I am trying to create a feathered selection in Fireworks that fades to a transparent background. What is the best way to do this?
I am trying to create a gradient fill that goes from a color to transparent, much like the gradient options "foreground to transparent" or "background to transparent" that can be created in Photoshop. How is this done in Fireworks?
Fireworks allows the user to create a vector shape that can be used as an image mask for any object or objects that are to be grouped with the mask. This is useful for creating gradients that have transparent features that are going to be composited with other objects in Fireworks. When using objects as masks in Fireworks it is important to remember that black pixels in the mask will make the masked objects opaque and white pixels in the mask will make the masked objects transparent. This is because the mask works as an Alpha when the Modify > Mask Group > Mask to Image command is used.
In order to preserve the Alpha channel on export, use the PNG32 format and set the Matte color to Transparent in the Optimize panel. This will allow other image editing programs to open the file with the Alpha channel intact.
Note: When opening a PNG containing an Alpha channel in Photoshop, use the Magic Wand tool to select the dark area containing the transparency and then delete the selected area to return to the correct display of the image.
A common practice used in image editing programs is to use a pixel selection tool to select an area of pixels, set the feather distance and then either copy and paste to a new layer or invert the selection and delete. There's a better way to do this in Fireworks 3 and it maintains editablity of both the selection and the image selected.
- Fill the ellipse with a solid black fill and set the edge to Feather. Enter a distance for the feather. You may want to experiment with gradient fills to get a softer effect. See the image in step 2 above. It was created by placing a rectangular gradient over the toolbox image and masking the image.
Since the white pixels of the mask will cause the masked image to have transparent pixels, it's easy to create a transparent gradient using the Mask to Image command.