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- Comparing Flash CS4 and Flash CS5
- Inserting modifiable cue points for video in Flash
- Editing text in the Text Layout Framework
- Embedding fonts
- Creating and editing ActionScript code snippets
- Performing roundtrip editing between Photoshop and Flash
- Exporting FXG files for use in Flash Catalyst
- Integrating with Flash Builder
Skill Level Intermediate
The Deco tool has been updated in Flash CS5 to provide many more options for creating art. Let's take a look at what's new with the Deco tool. If I select the Deco tool, you'll see, in the Drawing Effect area, that there are many additional options. Let's starts with the 3D Brush. Using the 3D Brush, you can paint based on the 3D perspective of your application. So as I click and drag down, the art that's drawn higher up is faded back and the art that's lower is larger, so adding to that depth perspective.
The Building Brush draws buildings, which can be Random buildings, or you can select one of four different buildings, and you control the width of the building through the Building Size option. The Decorated Brush paints 20 different patterns. So you have a Wave, a Line Dot and several others.
The Fire Animation creates animated fire. If you want to, you can click the End animation button for the animation to finish instead of repeating. You can set whatever you want the fire to look like in the Properties panel and then just click on the stage, and Flash will create the animation for you. You can see the animation previewed as Flash is creating it. As I click and drag the playhead, you can preview the animation in Flash.
The Flame Brush paints flames. You can change the color and size of the flames in the Properties panel. The Flower Brush paints four different kinds of flowers, and you can control whether you want a branch and what color the branch is and the color of the flowers in the Properties panel. There is a Garden Flower, a Rose, Poinsettia and a Berry. The Lightning Brush paints lightning.
We're going to change the color to something that will show up on the screen. There are some lightning bolts. Using the Properties panel, you control the scale of the lightning, whether you want it to animate. You can control the width and complexity of the lightning as well. A Particle System creates animated particles that can be mapped to symbols that are in your library. You can choose various options on the particles, including the length of animation that you create, how many particles are created, and how many particles are created per frame, the lifespan of the particles and the gravity that's applied to the particles.
So if you click and hold your mouse down, you can create a particle system. I'll scrub the playhead to preview that animation. The Smoke Animation is pretty similar to the Fire Animation, so you can customize in the Properties panel. Basically, click on the stage, and Flash creates the animation of smoke for you. And finally, there is the Tree Brush, which can draw different trees. Notice there are many different types of trees you can choose from.
I'll just draw an Aspen Tree. Click and drag up to draw the branch, and then hold your mouse down to draw the leaves on the tree. That's a look at the new features of the Art Deco tool. Now you may be thinking that this tool is not very useful because it's just a bunch of built-in standard artwork that you might not be able to find use of in your applications. Here is an example of how I use the Deco tool in one of my applications. I had a backdrop of a girl riding a bike through a city. I used the Art Deco tool to drop in some buildings in the background.
So using the Art Deco tool, you can add simple artwork to your applications. So hopefully, you can find some creative uses for the Deco tool as well.