7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2009 6:48 PM by Doug Hungarter

    Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!

    Patzerooni

      Hey guys

      I want to apply an outer glow to a vector shape, but with the fill of the shape having an alpha of 50% 

      I can't for the life of me find a way of doing this without the glow shining through! The only way I could figure out to make a fill transparent at all was by choosing linear gradient and using the opacity sliders to set both shades to 50% - This works if you have a stroke applied, but if you try adding a glow or shadow it shows through the transparency....grrr

      I know you can use 'knockout' on some filter effects, but that just takes it out completely...

      In photoshop it's just a case of using the 'fill' opacity slider (as opposed to the 'layer' slider) and setting it to the alpha required with any effect applied...

      Been searching high and low for the answer to this one, I can't believe this doesn't seem possible!

      Any help much appreciated

      Cheers

      Pat

        • 1. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
          Dave Hogue Level 2

          Pat,

           

          When you drew your vector shape, did you adjust the opacity to 50% in the Property Inspector?  It's located above the Filters and defaults to 100.

           

          I draw a simple rounded rectangle, filled it with pale yellow, gave it 5 px black stroke, then adjusted the object opacity in the Property Inspector. (Note that the fill AND the stroke will both have 50% opacity - if you do not want that, you'll need to duplicate your object, remove the fill color, set the opacity to 100%, and make sure that the duplicate is positioned exactly on top of the original with the fill.)

           

          Once I had the vector rectangle with the 50% opacity, I added a Filter > Shadow and Glow > Glow, and set it to be a big orange glow. Nothing showed through on the inside of the vector rectangle - the glow was only on the outside.  (However, if you have a vector object with NO fill color, then the glow shows up on both the inside AND outside of the stroke - this sounds like your situation.)

           

          If your fill object and your stroke object are separate, this may be why the glow is "bleeding" into the inside of the shape (if the glow is applied to the stroke object.) Vector objects must have a fill color for the glow to appear only on the outside - try adding the glow to you fill object instead or just use a single vector object that has both stroke and fill.

           

          Hope that helps.

          • 2. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
            Patzerooni Level 1

            Hi Dave,

             

            Thanks for the reply

             

            I actually meant having a full opacity glow, with a 50% alpha fill rather than the opacity of the glow being affected as well.

             

            In photoshop you have layer opacity, which affects everything on that layer. Then you have fill opacity just below it, which only affects the fill of an object - so any affect or stroke applied will stay at the same opacity. This doesn't seem possible in fireworks at all but really surprises me, surely it's not such a strange request?!!

             

            I'm hoping it's just something I've missed, but can't seem to find the answer anywhere...hmmm

            • 3. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
              heathrowe Most Valuable Participant

              Unfortunately, the PI Opacity properties and the Object Layer Panel Opacity setting are synced. So when you adjust one, it is reflected in the other. (Unlike Ps).

               

              Alternate workaround:

              Create two same size Shapes

                - Set one to Fill/no stroke

                - Set the other to no Fill/Stroke > Centered, then Apply Filter > Glow

                - Change Opacity of the Shape that has the Fill

               

              h

              • 4. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
                Dave Hogue Level 2

                Thanks for clarifying how you want the opacity to be applied, and you're right that the glow also has the same opacity that is applied to the object.

                 

                Here's another work around:

                 

                Draw your vector object and duplicate it (CTRL+SHIFT+D), select the lower object (fill only, no stroke) and assign the 50% opacity.

                 

                Now select the upper object, give it the stroke you want (and go into Stroke Options and choose "Stroke Outside" so that it appears completely outside the fill color of the object below it), change the fill color to pure white, add the Filter > Glow, then change the blend mode to "Subtractive."

                 

                You should now see a full opacity glow and stroke, but the white fill will allow the 50% opacity fill beneath it to show through.  Note that the stroke of the upper vector will blend with whatever is behind it, so it you want a completely opaque stroke, you can remove the stroke from the vector with the glow and create a third vector object that is stroke only (no fill) and is above the vector with the glow.

                 

                Finally, blend modes can be very powerful, but I'm not very good at using them.  Here's a great list of what they are and some info about what they do:

                 

                http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Fireworks/10.0_Using/WS4c25cfbb1410b0021e63e3d1152b00d169-7fd5 .html

                 

                Note that the blend mode you need to use may change based on the fill color with the 50% opacity, because some blend modes change their effect based on if the color is more or less than 50% grey luminosity.  You may need to play around with different blend modes to find one that works for you, and you may need to try either pure white or pure black as the fill color in the vector object with the glow, because some blend modes are relative to white while others are relative to black... (Now you see why I get confused and often just try different modes until I get what I want!)

                 

                Here's an example of what I did - it's a Fireworks source file, so you should be able to save it and look inside:

                 

                opacity_fill.fw.png

                 

                Hope this helps!

                 

                Dave

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
                  Patzerooni Level 1

                  Hi Dave,

                   

                  Thanks for your in depth reply

                   

                  Wow, I still can't believe such a simple thing is so complicated!!

                   

                  Your workaround would be good, only if you apply this technique of using the subtractive blending mode it actually changes the colour of the glow if you use a background colour other than white!

                   

                  I will have a play around with the blending modes more though as you suggested...

                  • 6. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
                    Dave Hogue Level 2

                    Patzerooni,

                     

                    Glad I could help, but I had a feeling that you were working with background and image colors other than white and that the subtractive blend mode would change the colors on you. Hopefully you'll find a blend mode that works - if you do, let us know what you did.

                     

                    Although the workflow in Fireworks is different than in Photoshop, one of the great things about Fireworks is that there are often multiple ways to accomplish the same effect or look, so there are probably other ways to create the full opacity glow with 50% opacity fill, and it is likely that I have overlooked something totally simple.

                     

                    Good luck!

                     

                    Dave

                    • 7. Re: Outer glow to a vector shape, with 50% alpha fill....not possible?!!
                      Doug Hungarter Level 1

                      This won't give you the exact uniformity of a glow, but here's another workaround.

                       

                      1. Create your shape at 50% opacity.
                      2. Duplicate it.
                      3. Apply a drop shadow with "0" for the distance, a high number for the spread (20-ish), and set it to "knock out".

                       

                      Let me know if that works for what you're trying to do.