's appearance by applying blending modes on the Layers panel (see Figure 5.32). This becomes especially interesting when you overlap various objects in your artwork.

Figure 5.32Figure 5.32 The Blending Modes control in the Layers panel.

Blending modes is a way of using an object's color to interact with an underlying object's color in such a way as to produce an effect that's similar to a mask or a filter.

Blending modes is created by the presence of the following attributes:

  • The blend color, which is the color that is applied to the blending mode.

  • The transparency, or opacity, of the color to which the mode is applied.

  • The base color, or the color beneath the blend color.

  • The final result color or effect of the blend of the interacting objects.

To get a better idea of blending modes in action, open the blending_modes.png file from the Exercises/05 folder on the accompanying CD-ROM (see Figure 5.33).

Figure 5.33Figure 5.33 The Blending modes.

Notice that a total of 13 blending modes exist:

  • Normal—Does not apply any blending.

  • Multiply—Takes the base color and multiplies it with the blend color to yield darker colors.

  • Screen—Multiplies the opposite, or inverse, of the blend color to give a bleaching effect.

  • Darken—Uses the darkest shade and lightens all colors lighter than the blend color.

  • Lighten—Uses the lightest color as the blend color and darkens all the colors darker than it.

  • Difference—Subtracts the object color from the base color, or the base color from the object color. The color with less brightness is subtracted from the color with greater brightness.

  • Hue—Uses the hue value of the blend color and the luminance and saturation of the base color to create a result.

  • Saturation—Mixes the saturation of the blend color with the luminance and hue of the base color to create a result.

  • Color—Mixes the hue and saturation of the blend color with the luminance of the base color while preserving the gray values. This colorizes, or tints, the image.

  • Luminosity—Mixes the luminance of the blend color with the hue of the base color to create the result.

  • Invert—Inverts the base color.

  • Tint—Adds gray to the base color.

  • Erase—Erases all the base color pixels.

When you group objects that use different blending modes, the group's blending mode dominates the blending modes of the individual objects. When you ungroup them, the original blending modes are restored.

Edge Control

Fireworks enables you to modify the edge of a filled object. You can set the edge to Hard, Anti-alias, and Feather (see Figure 5.34):

  • Hard—Sets the edge to a hard, or distinct, edge. Sometimes, this results in jaggy edges.

  • Anti-Alias—The default edge setting for vector objects. Anti-Aliasing smoothes the jagged edges that occur on diagonal lines and rounded objects so that the colors of the object blend smoothly into the background.

  • Feather—Creates a faded edge effect Feather creates a fade to transparent that starts with opaque image color at a specific pixel distance inside the selected object's path or selection marquee and extending to an equal pixel distance beyond that path or selection marquee where the image's pixels become transparent.

Figure 5.34Figure 5.34 Three stars with their edges set to Hard, Anti-Alias, and Feather.

Controlling Object Edges

To control the edge of an object by using the Property Inspector, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Fill panel if it is not already showing.

  2. Select an object by using the Pointer tool from the Tools panel.

  3. In the Fill panel, choose an option from the Edge pop-up menu: Hard, Anti-Alias, or Feather.

  4. To set a feathered edge, select the number of pixels on each side of the edge that are to be feathered.

  5. The default setting for Feather is 10. As you increase the amount, the object's edge becomes increasingly more transparent to the underlying canvas or underlying objects.

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