Version: Macromedia Flash 5
Objectives: Learn how to draw geometrical shapes
Tools & Techniques: Oval Tool, Rectangular Tool
Drawing Geometrical shapes
Geometrical shapes such as rectangles, squares, circles or ovals are drawn using the Oval Tool and the Rectangular Tool . Evidently, the oval tool is employed for making ovals and circles while the rectangular tool makes squares and rectangles.
Drawing an oval or a rectangle shape is very simple. Just select the appropriate tool and then left click on the stage. Keeping the mouse button depressed, drag to another location. There… you have your shape.
(Tip: Perfect circles and squares can be drawn by holding the SHIFT key when using the oval and rectangular tools, respectively.)
When the oval or rectangular tool is activated its corresponding modifiers are displayed below the toolbar. These modifiers let you control the various properties of the shape you are about to draw. Remember, each shape consists of an outline and a fill. Outline color, outline style, outline thickness and the fill color (or gradient) can be set using these modifiers.
The modifiers for the oval and rectangular tools are similar except for one addition to the rectangular tool modifier palette. Let’s take it step by step.
The fill modifier lets you specify the fill color from the color palette.
Color gradients (discussed later) can also be used as fills. Flash comes with a set of basic gradients. Using these as foundations, you can create your own.
The other icons in the modifier palette control the outline style and thickness, and have been explained in the previous session, Using the Line Tool.
The Rectangular tool modifiers
Except for the last modifier (Round Rectangle Radius), the rest are identical to those found in the oval tool modifier palette.
The Round Rectangle Radius is employed to make rounded rectangles. Clicking on the modifier opens a pop-up window through which you can specify the radius in pixels.
Ovals and Circles with the Oval tool
Outline thickness set to 2 pixels and color to black. Solid line style was used for the outline. The fill color was set to a light blue shade.
Rectangles and Squares
Outline Thickness: 2 pixels
Outline Style: Solid
Fill Color: Yellow
The rounded rectangle has 10 pixels as radius.
Once you have created a shape you can place it where ever you want. To move a shape (or any other object for that matter) from one place to another, you have to select it first using either theArrow or the Lasso tool.
Shapes/objects can be selected by
- Clicking on it with the Arrow tool
- dragging a rectangle around the shape using the arrow tool OR
- drawing a loop with the lasso tool
Note: The lasso tool is commonly used for selecting odd shaped objects.
Rectangles and ovals consist of two parts, the fill and the outline. You can select these individually. Thus, to select only the fill, click inside the shape with the arrow tool. Oulines of circles and ovals can be selected by clicking on them. Selecting an outline of a rectangle or a square involves four clicks with the arrow tool, one for each side. (eight clicks in case of rounded rectangles).
Selecting a entire rectangle (outline and fill) using the arrow tool.
Selecting the outline of a circle and detaching it from the shape.
Sizing and rotating shapes
There are various ways to change the size and rotation of shapes in Flash. The simplest way to do this is to use the Arrow tool modifiers. When a shape is selected with the arrow tool, the modifiers are displayed below the toolbar. Here are two of them.
The scale modifier is employed for changing the size of the selected object. When it is activated, eight small square Handles are placed around the object. Dragging the corner handles increases or decreases the size of the object while dragging the central handles stretches the object in that direction.
The rotation modifier places eight small circular handles. The four in the corners, rotate the object while the central ones skew the object.
Flash makes it easy for you to work with these modifiers by changing the look of the mouse cursor depending upon the modifier you use.