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tevadar
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masking multiple layers with one mask

Apr 27, 2010 10:12 AM

Is there any way to do this???

 

When I setup template files for say...  thumbnail images  with rounded corners and a dropshadow, I preffer to do this the way that Photshop and imagready allow you to do it > creat a shape and use it to mask whichever layers above it. That way if I choose to make it one or two pixels wider, I just do it to the masking layer and resave the tumbnails out. As far as I can tell Fireworks makes you create a different mask for every layer so you would have to change it in every layer... not the best work flow!

 

 

Thanks for any help with this.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 10:51 AM   in reply to tevadar

    It's not necessary to create a different mask for each layer. What you need to do is add a new layer and, in the New Layer dialog box, check the Share eAcross States box. Add the masking shape to the new layer. With the shape selected, choose Sslect > Select All, and then Modify > Mask > Group as Mask.

     
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    Apr 27, 2010 11:37 AM   in reply to tevadar

    "How come when I create a new layer, it looks like a folder?"

     

    That's the icon Fireworks uses for a new layer. Layers can contain many objects, so it makes sense to use the folder icon.

     

    "can I apply a  mask to that folder/layer?"

     

    You add an object to the new layer to use as a mask for the layers below it. A rounded rectangle, for example. If the rectangle is all white it will clip the objects on underlying layers to its shape. If the rectangle has a black/white gradient, it will fade the objects on the underlying layers.

     
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    Apr 28, 2010 5:31 PM   in reply to tevadar

    I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do. Can you upload an example?

     
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    Apr 28, 2010 8:39 PM   in reply to Linda Nicholls

    Linda, I don't know the answer, but I think I understand the question.

     

    Poster tevadar wants to set up a file where the mask and effects are a template. Imagine this: A bottom layer with a drop shadow. A middle layer with a number of bitmap images. A top layer that sets masking (somehow...in a way that isn't how FW masks normally work).

     

    Then, the bitmaps in the middle layer could be made visible one at a time and exported. If they're the wrong size, adjust the masking, shadow, and slice and re-export.

     

    Hmm...could something like this be done using an animation, then export the animation to images?

     
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    Apr 28, 2010 9:46 PM   in reply to pixlor

    " Hmm...could  something like this be done using an animation, then export the  animation to images?"

     

    My imagination doesn't lead me to a solution using the animation features. How about a custom Command that creates an instant mask with shadow? Let's say I've got a stack of Bitmaps sitting on the canvas. I hide all but the one on top, and then draw a shape I want to mask them with. I'll use a star Auto Shape as an example. If I Shift + Select the bitmap and the star Auto shape, and then choose Modify > Mask > Group as Mask, the bitmap gets clipped to the shape of the star, and the Group as Mask step gets recorded by the History panel. If I then select the now star shaped bitmap, I can add a drop shadow to it. The drop shadow step is also recorded by the History panel. If I Shift + Select the two steps that were recorded in the History panel, [Group + Set LIve Filter] I can click on the Save as Command icon at the bottom of the History panel, give my new Command a name (I'll use Shadow Mask), and then save it to the FW Commands list.

     

    Once my command is available, I can use it as follows.

     

    -Choose Modify > Ungroup to ungroup my original bitmap/star mask group

    -Hide bitmap 1

    [note that the star shape is still sitting on top of the stack of  hidden  bitmaps]

    -Resize the star shape as I wish

    -Unhide bitmap number 2

    -Choose Select > Select All to select the star shape and the second bitmap.

    -Apply my custom "Shadow Mask" Command.

    -Export

    -Ungroup and follow the steps above to mask and export the images.

     

    It's still a bit fussy, but it saves a couple of steps. I'll bet someone could create an extension that makes it even easier.

     

     
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    May 5, 2010 9:33 PM   in reply to tevadar

    for me is use 1 layer mask with 1

    symbol which contains multiple layers of images. i can switch the layers to display the active image i want to show

     

    Advantages

    1. only use 1 layer mask

    2. can group all images within a symbol

    3. can swap other image sets also using symbols

    4. can apply effects to the layer mask i.e. stroke / shadows

     

     

    i hope this workflow can also help you

     
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    May 5, 2010 9:42 PM   in reply to Linus Lim

    Can you give us a step by step instruction of how you create a layer mask in Fireworks?

     
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    May 6, 2010 12:32 AM   in reply to Linda Nicholls

    1.Draw a basic shape you want for the mask

    2. import your image

    3. Cut the this imported image by pressing ctrl+x

    4. select the basic shape you just drawn

    5. go to edit and choose "paste inside"

    6. your layer mask is created

     

    View layer mask in Layer panel

    7. click on the layer mask in the "Layers panel" (the black part)

    8. the PI should display object as "Vector Mask"

     
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    May 6, 2010 1:25 AM   in reply to Linus Lim

    IMHO, it's best not to use terms, like "layer mask" to describe the simple masking methods used in Fireworks. It can be confusing to people just learning how to use Fireworks by creating an expectation that masking works the same way in FW as it does in Photoshop.

     
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    May 6, 2010 2:16 AM   in reply to Linda Nicholls

    i have to disagree with you. the concept behind masking is the same as PS. using black and white

    and midtone grey can show, hide and semi hide. same concept behind gradient masking.

     

    vector mask and bitmap mask in FW still applies the same principles of masking. it is just that in FW for vector shape mask, the default mode is path outlines. in fact, you can still set it to follow grayscale mode to acheive same effect as bitmap mask.

     

    to support my explanation, just put a bitmap in mask mode and use brush to paint over the image using black or white.

     

    additional, layer mask in PSD can be render as layer mask when open in FW. and you can continue to work on it using FW tools

     
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    May 6, 2010 3:49 AM   in reply to Linus Lim

    I don't dissagree with your methods, just the terminology. :-)

     
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    May 6, 2010 6:23 AM   in reply to Linus Lim

    Fireworks calls this a BITMAP mask. It's never been called a Layer mask in FW. It's not masking layers, it's masking objects. Layer mask implies that ONE mask can mask multiple layers, which is not the case in Fireworks. Masks in Fireworks affect the object level only. They are however, constructed the same way - from a bitmap selection, image or bitmap painting tools. And yes, in general, FW does support layer masks from PS as bitmap masks in FW

     

    A LAYER mask in Photoshop can, however, mask multiple layers, when those layers are in groups. BItmap masks in FW can't do this in the same manner. In fact if you mask a layer group in PS, the layer mask used is discarded when you open the PSD in FW.

     

    SImilar functionality can be gained in Fireworks by first grouping a series of objects, then applying a mask to the group. However, repositioning the grouped objects is not as easy as repositioning masked layer groups in PS. In PS, you just have to select the layer and use the move tool to rearrange a specific layer. In Fireworks, you must use the Subselection tool and do all your manipulation directly on the canvas. The objects are not seen as distinct elements in the Layers panel when grouped.

     

    HTH clear things up

     

    Jim Babbage

     
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    May 6, 2010 5:37 PM   in reply to tevadar

    "Now if we could just get them to add the "edit symbol" function to the  right click menu (when you click on the symbols layer) it would be  better than Photoshop/Imageready "

     

    You can, actually. You can Shift + Select each layer in the Layers panel, and then convert them to a symbol. You can then mask the symbol.  Double clicking on the mask group opens the symbol in the symbol editor, where you can show/hide each object contained in the symbol, rearrange them, resize them, etc. The only drawback is that the objects contained in the symbol are all deposited in a single layer when you convert them to a symbol. It's easy to move them back into their own layers if you break the symbol apart, however.

     
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