Friday, June 1, 2007

Creating Graphics in Flash CS3

Flash offers a full suite of tools for creating and editing graphics. When you draw in Flash, you create vector art. Vectors are mathematical descriptions of lines and points that, when connected, form shapes and objects. Vector-defined art is not limited by resolution like bitmaps are so they can be scaled to any size without a loss in quality or increase in file size. This is the basis of Flash; the main reason Flash files are so small and why they can be deployed on so many platforms. Vector graphics are also fully editable after they are created so you can continue to adjust their properties. Included in Flash are many of the drawing tools and procedures familiar to the seasoned user of vector drawing programs. It is also a good place for the beginner to learn. Sketch naturally with the Pencil and Brush tools or use vector-based objects, such as the Rectangle or Oval tools or the Polystar tool. Use the Pen tool to create lines and shapes with B├ęzier curves. Whatever is drawn can be edited and modified with a variety of tools and palettes. When you select an object or graphic on the Stage, the Property Inspector displays the attributes of that object that are modifiable, such as fill and stroke color, position, and scale.
You can draw shapes in Flash using two drawing models: Merge Drawing and Object Drawing. The Merge Drawing model, the default (like previous versions of Flash), automatically merges shapes that you draw when you overlap them. If you select a shape that has been merged with another, and move it, the shape below it is moved too. The Object Drawing model allows you to draw shapes as separate objects that do not automatically merge together when you overlap them. You can now extend the Object Drawing mode by creating primitive rectangles and ovals in Primitive mode (New!), which allows you to edit properties in the Property Inspector and specify the corner radius of rectangles and inner radius of ovals. This makes it easy to create pie wedges, round off corners, and other curved shapes.
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