Photomanipulation Tutorial – Making Objects Stand Out



This is my first photomanipulation tutorial in Adobe Fireworks CS4 which requires only a few steps to complete, and would be very effective to convey a meaning in your design / website header.

Before using a photograph that you find in the web, make sure to check the rules on using the photograph / stock image. Some have stock rules that you must comply before posting it in your website / blog or for commercial use. There are tons of free stock images that you can use for your personal / commercial projects, I highly suggest you get your images from deviantart.

1.)  Start with a new fireworks document with a canvas size of 473 x 374 , or you can increase/decrease the size if you want.

2.) Then we must download the chess stock image to use in this tutorial. Click on the download icon for the higher resolution image.

Visit their profile page in deviantart , they also have other stock images you can use:

Read the rules on using the stock images from the owner :

If you are a member of devianart :

Please credit me in your deviation description

Let me know if you use this image (By note preferably)

Do not use my stock to create brushes or new stock without permission

You are allowed to use my stock in a print, remember to credit me!

Some of my images have been donated by colleagues from work and I have full permission to use them.

Any other queries, note me!

As of 28th of July 08, you now have permission to use our stock OUTSIDE of DeviantART!! This is brilliant news, and I’m sure many of you agree as in the past we’d sadly turned down hundreds of requests.

However, when using our stock outside of DeviantART you MUST include credit and a link back to our direct profile page here on DeviantART. – Also you may not use the stock images for website templates, or for commerical and/or profitable use. – You may also NOT use our stock on the website, Model Mayhem! We have had too many people claiming our pictures as their own and any of our images found on Model Mayhem will result in a warning, or a copyright fine! – As we’re absolutely sick of seeing our images on there!!

3.) We must scale down the image size its a bit big ,  select the image, and use the scale tool + hold the shift button while scaling down.


4.) Using the pen tool , trace the outline of the horse chess piece. You have to practice on using the pen tool , especially on drawing curves. Choose a stroke color in the outline that is different from the colors in the image ( This is done so that you can easily spot mistakes in your vector points and make some changes ).


5.)  Click  swap stroke / fill colors button to remove the stroke and put a fill color on the image.



If you wish to stop on this step , just play on the layer modes and change the fill color of the chess piece , experiment on what looks best.

6.) Using the rectangle tool , draw a rectangle with the same size as the canvas 473 x 374. Select both the rectangle and the horse chess piece > Modify > Combine Paths > Punch. Use black as the fill color of the rectangle.


7.) Change the layer mode of the rectangle from Normal to Color. And that’s it =) Put some text if you like.


Thanks to for letting me use the stock image in this tutorial.

9 replies
  1. Brochure Printing says:

    This sort of photo manipulation would be perfect for photos in a catalog. Also another way to do it is to make a layer mask of the object you want to stand out. Then collectively slightly blur the rest of the background. Then sharpen the object in focus with a bit of USM then apply a bit of contrast or add a bit more black through Levels. Even as a black and white photo, you can make chosen objects stand out. You can of course achieve almost the same look with a f1.4 lens but then that would be much more expensive than just playing with an open stock image. :)

  2. Vlood says:

    I think it should be noted that, after creating that black rectangle, you have to put in under horse path in your Layers. otherwise after punch they both disappear.

    Great tutorial BTW!

  3. Peter Richardson says:

    Sweet tutorial, Thanks.

    I learned to use FWs or have been learning since FWs 4 and have come to love it, I am also a photographer and use FWs for all sorts of ‘Photo manipulation and in most cases find the result as good if not better than using Photoshop, which I dislike and feel it has become ‘too big for it’s own good’ and very cumbersome and clunky to use in comparison to Fireworks. I am concerned with the direction that Adobe is taking FWs and feel they have done very little to actually improve it that justifies the $ spent.
    Just my 2 cents

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