Drawing on Flash: Easier Than It Looks

My stop sign duplicate.

1. To replicate the stop sign image, I opened the original photo in Flash and created a new layer above the photo in order to trace the shapes and select various colors. I used the eyedropper tool to match the red, blue, and grays found in the image. I used the PolyStar tool to create a red octagon then distorted it (using free transform) to match the picture and made a white outline with the pencil tool. I used the brush tool to trace the nails and pole. I then typed “STOP” with the type tool and changed the font, size, and color until the lettering matched reasonably well (I settled on Franklin Gothic Medium Condensed, size 11).

I traced Lisa Simpson with the pen tool.

2. Tracing Lisa Simpson wasn’t too bad once I got used to the pen tool. I started with an anchor point, then selected a second point, held down my mouse to adjust the curve, then released and connected this to a third point and repeated the process. I had trouble with a few of the curves, but zooming in helped and eventually I got around the whole drawing. I then used the fill tool to make Lisa’s silhouette yellow.

I used the align tool to arrange these objects around the border of the stage.

3. After listening to the Lynda.com tutorial, the align tool was very easy to use. I positioned four of the objects in the corners of the stage (each 10 pixels away from the border). I selected the top left corner object, five random non-corner objects, and the top right corner object then aligned the top edges and spaced them evenly horizontally. Then I selected the top right corner object, three random non-aligned objects, and the bottom right corner object, aligned the right edges and spaced them evenly vertically. I repeated these steps to complete the bottom and left edges.

The difference between object and merge drawings.

4. The main difference between a merge drawing and an object drawing comes into play when shapes overlap. When shapes overlap in a merge drawing, the shapes, well, merge. When the shapes are different colors, the “lower” shape is altered–the area of overlap has been removed. This change is visible if the two shapes are separated, as a piece will be missing from the shape that appeared to be covered by another shape. If overlapping shapes are the same color, they become one object. An object drawing, on the other hand, maintains the original shape of your drawings, regardless of color, even if they overlap.

5. A bitmap graphic is composed of pixels whereas a vector graphic is a drawing that combines an infinite number of lines and curves. When stretched beyond its original size, a bitmap graphic will become blurry or pixelated.  A vector graphic, on the other hand, can be enlarged without sacrificing image quality.

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