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Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating graphics


From:

Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects

with Paul Trani

Video: Creating graphics

Flash has some very powerful drawing capabilities, and yet it's similar to other drawing programs, so it's easy to learn. I'm going to go ahead and use some of these simple drawing tools, as well as some more complex ones. But before I begin, I'm going to be mindful of what layer I'm on. So, in the Timeline, I have layer 1 selected, and I want to draw a rectangle. So I'm going to rename this to say Rectangle. Now I can get down to selecting my Rectangle tool. Then I'm going to go ahead and define the stroke color, we'll pick white, and then the fill color, which is going to be red.

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Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
2h 31m Intermediate Sep 15, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects, Paul Trani shows how to create dynamic and visually rich animations in Flash Professional CS5. This course demonstrates how to create and import assets, and then take those assets and bring them to life with dynamic motion. It also shows how to create more unique and natural movement by adding special effects, 3D, masks, and even bones to animate characters. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating graphics and reusable assets
  • Importing graphics
  • Making an object move
  • Animating a mask
  • Using and customizing motion presets
  • Morphing shapes
  • Animating in 3D
  • Adding bones to a character
  • Controlling the Timeline with ActionScript
  • Randomizing content
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Projects
Software:
Flash Professional Illustrator
Author:
Paul Trani

Creating graphics

Flash has some very powerful drawing capabilities, and yet it's similar to other drawing programs, so it's easy to learn. I'm going to go ahead and use some of these simple drawing tools, as well as some more complex ones. But before I begin, I'm going to be mindful of what layer I'm on. So, in the Timeline, I have layer 1 selected, and I want to draw a rectangle. So I'm going to rename this to say Rectangle. Now I can get down to selecting my Rectangle tool. Then I'm going to go ahead and define the stroke color, we'll pick white, and then the fill color, which is going to be red.

Then what I need to do is I need to just make sure this Object Drawing is turned on. So I'm just going to click on the Object Drawing. Notice how it looks sort of depressed. Now I can go ahead and draw with the Rectangle tool. There it is, and if I select my Selection tool and sort of click off of the graphic, you can see that it does have that white stroke. Again, I can select that graphic with the Selection tool and move it around. Quite frankly, this isn't really what I want. I need to, first of all, make sure it stretches across the screen.

So, what I can do is I can use the Free Transform tool. That way I can stretch it sort of further across the screen and kind of scrunch it up just by modifying these control points. Another way to modify anything that you have selected is using the Properties panel. So, over here in the Properties panel, I'm going to change its X position to 0, just like that. I want to extend it, the width of this document, which happens to be 1000 pixels, just like that.

My height is going to be about 100 pixels, so I can type that in. So, if you want specific control, use your Properties panel. Notice also over in here, I can change the fill and stroke, change the Stroke color to nothing, so it doesn't have a stroke now, and I can change the Fill color to black. All right, that's more appropriate, and that's exactly what I want. With that set up, let's go ahead and take a look at some of the other drawing tools. Each time you create something in Flash, you should always put it on a new layer, because that's going to give you more control with that item.

So, I'm going to click this New layer icon, and I'm going to go ahead and draw a button shape right now. I'm going to go beyond the Rectangle tool into the Rectangle Primitive tool. In my Properties panel down here, I'll select a fill color, and notice that you can actually sample any color as well. So I'll just sample this green background color. All right, my next step is to, before I even begin drawing, I can adjust the properties for this shape.

I'm going to go ahead and look down here in Rectangle Options, because I have the opportunity to curve the corners. So, I can change that to 10. That will change the radius of the corners to 10. Let's hit Enter for all of the corners, and now I can go ahead and draw a button shape, kind of like that. It looks great! With it still selected, I can always come in here and modify that further. Say for instance, I could even unlock it, and maybe I don't want to curve one corner, and maybe another corner.

I can change it to that shape. So, that's looking pretty good. Again, that's a unique item to Flash, a really great way to make buttons. But this button really needs a label, so I'm going to select the Text tool, select a color, white, then I'm going to go ahead and look at my Properties. Okay, so the first thing I want to do is change this from TLF Text to Classic Text. A TLF Text stands for Text Layout Framework. So, if you're dealing with a lot of text, you probably want to select that.

Otherwise, if it's something simple, like a label, you can use Classic Text. I'm going to make sure that this is Static Text as well. I can go ahead and define the font. So, I'm going to use Arial. It's going to be bold, and let's give it a size of about 14 point. Again, let's make sure it's white. What I can do is just click, and then type in "Replay," just like that, use my Selection tool to kind of position that right in there, and I could always use my Arrow keys on the keyboard to adjust it as well.

All right, so that's text. Now, I want to go beyond, again, this button, and create a new layer, and actually change the layer name to Text, because I'm going to have a larger statement, I want to appear right here. I'm going to select the Text tool. Notice how it defaults to my last settings. So that looks pretty good, but in fact I want to up this to about 28 points. Then I want to type in here, on my stage, "Sustainable Design." With it still selected, I can always change its various properties.

So I'm going to change the font to Regular, and what I can do, is anytime you see something with an underline, you can actually do a click-and-drag to adjust its size. So, that's looking more appropriate. That's the size I want for this text. Yeah, I'd say it looks pretty good. So, I'm going to use the Selection tool and just kind of position it. Now, let's get into one of the more advanced tools in Flash Professional CS5. I'm going to do this by creating a new layer, and what I'm going to draw are some trees.

So, I'm going to rename this layer to Trees. Next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to adjust the stage size to Fit in Window, just so I can see everything from edge to edge. All right, with this layer selected, I'm going to go down here. Halfway down, you'll notice this pencil with these dots, and this is the Deco tool, a procedural drawing tool, and I'll show you what this looks like if you select it. Go to the Properties panel and determine what you want to draw. So, under Drawing Effect, I get plenty of different options.

So, I can draw with buildings, with fire, with flames, flowers, and I want to go ahead and select the Tree Brush. Now I get to customize it even further. If I open up this dropdown, you can see all the different trees I could even draw, quite a few in here, but I will just go ahead and keep this as the Aspen Tree. I can even further define the leaf color, and then the flower color as well, but I think that looks pretty good. Maybe I'll go a little brighter or something with the leaves if I want to, something kind of like that.

But let me go ahead and draw. If I just do a click-and-drag, you can see how it generates that tree. Very nice! I was able to quickly draw a tree. Let's kind of do this corner as well. I'm going to go ahead and change this Drawing Effect to the Flower Brush. Under Advanced Options, I'm going to select Poinsettia. Again, I encourage you to play with all of these different drawing effects, whether it's the flower size or the leaf size or the color, but you can notice that you'll get some nice, little results as well.

I'm going to go ahead and bring this flower size down, and then the leaf size down to some more. Then I can kind of sprinkle those kind of around my tree. So, that looks pretty good! Again, it's a procedural drawing tool, very cool, very easy to use, and it really can jazz up sort of any project that you're working on. Creating graphics in Flash is easy. It ranges from simple to more complex, but I just encourage you to play with the various drawing tools and capabilities that are available in Flash.

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