Bookmark and Share

Flash Drawing

There are two main tools used to draw in Macromedia Flash: the Pencil tool and the Brush tool. This lesson will teach you all the need to know basics for both. Please create a new Flash file so you can follow along with this lesson.

Advertise on

Flash Pencil Tool

The first tool we will be looking at is the Flash Pencil tool, which is located on the Tools window. Left click the pencil tool or press the associated hot-key (y) to active the pencil tool.

Select a black stroke color from the Colors Window and ignore the fill color, as the pencil only uses the Stroke color.

Flash Pencil Options

This is where the functionality of many Flash tools are defined. The pencil tool is no exception and has two options that you should get to know. The first option is object drawing, which allows you to draw lines and shapes on the Stage that will remain independent from the rest of your existing items.

In old versions of Flash you could draw two shapes on the same layer, and if they overlapped they would not look the same when separated. Object drawing corrects this situation when enabled.

Pencil Correction Options

The neat thing about Flash is that it automatically smoothes your line drawings after you release the left mouse button. Next to the object drawing option is an icon that looks like part of some stairs. This is where you can choose between three different types of drawing aides:

  • Straighten - Straightens out your drawings as much as possible, and converts hand drawn ovals, rectangles and polygons into computer drawn ovals, rectangles and polygons.

  • Smooth - Finds the general curve of your strokes to smooth out the rough spots from by shaky hands or mouses that aren't very accurate.

  • Ink - Preserves the line you were drawing, but still smoothes out the rough spots a bit. Use this tool when the smooth option does not give you the accuracy you desire.

Here we have poorly drawn three squares using each of the line corrections mentioned above.




The difference between Smooth and Ink is much more subtle than either of those compared to Straighten.

Flash Brush Tool

The Flash Brush tool is next to the Pencil tool in the Tools window.

Select the brush tool and notice that it too has an Options window, just like the Pencil tool. These options are:

  • Object Drawing - This is only selectable if you are using the normal draw mode. It functions the same as Pencils Object Drawing function, preventing unwanted interactions between your shapes and drawings.
  • Lock Fill - Used when painting in gradients and if enabled will make use existing brush strokes to determine the gradient fill for subsequent brush strokes
  • Brush Mode - Five modes of the Flash brush that will make many common tasks a great deal easier. More on this later
  • Brush Size - Controls the size of the brush tool
  • Brush Shape - Dictates the shape of your flash brush

Flash Brush Modes

To really show you the difference between the various brush modes of Macromedia Flash 8 you should create a shape like the one we have below, or simply download our example.fla file and load it up to play around on.

We will be using the third from the top brush size and the circular brush shape.

Once you have the stage set up we will apply 5 brush stokes, using 5 different modes. Each line begins just below Tizag Tutorials and ends to the bottom left of the box.

  1. Normal - Simply behaves like a default brush.

  2. Fills - Ignores lines by only filling in the inside of shapes and areas

  3. Behind - Ignores existing shapes and lines and only paints in blank areas of the Stage

  4. Selection - Only paints with the active selection

  5. Inside - Starting where the brush is first laid down, this brush will only paint inside that shape or area.
Bookmark and Share

Found Something Wrong in this Lesson?

Report a Bug or Comment on This Lesson - Your input is what keeps Tizag improving with time!

Advertise Here

More Tutorials!
Microsoft Office Tutorials Artist Tutorials