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§ 13.1 - Image Views

F/x allows you to work with two types of images; atomic and layered. Each type of image will be briefly described.

§ 13.1.1 - Atomic Images

An atomic image is one that is represented by one set of red, green and blue information at 8 bits of precision for each pixel in the image. An atomic image also may have 8 bits of alpha transparency information for each pixel. This type of image representation is also referred to as RGB and RGBA data throughout this document. Atomic images do not exist as multiple layers of information, although you can consider them a single layer that exists by itself. You can at any time convert an Atomic image into a true layered image by selecting the Layers menu item from the context menu available from the top left corner of every image view. An atomic image appears inside a single window in F/x. In some software, an atomic image is also referred to as a "flat" image. There really isn't too much more to say about atomic images!

§ 13.1.2 - Layered Images

Layered images consist of a series of RGBA image "slices" that are stacked, each one on top of the preceeding one. The A (alpha) portion of each RGBA pixel allows pixels to be partially or completely transparent. That is one of the key concepts underlying layered image handling in F/x. When any pixel in a higher layer is partially or completely transparent, pixel information from layers beneath it "show through." In this way, a layered image allows you to cause objects in one layer (such as some text) to appear "over" another image. There are many benefits to this capability. Some of them include the ability to change the position of the text layer relative to the image below it at any time, without otherwise affecting either the text or the other image information. Additionally, there are many "blend modes" that allow you to combine the various layers in a layered image in many interesting and useful ways.

Layered images appear as a series of windows; one for each layer, and an additional window that shows you the composite effect of all the layers combined together.

F/x's layered image handling is discussed in detail here.

§ 13.1.3 - Magnification

F/x allows you to zoom in and out on any atomic image, image layer, or master layered image view. You can control this two ways; first, by simply resizing the image view in the usual Windows fashion. The displayed image magnification, or zoom factor, will immediately change. Secondly, by using the zoom tool you will find at the upper right of the main F/x window. Clicking on the left side and then either dragging out a rectangle or simply clicking on the image will zoom in; clicking on the right side and then an image will zoom out. If you want the zoom tool to stay on so you can zoom in and out multiple times, simply checkmark "modal zoom" in the Settings menu.

More details on zooming and magnification may be found in the Basic Tutorial

§ 13.1.4 - Resolution Independence

F/x is "resolution independent" in almost every way imaginable. What this means to you is that when an image is large, and you select an area, the same area is selected as would be when an image is not enlarged; also, if you select an area on one image that is the upper left corner, then using the Redo tool on another image — even when that image is an entirely different size — will also select the same relative amount of the upper left hand corner. So you can try effects and low resolution images, and if they do what you want, you can redo them on a high resolution image and get the same result. This is very useful once you are familiar with it and comfortable with the area selection tools. Keep it in mind as you work, and try out redo between different images to see how it acts. Soon, you'll find all kinds of uses for it!

§ 13.1.5 - Multiple View Handling

F/x can open many, many view windows, each one serving a particular purpose for you. If you become familiar with the types of views available to you, then the degree to which F/x can serve you will be greatly enhanced. You'll find the controls for multiple views in the Window menu.

§ 13.1.6 - Multiple Images Loaded

F/x will automatically open a view for each atomic image you load. If you load two atomic images, you will find you have two view windows, one for each one you loaded. This will seem natural almost immediately.

If you load a layered image, F/x will open a view for each layer, plus one more view to show you the layer composite result — how the layers combine to make a result image. So a three layer image will open four views.

When the last view on an image or a layer is closed, the image itself will be closed (unloaded.)

§ 13.1.7 - Multiple Views on Image or Layer

You're not limited to only one view on an image or a layer. If you like, you can open a second, third, in fact as many as you like, for any image or layer.

§ 13.1.8 - Multiple View Magnifications

One immediate benefit is that you can have a view zoomed in to work on details, even using a grid, while you still have a normal-sized view available. Or you can have several at different magnifications. And, you can have this kind of situation set up for multiple images or layers, or both.

§ 13.1.9 - Multiple View Zones

Similarly to being able to have several views at different magnifications, you can also have views that are zoomed in, and "panned" to different areas of the image. This is just as useful, in a slightly different way.

§ 13.1.10 - Multiple View Types

To add to these basic flexible means of viewing an image or layer, you can also have separate views open for the RGB data and the Alpha (transparency) data for one or more images or layers. This allows you to independantly edit and control the different types of pixel data — transparency and color.

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