Anything drawn on the stage in Flash is a vector graphic -- it can be resized without losing resolution. A shape on the stage can be made up of a stroke object, a fill object, or combinations of the two. Use the drawing tools in the Tools panel (shown at left) to create and change vector shapes on stage. Many of the drawing tools have options which can be set in the Options area at the bottom of the tools panel. Others have options which can be set in the Properties panel.
When you use the pencil tool, for example, you create a stroke object. The ink bottle, line, and pen tools also produce stroke objects (though the pen tool will also create a fill object if it is used to make a closed shape). The paint bucket tool is used to create a fill object -- a filled area within a predefined stroke. The oval and rectangle tools can be used to produce strokes, fills, or both, depending on how the stroke color and fill color boxes are set.
These are some of the quirks of drawing with Flash that make it different from other graphics editing programs and sometimes easier to use to good effect
The tools are described in detail in the Flash help; here are some reminder notes:
Objects on stage can be selected by:
With the pen tool selected, the following can be done to a shape on stage:
The subselect tool (open arrow) can also be used to move anchor points:
The rectangle and oval tools are for dragging out a rectangle, square (shift-drag), oval, circle (shift-drag), polygon, or star on stage, using the currently selected fill and stroke colors. Use option-drag (PC: alt-drag) to drag from the center.
The paint bucket tool is used to set the fill color to a solid or gradient. (If you click inside a stroke with the paint bucket and it won't fill, there are probably gaps in the stroke. Try turning on the "close large gaps" option.) The ink bottle tool is used to add a stroke around an object -- select it and click near the edge of a fill object to add a stroke to it.
Discussed on this page:
drawing fill and stroke objects in Flash IDE, how Flash is different from other drawing programs, 5 quirks of Flash, pen tool, subselect tool, selection methods, rectangle, oval, paint bucket, ink bottle
The Transform tool is used to resize, rotate, skew or distort an object. Using the transform tool to distort an object is described nicely in this excerpt from the Visual Quickstart Guide for Flash MX.
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An updated Visual Quickstart Guide for Flash MX 2004 is available at Amazon:
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A nice example of taking advantage of some of Flash's drawing quirks to create a tooltip is in the beginning part of the video in the Flash tooltips tutorial at gotoAndLearn.com.
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The pencil tool has three options for drawing a stroke freehand: ink, straight, smooth, as shown in the drawing above from understandinganime.com by Tipatat Chennavasin