Join Todd Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the new tools in the toolbar, part of Flash CS4 Professional New Features.
In Flash CS4, there are several new tools in the toolbar. In this movie we'll talk about a few of them. Some of them are complex like the 3D tools and the Bones tools. For those tools we have whole chapters dedicated to them in this title. So we'll look at them in more detail later on. For now, we'll take a look first at the Spray Brush tool. The Spray Brush tool is hidden in the flyout menu below the Brush tool in the toolbar. The Spray Brush tool's default setting is to provide spray paint. You check the default shape box, choose a color, choose a scale. Choose whether or not to have random scale, and choose a brush size you can spray paint on the stage.
There we go. I'm going to undo my spray paint by pressing Command+Z on the Mac or Ctrl+Z on the PC. You can also spray using symbols to create patterns. Going to adjust the scale of my symbol. Going to add Random Scaling, adjust the width and the height of the brush. Then I can create a pattern on the stage. So if I wanted to draw a border around the stage, I can do that using this tool. Going to undo my changes by pressing Command+Z on the Mac or Ctrl+Z on the PC.
The Spray Brush tool is a great tool for painting patterns. Another tool for painting patterns is the Deco tool. The Deco tool paints fills. Many of the fills that the Deco tool paints consume the whole stage. For example, the Vine Fill, which is the default setting or default drawing effect for the Deco tool, paints a leaf and a flower along with a vine. If you check the Default Shape checkboxes and then click on the Stage, a vine gets painted with flowers and leaves; if you click again the drawing stops.
You'll notice that the drawing animates as it moves. If you wanted to create an animation out of that, you can very easily. I'm going to press Command+Z to back up and then I'm going to check the Animate Pattern checkbox. This creates a frame- by-frame animation of drawing a pattern. You'll notice that the Frame Step is set to 1. That is how many frames you go between keyframes in the animation. I'm going to delete the default setting. If I click on the Stage and then click again, you'll see that you'll see that Flash has created an animation for me. I'm going to select that range of keyframes and delete them using the keyboard shortcut Shift+F5.
In the Deco tool you can also use symbols as your pattern. I'm going to uncheck Animate Pattern and going to set a symbol for the leaf. The symbol is going to be a LeafStroke, and for the flower I'll set a symbol called FlowerStroke. I click again, the Deco tool paints using my custom flower and leaf shapes. Command+Z to Undo. Now I'll change the Drawing Effect to Grid Fill. If you click on the Stage, the Deco tool fills the stage with a grid of whatever symbol you have selected or you can simply use the default shape by clicking the Default Shape checkbox.
Command+Z to Undo, and of course using the Deco tool you can control horizontal and vertical spacing along with the scale of your pattern. The Symmetry Brush enables you to draw shapes symmetrically. In the Advanced Options section of the Symmetry Brush, I'm going to start with Reflect Across Line. When I click-and-drag, you can see the two shapes are being created. When I release my mouse button, two shapes are created, symmetrically reflected across this line.
You can also draw with symbols. So I'll select my Flower symbol and click-and-drag to draw flower shapes. Notice that they are symmetrically reflected. Going to press Command+Z a few times to undo. Then I'm going to change the Advanced Options to Reflect Across Point. I can draw to reflect across a certain point. Undo, Rotate Around. I can draw multiple shapes around a certain point. Undo again, and you can also do a Grid Translation.
So I'm drawing multiple shapes on this grid. And that's a look at some of the new tools in Flash CS4. I encourage you to be creative and try the different settings in each of the tools so that you can get more experienced using them.
- Exploring the new interface and toolbar Working with the motion editor and presets Using the vector data type and other Flash player enhancements