Rapid Fire

Rapid Fire is a series of detailed Adobe® Fireworks® tutorials aimed at intermediate and advanced users. Each installment demonstrates the awesome power of Adobe® Fireworks®’ vector tools and Live Filters. These tutorials are peppered with tips and tricks to help get the most out of each reading session.

Note: The source PNGs included in each tutorial up to #7 were created in Adobe® Fireworks® 8. As of #8, the source PNGs were created in Adobe® Fireworks® CS3.

Check out the full list of tutorials below (arranged in reverse chronological order), or subscribe to the Rapid Fire feed for the latest updates.

Letterpress Effect: From Fireworks To CSS
I’ve developed a simple workflow for creating a letterpress text effect in Adobe® Fireworks® that can be applied directly to HTML text via CSS3 — no images needed.
Extracting Logos Using Levels
My first of two Smashing Magazine tutorials makes use of the Levels Live Filter to extract logos from their white backgrounds.
#11: Dot Matrix Effect
In this resurrection post for the Rapid Fire tutorial series, we make use of Adobe® Fireworks®’s Grid Fill Texture to apply a dot matrix effect to any vector element.
#10: Circular Shadows & Highlights
Gradients and masks are all it takes to create lighting effects for circular shapes in Adobe® Fireworks®. Generate as many layers of shadows and highlights as you need. Let me show you how…
#9: Fun With The Satin Gradient
One of the things that make image editing apps exciting to use is the constant thrill of stumbling upon something unexpected, but produces interesting results. One such thing is Adobe® Fireworks®’ Satin Gradient, and how its (kinda) unpredictable behavior makes it easy to create abstract glowing light swirls with.
#8: Extracting Logos
After a short hiatus, I’m back with a tutorial that shows you how to extract a logo and/or logotype from a raster image, using only Adobe® Fireworks®‘ Live Filters. With this method, you also have the option to re-color the lifted logo in anyway you want: solid, gradient, or textured. All of this, while avoiding the temptations of the quick-and-dirty Wand Tool.
#7: Shiny Ribbon
Just in time for the the holiday season, this Adobe® Fireworks® tutorial will show you how to create a silky, flowing ribbon; the type that you could slap onto your graphic elements to make them more festive.
#6: Sticky Notes
Sticky notes are little pieces of bright-colored paper with an adhesive strip on the back, allowing you to jot down reminders, checklists, or *gasp* passwords and post them onto a surface. This Adobe® Fireworks® tutorial will show you how to recreate them digitally, with a certain degree of realism, for your own design projects.
#5: Image Editing Tricks Part II
We conclude our two-part Rapid Fire special with a technique that will save you from manual-erase horrors that come with placing one photo over another. Using vector shapes and the Multiply blend mode in Adobe® Fireworks® allows us to create adjustable superimpositions and preserve the shadows of the superimposed image. This works best with photos of objects with a flat white background, standard among stock photos.
#4: Image Editing Tricks Part I
This dual serving of Rapid Fire demonstrates some basic image compositing techniques in Adobe® Fireworks®. This is the first of two parts, and will serve as a simple intro showing how to create and match perspectives using the Distort Tool. And what better example than putting a screenshot over an empty screen?
#3: Quick ‘N Dirty Outlines
In this edition of Rapid Fire, we’ll be making use of a particular design resource in a not-so-conventional manner. Utilizing readily-available corroded fonts, we can achieve a marker- or chalk-stroke effect with which to frame or emphasize our design elements in Adobe® Fireworks®.
#2: Golden Seal
Whether it’s signifying merit or signalizing new content, a golden seal graphic often does the trick. Utilizing two of Adobe® Fireworks®’ nifty features—Auto Shapes and Text On A Path—you’ll be stamping shiny seals in no time.
#1: Photo-Realistic
Make your digital images more convincing and lifelike with just a handful of gradients and custom shadows. Once you’re done, your pictures will look like real photo prints, you’d swear they popped out of the screen.