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Using Layers in Firework

Posted on 2004-04-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I'd like to know how to use layers in firework and what it's for especially when it comes to creating translucent icons...I never use layer in firework before so I prefer simple straightforward answer. Will appreciate if there is a PNG sample of how transparent/translucent icon will look like with layers and without layers.

Seeking immediate reply thus the points = 500.

Thanks
Sylviawee
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Question by:sylviawee
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Expert Comment

by:zenlion420
ID: 10780673
sylvia,

Check this out: http://www.nokaoidesign.com/sylviawee.zip

This should give you a decent idea of how layers can be used to create really interesting effects in FW.  Layers are basically like transparency sheets, and combining them with different effects/opacity settings can give you some really neat final designs.  Also, it's extremely easy to change the stacking order of layers, which makes it really handy to make adjustments.  What version of FW are you currently using?

j
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Expert Comment

by:zenlion420
ID: 10780734
Another thing that I feel is worth mentioning, is that layers also make it extremely easy to organize large projects.  Let's say you're drawing out some sort of forest scene.  You could put all trees on one layer, alld the little shrubs and such on another, grassy stuff on another, bords on another, and name them all accoringly.  Then if you ever wanted to make adjustments to say, the trees, you could lock all of the other layers, so that they're not able to be written over, and draw in front of/behind them without effecting them.  Also, you can make layers so that they're not visible with the click of a button, which is very nice as well.

j
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Author Comment

by:sylviawee
ID: 10780884
Im using Firework 3 in the office.

Zenlion, check ur sample i says, missing effects Bevel Boss and ShadowLab.

I have only the default effects in my PC.

Where do I get effects from for free?
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by:zenlion420
ID: 10780939
Hmmm, sorry.  The effects I created with those two plugins are basically what would give the graphic any really interesting qualities.  I hadn't taken into consideration that you may not have the plugins.  I believe both of those come free with FW MX, which I use, but they may have been part of a plugin pack I purchased a while back, called "Eye Candy 4000".  I think it was only like ten bucks, but I have never searched for free fW plugins.  Here is a pic of what it SHOULD look like in .png:

http://www.nokaoidesign.com/sylviawee.htm


Were you able to look through the layers?  That file has 3 layers with two vector paths on each.  Did you get any idea of what is going on in the file, with the layers and the opacity settings?

j
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Accepted Solution

by:
Havin_it earned 100 total points
ID: 10783589
Eye Candy 4000 LE comes with FW4 and up.

http://www.alienskin.com/downloads/getmail1.asp

FW3 comes with Eye Candy 3.1, and the 2 are mostly incompatible (apparently some more basic effects are transferrable).

Some FW3-compatible plugins here (freeware plugins at the bottom):

http://thepluginsite.com/products/index.htm
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Author Comment

by:sylviawee
ID: 10788874
Zenlion,

The end product looks like chocolate... Had a look at the layers. Somehow I think I know how it works now but I still gotta ask this question...if I don't use layers and only use the default layer for all graphics, what will happen? What I mean is that, referring to your sample, if I pile everything in one layer and group it will it look the same?

Havin It,
Thanks for the site link.
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Assisted Solution

by:zenlion420
zenlion420 earned 400 total points
ID: 10789446
>>>>The end product looks like chocolate

Is chocolate good? :)

>>>>if I don't use layers and only use the default layer for all graphics, what will happen? What I mean is that, referring to your sample, if I pile everything in one layer and group it will it look the same

You could do it that way, but you'll lose flexablity in how you adjust them, if you're using duplicated shapes.  A nice part about using layers is the ease of adjusting settings on each one.  If you chose to group all shapes on one layer, you'll have to brak apart the group to do any modifications.  Beyond just duplication, there are MANY uses for layers.  Like I said earlier, another main use if for organization, another to be able to make shapes uneditable, while still being able to draw on the stage.  If you tried to do that with one later, everything would be uneditable.  Anyway, for what you're trying to create, it might be better to use one layer, but I'm not sure what that is.  Basically though, think of layers as what I said earlier, transparency sheets that can overlay each other, and be reordered with ease.  I hope you get the idea now, if not, ask any questions you'd like and I'll do my best to explain.

j
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Author Comment

by:sylviawee
ID: 10789658
Thanks, zenlion. That helps alot.
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Expert Comment

by:Havin_it
ID: 10790763
BTW here's a great site for free and (it's claimed) FW2+ compatible plugz:

http://www.richardrosenman.com/

I've had a lot of fun with these!

Cheers for pntzzzz...
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Expert Comment

by:zenlion420
ID: 10793181
Thanks sylvia,

If you have any more Qs about layers, feel free to post them inside of this thread.  No need to open another (unless you're feeling generous :).  Have a great day,

j
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Author Comment

by:sylviawee
ID: 10803048
What's the difference between assisted and accepted answer? Duhh, Im so blurrrrr about these...

Don't worry, zenlion, my points r unlimited and I AM GENEROUS cuz I want answers fast. :p
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