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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
In Flash, you can break apart a bitmap image to the pixel level and manipulate that using the Lasso tool. In this movie, we will take a look at how to use the Lasso tool and its various settings in Flash. So on the Stage here, I have a bitmap image. If I select it, you can see that it's a bitmap in the Properties panel. To break it apart, I'm going to go to Modify > Break Apart. Note the keyboard shortcut is Command+ B. So this converts this object into a ahape and so I can edit this object, just like any other vector shape in Flash.
If I click-and-drag the side, I can bring in and modify the object however I want. Going to undo those changes, and we will take a look at the Lasso tool. So with the Lasso tool, you have basically two modes. One mode is the Lasso mode and the other mode is the Magic Wand mode. So let's look at the Magic Wand mode first. I am going to uncheck Polygon mode in the options area at the toolbar. That's below everything else at the bottom. I am going to click the Magic Wand's Settings button. So here I can choose the Threshold and Smoothing for the Magic Wand.
The Magic Wand allows you to click a color inside of a bitmap shape to select all contiguous colors. Now of course this setting isn't perfect, but you can customize it using the Threshold and Smoothing options. So I am going to leave the Threshold at 50 and leave the Smoothing at Smooth. So you can come back and can change these, if you want, if you want to experiment more with the Magic Wand tool. But I am going to click OK and then I am going to click the button to turn on Magic Wand mode in the toolbar. So I am going to click one of the petals and watch how Flash selects it because of that yellow color is contiguous.
So if I click the Selection tool and move this shape around, you'll see that I have a fairly clean selection of the pedals at the top of the flower. So using the Magic Wand tool, I can get a pretty nice selection of bitmap images after I break them apart. Let's look at the other setting the Lasso tool. I'm going to uncheck Magic Wand and then I am going to draw with the regular Lasso tool. So if I click-and-drag around the pedal and release my mouse button approximately where I started, I can select a petal.
This setting is actually kind of difficult to get a really clean selection, because your hand may move as you are moving around your mouse. But nonetheless, it's an option when you're selecting objects with the Lasso tool. The Polygon mode setting gives you a little bit more control when you're selecting objects with the Lasso tool. It allows you to click multiple times to create a selection. So if I clinic, my selection continues to expand, each time I click. When you're using the Polygon mode, I recommend getting smaller portions of your selection and then closing out your selection.
So I started up here at the top left of that petal and once I finish at the top left of this petal, I am going to close out my selection by double-clicking. So I will double click and then I have my selection. And what now I'm going to do is hold the Shift key on my keyboard and then use the Polygon tool by clicking again on the next pedal to add to that last selection. So when you hold the Shift key and you click you're actually adding to the selection. So once I select this petal and double- click to finish, then that selection is added to my previous selection.
So by using this pattern, I can actually go through the whole flower and get the whole thing selected to isolate it from the rest of this bitmap image. Here is an example of what you can do using the Polygon mode of the Lasso tool. I actually took this shape and clean it up using the Eraser tool. So when you are working in Flash, you can use the Lasso tool to select parts of a bitmap and isolate them from the rest of the image. Of course, the advantage to that method is using Photoshop's Lasso tool, which has more controls. And the advantage to this method with the Lasso tool in Flash is that you'll have less file size when you export your movie from Flash.
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