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Adobe Fireworks CS5 : Working with Bitmap Images - Resolution and file size, Cropping an image

11/5/2011 4:11:10 PM
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Resolution and file size

Image resolution and file size are directly related to each other. The greater the number of pixels in an image, the larger the file size will be. We’re not talking about the printed size of an image here; we’re dealing specifically with the number of pixels that make up an image. For example, many current digital cameras will capture an image consisting of 3000 pixels horizontally by 2000 pixels vertically (or greater). Do the math, and you’ll quickly see that an image with this resolution contains 6 million pixels in total and weighs in at about 23 MB.

The higher the capture resolution, the larger the file size will be.

Image resolution vs. image quality

Resolution and quality are two different things; you can have a high-resolution image that doesn’t look very good, due to poor quality in the original scan or heavy image compression that might be set on a digital camera. Resolution refers to the actual number of pixels that make up the image, not the empirical or subjective quality of the image.


Tips for working with bitmaps

Good-quality graphics are key assets to many professional websites. The image-editing and layout tools in Fireworks give you the freedom to do most—if not all—of your bitmap work without leaving the application.

That said, you should keep a couple of caveats in mind:

  • The maximum canvas-creation size in Fireworks is 6000 × 6000 pixels. You can work on files that are larger than this, but 6000 × 6000 pixels is the largest that you can create within the program.

  • Fireworks was designed to work with graphics destined for screen use, and it’s here that its speed and flexibility really shine. While you can open and work on very high-resolution files in Fireworks, you may find the application begins to get sluggish over time. And you may not want to have several of these files open at the same time.


Cropping an image

Cropping is a common way to remove extraneous detail, letting you focus more exclusively on a specific part of an image. In this exercise, you will remove surrounding detail in a photo to help focus on just the actor’s face.

1.
Choose File > Open, and browse to the file Mark_actor06.jpg in the Lesson03 folder on your hard drive. Click Open.

2.
Select the Crop tool from the Tools panel.

3.
Click and drag a box around the face of the actor. Include the hat and part of the tie.

4.
Press Enter or Return to crop the image.



Hmm, looks like we got a bit too close to the collar. We’d better go back.

Tip

If you change your mind about cropping at all, you can press the Escape key to cancel the action.

5.
Press Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac) to undo the crop.

6.
Making sure the Crop tool is still selected, draw the crop one more time, leaving a bit more space on the sides.

7.
Move the cursor to the middle control handle on the bottom of the image, and drag it up. Stop when the crop line touches the upper red stripe in the actor’s tie.

Note

The small square boxes at the corners and middle of each crop line are control handles, which let you alter the crop dimensions before committing to it.

8.
Press Enter or Return to commit to the crop.

9.
Choose File > Close, and don’t save the file when you are prompted.

Cropping a single bitmap image in a design

Cropping single images is fine, but what if you need to crop an image that’s already on a layer in a design? Fireworks offers a way to do this as well.

1.
Open watch_promo.fw.png from the Lesson03 folder.

2.
Choose 150 from the Zoom Level menu on the Application bar to zoom in to 150%.

3.
Use the Pointer tool ( ) to select the watch.

4.
Choose Edit > Crop Selected Bitmap. Crop marks will appear around the watch image.

5.
Drag the top and bottom crop marks so that only the watch face is inside the crop.

6.
Press Enter or Return to commit to the crop.

 
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