8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2012 11:16 PM by groove25

    Masking out texture?

    StanWelks Level 1

      I'm following this tutorial:




      and am confused by the step where I need to mask out the texture. I create a shape, I have made the shape have a linear grayish gradient and a solid gray gradient, though neither of those work. I select the shape and the shape underneath and choose Modify > Mask > Group as mask, though my results do not match what they are supposed to. What am I doing wrong? I'm using cs6. These are screenshots of my attempts.1.png2.png



        • 1. Re: Masking out texture?
          lindan19994533 Level 4

          The shape you use for masking needs to be solid white, without an outline.



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          • 2. Re: Masking out texture?
            StanWelks Level 1

            when I select the white shape and the gradient beneath it and mask them, nothing happens, however, I noticed if I select all, there is a rounded rectangle off my canvas and then if I choose to mask the two shapes, it works. However, if I delete the rounded shape off the canvas, then select the white rounded rectangle and the gradient, nothing happens after masking it. Attached are the pics. Any idea what this is off of the canvas, and why it is there?1.png2.png3.png

            • 3. Re: Masking out texture?
              lindan19994533 Level 4

              Why is there a rounded rectangle off your canvas? Just delete it and create the mask group.

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              • 4. Re: Masking out texture?
                StanWelks Level 1

                I do not know why it was there, I did delete it, though after deleting it for some odd reason, the mask group does not work when I select both of the two shapes on the canvas. It only works when everything including the shape off campus are selected. I was wondering if there was some crazy reason for this that I was not aware of with a shape being necessary off canvas. I guess I will start over and try again....

                • 5. Re: Masking out texture?
                  groove25 Level 4

                  Stan: Has anybody taught you "black hides, white reveals" (or "darkness hides, light reveals")? It's a good rule of thumb for working with masks. A white mask reveals all of the object to which it's applied, whereas a black mask hides all of the object. Transparency is analogous to black, so a black object on a transparent background, when applied as a mask to an object, can appear no different from a fully black mask.


                  Before you give up on a mask, though, be sure to select the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel and have a look at it in the Properties panel. Masks have two rendering modes in Fireworks (Path Outline/Alpha Channel vs. Grayscale); try changing the rendering mode to see which one works better for you. Also realize that, with the mask selected, you may also be able to adjust the properties of the object that's acting as a mask (for instance, if it's a vector object, changing its Fill color).


                  Properties w_Mask selected.png

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                  • 6. Re: Masking out texture?
                    StanWelks Level 1

                    1.) How do you use the fact that black hides and white reveals in my example? I tried using a solid white shape, black shape, and varying the amount of transparency for the shape. Can you give me a brief example to help me understand this concept?


                    2.) I tried both path outline and greyscale options for the selected mask, though I did not see any difference.


                    Thank you!

                    • 7. Re: Masking out texture?
                      groove25 Level 4

                      My input may not directly relate to the tutorial; I just thought it'd be good for you have a bit more background on the subject of masking. (The tutorial seems of moderate difficulty or higher and doesn't cover these basics.)

                      • 8. Re: Masking out texture?
                        groove25 Level 4

                        Here's a thing about free online tutorials: They're not always worth the paper they're printed on.


                        If you look closely at the screenshots in your second reply, you'll see a difference in the placement and size of the circular swirl. The mask is having an effect; it's just not having the effect you might expect it to have. There's something peculiar about the Radial Blur effect, where it actually responds to the mask and adjusts its centerpoint and size accordingly. This isn't explained in the tutorial and it's very confusing.


                        There's a way around this, which is to flatten the first object (the one with Noise and Radial Blur) before applying the second object (the white rounded rectangle) as a mask...


                        Anyway, the rule of thumb is, if a tutorial seems confusing, it probably is. Stick with it if it really seems worthwhile, but otherwise, move on to something better.