Removing the Background By Masking

Removing the Background By Masking/Eliminating The Jagged Edges in Fireworks 8

Removing backgrounds in Fireworks can leave the image with jagged edges if using the magic wand and then just deleting the background. The example below shows the original picture and the background removed using the magic want. Notice the jagged edges? By using a masking technique we can remove the background from an image with clean edges.

Removing the Background Just Using the Magic Wand
White Background
Jagged Edges
  • Select the Magic Wand tool and, in the Property inspector, give it a Tolerance value of 4 and set the Edge to Anti-Alias. Tolerance Set to 4
  • Click inside the boy’s arm and under his hand while holding down the Shift key to select the background attatched to the image. .
  • Keep the Shift key down and with the Magic Wand tool still active, click outside the image to add the background around it to the selection. Traditionally, you would now delete the image’s background. In this example, however, you achieve the same result by applying a vector mask that reveals only the image instead. In order to do that, you need to modify the selection you have now because you want it to cover the image of the boy and not the background around it, as it does now. This is a simple one-step process.

  • With your bitmap selection still active, go to the Select menu and click Select Inverse. The bitmap selection now covers the image instead of the background of the image.
  • Set your stroke to none and fill to white. Stroke None Fill White
  • Now use the Fireworks feature that makes all of this possible. With your image still selectioned, open the Select menu again and click Convert Marquee To Path. Your bitmap selection has just been transformed into a vector shape that follows the selection’s contour and has the default Stroke and Fill settings that were selected in the main toolbox as shown below:

Kid Selected

  • You’re now ready to apply the mask to the image. Switch to the Black Arrow tool and click anywhere in the gray area outside the canvas to deselect everything.
  • Shift-click both the image (click its background outside the white vector shape) and the vector mask shape itself so that both are selected. You can easily do this by clicking both at the layers panel. Your image should look like the image below. Notice that there are two blue selections:

Kid Selected Twice

  • Go to the Modify menu and select Mask, and then Group As Mask. Notice how much cleaner the edges look using the masking feature as compared to both the images above just using the magic wand.

No Jagged Edges