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Chapter 7. Using Non-Flash Graphics > Editing Bitmaps with Flash’s Tools

Editing Bitmaps with Flash’s Tools

You can always edit bitmaps with an external bitmap editor, but Flash also lets you create a version of a bitmap that you can edit (to a certain degree) within Flash. First, you break the image apart; next, use the magic-wand tool to select a region of color within the image; and finally, use Flash’s drawing tools to edit that region.

To create a bitmap that you can edit in Flash:

Create a new Flash document.

Import a bitmapped graphic, using the procedures in “Importing Non-Flash Graphics” earlier in this chapter.

An instance of the bitmap appears on the Stage, and Flash adds the bitmap to the library.

Select the bitmap instance on the Stage.

From the Modify menu, choose Break Apart (Figure 7.13).

Figure 7.13. Select a bitmap; then choose Modify >Break Apart (top). Flash converts the bitmap to an editable bitmap (bottom). The editable bitmap acts like a gradient fill in that it’s not a single color, but the various color areas are not vector shapes.

Flash converts the bitmap to a special type of graphic and selects it. Flash doesn’t have a specific name for this type of graphic, but let’s call it an editable bitmap. An editable bitmap is no longer a collection of individual pixels, each with its own color value; neither is it a collection of tiny vector shapes.

A bitmap you’ve broken apart acts more or less like a single vector shape with a gradient fill. (Macromedia describes this state as being a number of discrete color areas.) If you click any area of the image now, you select the entire image.

Try selecting the paint bucket tool and setting the fill color to solid red; click the image, and it becomes a red rectangle. Don’t forget to undo your experiment.



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