A long time ago I made a Paint Shop Pro tutorial on how to use masks. I thought it would be fun to go back and re-create that tutorial in Fireworks but with Vector Masks. It’s amazing how much more powerful masks are in Fireworks than any other image editing program on the planet.
1: The Image
Open up an image or create an object that you would like to mask. You can use Fireworks Vector Masks on any object that you can think of. In this example I’m using a photo of a flower that I took back in 2004. See below.
2: The Mask Shape
Using a vector tool draw an object onto the canvas. You can use any tool or shape you like. In my example I drew an ellipse. See below.
3: The Masking
Using the Pointer tool and holding down SHIFT, select both objects by clicking on them. You should see a blue border around each object if you have done it correctly.
Now go to Modify | Mask | Group as Mask. Now the vector object should be masked onto your original starting object whether it be bitmap or vector. You should also see a blue diamond symbol in the center of the new grouped object. See below.
4: The Mask Properties
You can click on the mask icon on the Layer Panel (see below)…
…and edit the vector object in real time through the Properties Inspector (see below)…
…or any other FW vector editing technique. When you have a vector mask selected, it will have a yellow border around the mask. See below.
Final: The Mask Effects
Just by changing the vector object’s edge properties to feather(image 1) and messing with the anchor points(image 2) I made a couple edits to the mask in about 5 seconds.
Another neat trick is that you can click and drag the blue diamond symbol (mentioned in step 3) to move the underlying object around inside the mask.