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Lesson 8. Symbols, Brushes, and Hoses > Using the Brush Feature

Using the Brush Feature

What comes to mind when you think of a brush? If you have used a brush in a bitmap application such as Macromedia Fireworks or Adobe Photoshop, you may think of a brush as a tool for painting pixels. In FreeHand, you create a brush from symbols. Anything you can draw in FreeHand can be made into a brush that you can apply to a path. For example, suppose you want to create a circular border consisting of triangles. Sure, you can draw a triangle, clone it, and rotate it to form the circle. In fact, you did just that when you drew the petals and leaves for the flower. But what if you want to use that same effect to create a border in the shape of a square or a curved path? If you create a brush using a triangle, then all you have to do is apply the brush to a path, just as you change the stroke for a path. What could be easier?

In Lesson 5, “Using Points and Paths,” you drew a bicycle and used a dashed line to represent the bike chain. The dashed line follows the curve of the path. Once you drew the path, changing it to a dashed line was just a matter of selecting the type of dashed line you wanted to use. What if you wanted to make a more realistic look for the bike chain? If you look at a bike chain, you’ll see that it consists of links in the shape of figure eights. You could draw one link and then place copies of the link to form the chain. However, if you converted the link to a symbol and used the symbol to create a brush, all you would then need to do is draw the path and apply the chain brush to the path. If you alter the path, the chain brush will bend to follow the path automatically. On your bike drawing, you would just remove the dashed line on the path and then replace it with the chain brush.


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