Custom Search

Fireworks - Tutorials

Fireworks is more than a simple art package like MS-Paint; it is a powerful design tool. You can achieve some really professional looking finishes with only a modicum of artistic talent. Once the leading program in its field it was taken over by Adobe's Photoshop for top slot. Many professional artists use a program like this to draw with.

The sister version of it is called 'Freehand' - the Adobe version of that is called Illustrator. Macromedia has been bought out by Adobe and photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks are part of the new suite of design programs.

You will probably be used to drawing things in MS-Paint. Well, Fireworks allows you to do everything you could in Paint and a lot more.One of the most useful elements of the Fireworks package is the gradient fill option. This allows you to achieve graduated shading with the click of a mouse!

You can even make animated gif with Fireworks and then import it into Flash to make a swf file from it.

The big advantage of a computer based drawing package is you can save stages of your creation and easily undo mistakes or take your project in several directions and then make a choice as to which you like best. You canresize elements, change colour fills in seconds and achive graduated shading at the touch of a button. The computer can make your fills or edge lines look like charcoal, crayon, pencil, watercolours or oils... and you don't have to 'shell out for the materials - not even the canvas or paper!

Pages to help you get to grips with Fireworks

The gradient fill option allows you to achieve graduated shading with the click of a mouse!

Working with layers makes life easier.

The magic wand tool allows you to remove backgrounds from pictures.

The vector pen tool is very useful. It allows you to draw straight or smooth curved lines between two points - excellent for a best fit line on a graph - but also useful when drawing anything!

Frames are like the cels that make up an animation. By making more than one frame you can make an animated gif.

You can save your creations in several formats - the graphics file types page gives you a basic understanding of the different graphic file types - their properties and uses.


The following tutorial lessons take you through using Fireworks to make certain types of graphic. I shall be adding to this as we go along - so keep looking back at it from time to time.

If you have a specific type of graphic you would like me to have a go at making from scratch do e-mail and ask me... I cannot promise anything but I would certainly try to accommodate your request!


DiDA students - If you construct your own graphics you need to keep details of how you did it - save the stages of design so that the examiner knows it is your own work! This is tedious - but without it you will lose marks. Similarly if you amend a copyright free graphics save all of the stages to show how you acheived the final one. It is best to write such procedures up as you go along!

Remember that in DiDA projects you must comply with copyright law - I give permission for some of the graphics on here to be used in projects - you need to say that they are not yours though... and to refer to this site as their source and refer to the page that has permission to use them on. You do NOT need to e-mail me for permission to use those graphics - just quote the URL


Fireworks Tutorials

Before you start find out how to use the:

Lesson 1 - Introduction to bitmap and vector tools within Fireworks

Lesson 2 - Animated gifs from sketches and photos.

Lesson 3 - How to make a banner background for headings

Lesson 4 - How to make an aged parchment background

Lesson 5 - How to make a 'scroll' background

Lesson 6 - How to make a 'aged scroll'

Lesson 7 - How to make a silhouette graphic

Lesson 8 - How to make shadows.

Lesson 9 - How to draw a sphere or ball

Lesson 10 - How to draw a cube or a box.

Lesson 11 - How to make a fictitious map graphic

Lesson 12 - Making an animated gif using Pivot software

Lesson 13 - Drawing a faceted jewel.

Lesson 14 - Drawing a bubble and a balloon

Lesson 15 - Drawing a flame.

Lesson 16 - Tracing an image.

You can use Fireworks to create some interesting graphic characters. For example: neopets. The site below shows you how to sketch lots of different types of objects. It is more of an art program than a digital art one - but it will be useful for you to use when using Fireworks!