Join Anastasia McCune for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating shapes in the Merge and Object Drawing modes, part of Up and Running with Flash Professional CC.
There are two drawing modes available to you when using the tools in Flash: Merge Drawing mode and Object Drawing mode. To explore these two modes, I've created a blank FLA document in Flash and simply typed Merge on the top left, and object on the top right so we can compare the two side by side. To start, I'm going to choose the oval. When I do that, the property inspector should open. And, like many other drawing programs, Flash lets you choose what color the outline is going to be, as well as the fill. I'm going to click once on the color chip, next to the icon of the pencil to expand my color palette for stroke.
I'm going to make the stroke be black. The fill I'm going to make blue of 0066FF. Before drawing our oval, let's make sure that we're using merge drawing mode. When you select a tool, the properties area underneath the toolbar also changes to show you more options available for the tool. I can't quite see all my options, so I'm going to expand my toolbar just a little bit. Before the oval, we see this icon that looks like a circle within a square. This icon is how to toggle between merge and object drawing modes. Merge drawing mode is the default when you start a new fla and you can see that the icon is kind of a light grey color.
When you click the icon, it turns to a darker grey and puts you into object drawing mode. Admittedly the difference between the light gray and the dark gray can be kind of subtle. Well, I want merged drawing mode, so I'm going to make sure the icon is the lighter gray color. If you're still not sure which one you've got, just draw an oval on the screen by clicking and dragging. I'm actually going to draw two ovals. I'm going to switch to my arrow tool and select one of the shapes. The property inspector shows that the selected object is a shape. When you see that you know you're in merge drawing mode. That's what we want.
Now I'm going to switch to Object Drawing Mode by clicking the oval tool, pressing the icon below and drawing two more ovals. Using the Arrow tool, when I click one of the ovals, the Property inspector says, Drawing object. So we know for sure, we're on Object Drawing Mode. Also notice the box that appears around the oval. Merge Drawing Mode doesn't have that. I'm going to click once on the pasteboard to deselect. And now I'm going to choose my Polystar tool. And the Property inspector I'll choose yellow for the fill. Under tools settings, there's this button called options. The resulting box allows you to choose between drawing a polygon and specifying how many sides it should have, or star.
I'm going to choose star and stick with five points. I'm still in the object drawing mode, so I'll draw this star on the right side. Now I'll toggle back to Merge Drawing Mode and drawer another yellow star. Using my Arrow tool I'm going to click on the pace board one time just to make sure everything's deselected. Now I'm going to approach one of the edges of a merge drawing mode oval with the mouse. You'll notice how a small icon of a curved line appears. While that's visible, you can change the oval shape by clicking and dragging out the edge. Similarly, if I approach a corner of a shape with the mouse like on a star, you will see a little angle icon appear that allows me to click and drag the angles to modify.
Here's an example of how merge drawing mode really does, treat shapes just like blobs of color. If I click and drag my mouse over parts of the shapes, you can see that just what I've highlighted as selected and I could move it away. I'm going to undo that move. You could also select the stroke of the shape separately than the fill. I"m going to click on the stage to deselect everything and now click just once in the middle of an oval. Only the fill is selected, and you can tell because it has that kind of stippled pattern of white drops. If I drag and drop the oval somewhere else on the stage, only the fill goes.
I'm going to hit control z to undo that. Now, if I double click on the oval, both the fill and the stroke are selected, allowing you to move both together. It's a common mistake, to click only once on a shape and take just the fill. So try to remember that you have to click twice, to get both the stroke and fill. Selecting the stroke by itself is of course just as easy. I'm going to click on the stage somewhere away from the oval to deselect. And now I'll click on the stroke of one of the ovals and do something with it, like delete it. On the star, I can click just one line and I'll delete that. If you want to select all of the stroke on the star, you have to double-click it. I'll delete that stroke as well.
So, compare the Merge drawing mode shapes to the object drawing mode shapes. When I drag and object drawing mode shape around, you'll notice that the stroke and the film move around together. You can't select them separately, like you can with Merge drawing mode. You can still change the stroke and fill colors. For instance, on this oval, I'll use the property inspector to change the stroke to no stroke. You do that by choosing the white box with the red line through it. Notice how I can still even approach one of the edges of my ovals or the star, and get those same little line indicators, so I can change teh object shape.
By now, you've seen that one of the bigggest differentces between merge and object drying modes is that object drying groups the fill and stroke of a shape for you automatically. When you draw the shape. There's one more significant behaviour that's different between merge and object draw modes. It's perhaps where merge drawing mode got its name. I'll select and drag my merge drawing mode so it's positioned partially over the blue oval. Now I'll click the stage to deselect. Now I'll click the yellow fill again and move it elsewhere. You can see that the yellow has, kind of, cut it's shape out of the blue. That behavior can be useful or annoying depending on what you're trying to do. You can also, kind of, work in the opposite direction. I'm going to move one lue oval over the other. The positioning doesn't have to be precise. Then I'll deselect.
Now I'll select the blue fill again and you'll see that for the parts that were the same color, the two shapes have been fused or merged together. The object drawing mode shapes don't do this. You can drag and drop them on top of each other all you want and they still remain discrete objects. There's lots of other ways you can manipulate your shapes ,regardless of if they're merged drawing shapes or object drawing shapes. 1 tool you'll probably use a lot is the free transform tool. Using my mouse, I'm going to select one of my object drawing ovals and I'll select the free transform tool or you could just press Q on your keyboard. Control handles appears around the shape and I can rotate by approaching the corner with the mouse watching for the circular arrow and then clicking and dragging. I could skew by approaching an edge and watching for the skew icon, then clicking and dragging.
Or I could scale it by grabbing one of the corners. When scaling you can scale horizontally or vertically or if you hold down the Shift key it will constrain the proportions as you scale. You could also hold down the Ctrl key, the Cmd key on a Mac, and affect just one corner. There's lots of other things you can do to effect the shape and coloration of objects on the screen. We'll look at one mroe example in the next movie. If you want a detailed explanation of all the drawing tools and all their options, check out the course called flash essential training here in the lynda.com library. For now, you know the differences between merge and object drawing modes. Merge treats fill and stroke separately, and depending on the color, you can cut out or glue together two different shapes.
Object drawing mode basically groups together shapes for you as you draw them
- What is Flash?
- Using the Timeline
- Creating shapes in the Merge and Object drawing modes
- Using symbols
- Creating simple animations
- Using ActionScript to create navigation
- Converting and integrating video
- Publishing for web, mobile, and desktop applications