Join Todd Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Brush tool, part of Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training.
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In Flash, the Brush tool paints fills as opposed to strokes. So of course the Brush tool would use the fill color. Before we use the Brush tool, I want to point out that I adjusted my toolbar to display as multi-column. You can do that by clicking and dragging at the left edge with the panel. So I can have a display as a single column or multi column layout. Here I am going to use a two-column layout, which works well with my screen size, using the Brush tool. Since a single column layout hides some of the options. When you have the Brush tool selected, you can control the smoothing of the shapes that you draw in the Properties panel.
When you click-and-drag to draw with the Brush tool a higher smoothing value will make your shapes more smooth, of course and a lower value will make them more rough, or have more Anchor Points. Let's look in the options area of the toolbar below of the tools. When you have the Brush tool selected you will see it, there is Object Drawings, just like every other drawing tool. And there is something called Lock Fill. This applies to creating different shapes that have a gradient applied. Using this setting, you can apply one gradient across multiple shapes. So I recommend coming back and using this tool and practicing with this setting, once you learn more about creating Gradients in another movie.
The Brush mode, Enables you to set a different Painting mode for the Brush. For now, we will just look at Paint Normal. I'll explain the other settings later in this movie. Then you can choose the Brush Size, Brush Shape and then there are options for using a drawing tablet. So you can control Pressure and specify whether to Use Tilt. One thing that's important to note about the way that the Flash Brush tool works is that the Flash Brush tool draws the same size as your cursor. So when you bring your cursor out to the Stage and you click-and-drag to draw with the Brush tool.
See, I am drawing some lines on the right side of the Stage. The size of your brush is relative to your zoom level. So, say if I zoom out and I draw the same pattern on the left side of the Stage and then I zoom back in. Even though I didn't change the Brush Size in the toolbar, the Brush stroke on the left is wider than the Brush stroke on the right. So keep that in mind as you are using the Brush tool in Flash. Let's use the Brush tool, to draw an actual shape. Going to select a Green color and going to draw a cactus.
So I will click-and-drag draw a cactus on the screen. I am going to draw this as one continuous shape without releasing my mouse button. But you can feel free to release your mouse button and add more to the shape, if you want. So, there is my cactus. And let's take a look at the other Brush modes. The next one is called Paint Fills. This mode doesn't paint over strokes. Let's take a look at how it works. If I click-and-drag to draw a rectangle on the Stage and I change my fill color.
I go to the Brush tool and then click-and-drag over the rectangle. Notice that Flash did not write over the strokes, so you see the stroke going through here and here at the top and bottom of the rectangle. If I were to Paint Normal, Flash would draw through the stroke in both places. The Paint Behind mode does just what you think. It paints behind anything on the Stage. So let's say I wanted to create a stylized shadow for this cactus.
I could do a rough outline of the cactus using Paint Behind mode and when I release my mouse button, I have a stylized outline. Paint selection, does just like you'd think. It paints whatever object you have selected. So I have Black as my fill color. I'll select the cactus on the Stage. Then go to the Brush tool in Paint Selection mode and then I can paint another outline. This time it will paint inside only where the cactus is selected and there is the outline.
This mode is actually pretty similar to the last one that we will look at which is Paint Inside. Paint Inside only paints inside of the shape that you click in so let's take a look at how that works. I am going to choose a dark green color. I'll select the Brush tool, and click Paint Inside. With Paint Inside, you have to start drawing inside of a shape. So I have my cursor inside of the cactus, then I am going to click and I'll draw a stylized shadow on the cactus. I am intentionally going to go far outside of the shadow, so that you can see that this artwork is tossed out once I let go of my cursor.
So only the artwork that I created when I started drawing with my cursor inside of the cactus was saved. So now I will continue on with that stylized shadow. Here we go! So now I have a cactus. Let's say I wanted to drop that cactus into the Scene on the left. I can select the cactus and then I can turn it into a drawing object, so that I can layer it even though the objects are on the same layer, by going Modify > Combine Objects > Union.
So now this won't get cut up if it touches any other shapes on the same layer. Now to move the object behind other objects, I am going to go to Modify > Arrange > Send Backward. Note the keyboard shortcut. On the Mac it's Command+Down; on the PC it's Ctrl+Down. So I am going to use that and then I am going to press the keyboard shortcut again and again, until the cactus is behind the water. So, using the Brush tool, you can Paint fills and using the different modes within the Brush tool, you can apply neat stylized effects to your objects.
Like this shadow that created using the Paint Inside mode.
- Becoming familiar with the Flash workspace
- Drawing basic shapes
- Masking content
- Organizing a file into layers
- Importing content into the Library
- Understanding symbols and instances
- Inserting frames and keyframes in the Timeline
- Animating with motion and shape tweens
- Creating IK (Inverse Kinematics) animations
- Using ActionScript code snippets to control video playback
- Publishing HTML, SWF, and AIR files from Flash