11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 11, 2011 1:35 PM by abeall

    joining two paths: fill problems

    johngoche99

      Hello,

       

      I am having the following problem: I have a path entailing a simple closed curve

      but when I try to fill the color won't extend to the whole area. To reproduce the

      problem:

       

      1. With the Ellipse Tool draw a circle.

      2. In the Paths panel click Add Points twice to add points to the circle.

      3. In the Paths panel click Knife On Points to yield individual segments.

      4. Here we create two paths by leaving out two nonadjacent segments.

        4a. Shift click four segments and then in the Path Panel click Join Paths to piece them together.

        4b. Shift click four other segments and then in the Path Panel tool click Join Paths to piece them together.

        4c. Delete the nonadjacent segments from the paths list under the given layer.

      5. Ctrl-Shift click two of the endpoints in one of the two segments and click Join Points in the Paths panel.

      6.Try to fill the area. The fill color won't extend.

       

      What am I doing wrong? Or is this a bug? How do I work around this problem?

       

      Thanks,

       

      John Goche

       

      Fireworks CS4 on Windows 7.

        • 1. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
          Linda Nicholls Level 4

          You are really doing that the hard way. Use the Pie Auto shape to draw your ellipse. Press Alt/Opt and drag the yellow control handle to create your segments. Choose Modify > Ungroup to seperate the segments. Fill each segment as you wish.

          • 2. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
            johngoche99 Level 1

            Thank you Linda for your reply,

             

            The problem is that I have been tracing a mesh from a bitmap to turn it into

            a vector image and end up with a bunch of paths. I need to connect these

            paths and fill them. I used eliipses as examples, but the images I am dealing

            with are somewhat more complex.

             

            I will be thankful if you can point me in the right direction,

             

            Thanks,

             

            John Goche

            • 3. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
              Linda Nicholls Level 4

              I think the problem is that you are creating compound paths rather than closed ones. Only closed paths can be filles. Use the pen tool to trace shapes and make sure you close the paths after you trace it.

              • 4. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                johngoche99 Level 1

                Thank you for your reply. How would I go about doing the following task. I need

                to draw something that looks like a patchwork (a blanket made of many different

                colored pieces of cloth or a bunch of fields viewed from an airplane). To do this I

                draw one piece with the pen tool and fill it in, but then to draw the adjacent piece

                I need to recycle part of the first piece, the part where the patches touch. So I make

                a copy and then try to reuse the edges. How would you go about doing this if not how

                I describe. The pen tool alone IMHO is not enough to accomplish this task.

                 

                Thank you for your help,

                 

                John Goche

                • 5. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                  pixlor Level 4

                  A filled path must be closed. You can't "re-use" one portion of a path to also be a portion of a different path. The path around an area can overlap the adjacent path, however.

                   

                  Instead of drawing line paths, use the rectangle shape and create a series of rectangles. Create one, then copy it multiple times. You can use the Info pane to adjust the position of successive rectangles.

                   

                  For example, if you make a rectangle that is 100 pixels square, place the original at x=0, y=0 (upper left). Place the first copy at x=100, y=0 (upper right). Third goes to x=0, y=100 (lower left). Fourth goes to x=100, y=100 (lower right). And so forth. Once you get a few positioned, select them all, group them, then you can copy the group to expand your grid more easily than individual rectangles..

                  • 6. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                    johngoche99 Level 1

                    Thank you for your reply,

                     

                    The problem is that the elements that make up the various patches I am

                    tracing are heterogenous and I need a vector image. So I cannot just copy

                    shapes, I need to use the pen tool to trace them. I have something like the

                    picture below. I need to trace the boundaries, fill them, and then discard

                    the original image to end up with a vector image that can be resized.

                    Any suggestions on how I may proceed (this would be hard to do

                    with autoshapes or with a rectangle element copied over and over

                    again)...

                     

                    Green-Fields.jpg

                     

                    Thank you for your help,

                     

                    John Goche

                    • 7. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                      pixlor Level 4

                      You don't need the shapes to have identical borders. Vector shapes can overlap and hide what's below them. Look at your image and find places to put simple shapes and then layer the more complex shapes above.

                       

                      For instance, here's one way to go about it:

                      http://www.box.net/shared/yfnlzupf248turq0r65e

                      • Start with a rectangle for the large yellowish area in the image (orange).
                      • Then make rectangles or simple pen shapes, choosing areas to make kind of a checkerboard pattern of simple shapes (blue-green).
                      • Once you have the first "color" of the checkerboard done in simple shapes, overlay those with more detailed shapes (purple).
                      • Finally, add stroked lines and other small shapes for the boundaries, covering up straight shape lines with more random boundary lines.

                       

                      Stacked shapes, not adjacent shapes.

                      • 8. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                        smartwebby

                        Hi John,

                         

                        I think you are doing it the right way - with the pen tool - that's the only way to go with complicated shapes. Whenever you find that the path is incomplete and is not getting filled properly you can try either of these:

                         

                        1) Open the Path Panel (Windows > Others > Path) and try joining or welding the point (under Edit Points section) or use Open/Close Paths (under Alter Paths section) - this has come in handy pretty often.

                         

                        2) In case the first solution doesn't work then you can try extending your end points (by adding more points) in such a way that it eventually closes path with the other end point.

                         

                        3) For thin paths (like the black paths between the field patches in your picture) a time saving tip is to duplicate the first half of the path and then join the two ends. Once this is done and a solid vector is formed you can edit the individual points as required.

                         

                        - Anita

                        • 9. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                          johngoche99 Level 1

                          Thank you for your replies, I found them helpful, although I still think

                          the options 1 and 2 come down to a bit of buggy code which hopefully

                          will be fixed in the following releases unless someone can explain why

                          it behaves that way, perhaps I am missing something about paths and fills.

                           

                          However I have another problem related to fill areas. Suppose I am drawing a face.

                          The face needs to be symmetric. So I draw the right part, without closing it, then

                          flip it, move it, so I have two paths that need to be connected, but then when I

                          connect them the fill does not work properly. How would I work around the fill

                          problem in this particular case?

                           

                          Thanks,

                           

                          John Goche

                          • 10. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                            smartwebby Level 1

                            Hi John,

                             

                            I actually forgot one particular solution (which is also in the Paths panel) which is appropriate for your last question. Just select the two halves and click the Union Paths option under the Combine Paths section of the Paths panel. This solution will only fail if your two halves don't overlap - so my tip for you regarding this is to make sure that some area of the two halves are on top of each other (extend a point or two if required) and then use the Union Tool.

                             

                            - Anita

                            • 11. Re: joining two paths: fill problems
                              abeall Level 3

                              Hi John,

                               

                              Thank you for your replies, I found them helpful, although I still think

                              the options 1 and 2 come down to a bit of buggy code which hopefully

                              will be fixed in the following releases unless someone can explain why

                              it behaves that way, perhaps I am missing something about paths and fills.

                              I wouldn't say there's anything buggy going on, but the way you are building a vector object is definitely not typical and reveals some awkward/confusing behavior. The important thing to understand is that:

                              1. A fill is rendered from a contour, which is a series of connected points

                              2. A standard "Path" has a single contour, for example an ellipse

                              3. A "Compound Path" has multiple contours, and it renders each contour like a filled path, and adds/subtracts from the final result based on overlapping areas per a vector "fill rule" (which can be toggled in the Path panel) -- this is just like Illustrator and other vector environments

                              4. Join Paths' behavior when points are not selected is to create a compound path from multiple existing paths -- ie if you have two paths, both with 1 contour, then you end up with a compound path with 2 contours -- NOT a path with a single merged/stitched together contour. (Conversely, Split Paths will separate each contour of a compound path into its own path.)

                              5. Like Anita said, Union Paths will actually merge paths, though it's not so much looking at points and merging points as it's looking at fills and merging overlapping areas, creating/deleting points as needed

                               

                              So basically, you have to remember that if you want a continuous fill from multiple paths you are about to join, you have to make sure the points are actually connected in your final result. It's not enough to simply have 2 points that are close or even directly on each other then perform "Join Paths". Fortunately there are lots of ways to merge points to create a continous contour:

                              1. Select 2 endpoints with the Subselect tool and this will tell Join Paths to merge them if they are on top of each other, or connect them -- in both cases you end up with a continous contour which will be filled

                              2. Select an endpoint and drag it over another endpoint and release -- FW will snap them together and merge them

                              3. Select 2 endpoints or multiple adjacent points and use Weld Points in the Path panel

                               

                              Applying all that to the situation of creating a symmetrical vector (which I do a fair amount myself), you could:

                              1. Draw your first half

                              2. Duplicate or clone and mirror

                              3. Position the mirrored clone where you want it

                              4. Select the endpoints you want connected and use Weld Points or Join Points

                               

                              You'll end up with a fully filled shape.

                               

                              That turned out pretty long-winded but hopefully it clears some things up!

                               

                              Cheers.

                               

                              ----

                              Aaron Beall

                              http://fireworks.abeall.com