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Adobe Fireworks CS5 : Working with Vector Graphics - Drawing the shape

5/23/2013 9:37:18 PM
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Creating custom shapes

Creating custom vector shapes opens up a lot of creative options. In this exercise, you will use the Pen tool to draw a custom vector shape. The file you will work on (street_scene.fw.png) is all vector artwork, from simple shapes in the background to complex vector illustration of the movie’s lead actor. To practice custom shapes and other techniques, you’ll be updating this file to look like street_scene_complete.fw.png.

To begin, you will create a stylized background to run behind the movie title in this design.

Drawing the shape

You will do your best to imitate the shape shown in the following figure. It’s made up of a series of straight anchor point segments. This is a custom shape, so don’t worry if you don’t create an exact match. To help you further, you can make the original shape visible in the Layers panel and use it as a guide.

1.
Open the street_scene.fw.png file .

2.
Hide the detective object by clicking on its eye icon in the Layers panel. This will make it easier for you to trace the original shape. You can hide the skyline layer as well, if it is distracting you.

3.
Select the Pen tool and specify the layer you’ll draw on.

4.
In the Properties panel, set Fill to None. For Stroke, choose Basic > Hard Line. Then set the stroke’s color to #990000 and Texture to 0%.

5.
Click and release the mouse to set each point for the shape. There is no need to click and drag any of these points as you set them, because they all need to be straight lines.

6.
When you bring the cursor back to your starting point, notice that the Pen tool icon changes to the Pen tool with a small circle, indicating you can close the path by clicking. This closed path is your custom shape.

7.
Select the Subselection tool.

8.
If necessary, you can reposition any anchor points in the new object; use the mouse to reposition anchor points. Note how both paths extending from the anchor point adjust based on the new location of the anchor point. Feel free to adjust anchor points until you have the shape you want.

9.
If you were using the original image as a guide, hide it now in the Layers panel.

10.
Save the file.
 
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