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This course provides a solid foundation in Adobe Flash Professional CS6 and shows how to create an assortment of Flash content. Author Anastasia McCune explains the different destinations for Flash projects—mobile devices, the desktop, or the web—and where ActionScript fits into it all. She shows how to create a new project, structure document layers and arrange objects on the Timeline, and how to get started drawing basic shapes and incorporate text, images, audio, and video. The course also explains the different types of symbols and tweens in Flash, and how to use them to build and animate content. The final chapters outline the publishing options available for Flash projects, including Adobe AIR.
The Deco tool offers some pre-built artwork that you can incorporate into your Flash pieces. It's located in the toolbar under the Brush tool and looks like a pencil with maybe some stars coming out. So when you select the Deco tool, you'll notice in the Property inspector this area called Drawing Effect. Open up this dropdown and you'll see all the different kinds of pre-built drawings that the Deco tool can create. The options for each one are different, so we're going to just take a look at a few of them. We'll start with the Building Brush. When I click and drag on the screen, I get a randomly selected building.
Under Advanced Options in the Property inspector, I could choose Skyscraper 1 from the dropdown and now draw only that one style of skyscraper. Changing Building Size to 5 makes the size of the building bigger. So I'll hit Ctrl+A on my keyboard to select all the buildings and hit my Delete key, and now under Drawing Effect, choose Decorated Brush. The default under the dropdown in Advanced Options is Step Wave, so let's try that out. Okay, that's pretty cool.
So, now let's try Mayan and now Music Notes. So this could be a cool way to create some easy patterns or borders in Flash and note of course that you can change the color, pattern size, and pattern width for the different patterns. So I'll Undo or Command+Z or Ctrl+Z out of all of these things on the screen, and now let's try the Fire Animation. So we have some options here. For instance, this is going to be an animation and we can change it to be more or less than 50 frames long if we want to.
We can also change the color of the fire in the fire color. And I think the defaults are just fine, so I'll click on the screen. We'll see Flash draw out 50 frames' worth of flames, and notice they are actually keyframes, because the content on each one is different. You can tell when you scrub your playhead. I am going to zoom in and click on some of the fire, and you can see looking in the Property inspector that we've got groups of shapes here. Clicking on different keyframes in the Timeline, we see that each keyframe contains different groups.
If I double-click to step into any one of those groups, I'll select what's inside and we can see in the Property inspector that it's a shape. So Flash has done a lot of work here drawing all these shapes and grouping them together. I'm going to click Scene 1 to go back to the main Timeline and then choose Fit in Window so we can see the whole Stage again. Now I'm going to hit Ctrl+Enter to check out what the animation looks like, and that's a pretty cool fire effect. Now I'm going to open apple.fla from the exercise files from this chapter to explore the Deco tool and the Spray Brush tool in conjunction.
There is nothing on the Stage here, but there will be soon. So I'm going to select the Deco tool and now choose the Tree Brush. Notice that you can draw an Aspen Tree, an Apricot Tree, an Ash Tree, even some vines and different kinds of evergreen trees. You have a lot of options here. Now I'm going to choose the Orange Tree. You can even change the color for branch, leaf, and flowers, and I'm actually going to leave these at their defaults because even though this is an orange tree, I'm going to make it an apple tree.
So I'm going to draw my tree, and the longer I hold the mouse down at the top, the more branches I get, so you can experiment with how this works. So our apple tree is going to have a profusion of apples, so many that they're going to be just falling on the ground. I'm going to use the Spray Brush tool to draw those apples. The Spray Brush tool is under the Brush tool, just above the Deco tool. So I'll click and hold the Brush tool to open the flyout menu. There is my Spray Brush tool. So notice that in the Property inspector it says Spray and then no symbol.
The Spray Brush tool is basically asking us to tell it what image we want to use to spray on the screen. If you don't define any--I'm just going to click and drag to spray--you get a series of black dots sprayed on the screen like spray paint. I'm going to undo that change and now click in the Library tab to open up the library. Here we have a symbol that contains an apple. We haven't covered what symbols are quite yet, but for now know that it's a reusable graphical asset. I'm going to go back to my Spray Brush tool and in the Properties panel choose Edit. Now I'm going to tell Flash that I want to use the apple symbol.
So we'll leave the Scale width and Scale height at 100%. If you change these, it would scale the width or height of the apple up or down, which I don't want to do since that would distort the Apple. I'll make sure that these three checkboxes here are unchecked. We'll work with them in a minute. And in the Brush area, I'll make sure that Width is 0, Height is 10, and Brush angle is 0. Now I'll click and drag to spray some apples onto the ground under our orange tree that's really an apple tree. You'll notice that those apples are all pretty close together. If I change the Height to 90 and spray again, you'll see that the apples are spread within a 90-pixel swath.
I'm going to create a third set of apples and this time check the Random scaling and Random rotation boxes. This time when I spray, you can see that the apples are randomly scaled bigger and smaller and they're also randomly rotated. So, the Deco tool is a fun way to experiment with different kinds of pre-built graphics, and the Spray Brush tool is a good way to put lots of copies of a particular image on the Stage in different ways. There are lot of choices between both of these tools, so I encourage you to take a few minutes and check out the options that interest you most.
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