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Hour 2. Drawing and Painting Original Ar... > Task: Draw and Change Lines

Task: Draw and Change Lines

In this task you'll begin to draw and manipulate lines. Here are the steps:

Start a new file. Lines can have different stroke attributes, so make sure the Properties panel is in a convenient place first. If your Properties panel isn't present, select Window, Properties. Then you can drag the Properties panel to a blank area of the screen, as shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4. The Properties panel lets you set attributes of the lines you draw.

The Line tool draws straight lines. Select the Line tool. Your cursor (when on the Stage) changes to a crosshair. Click and drag to create a line. You might notice a dark ring that sometimes appears while you drag. This is Flash's way of assisting you while drawing. In the case of the line, you'll find drawing perfectly horizontal and vertical lines to be quite easy when the Snap to Objects option is selected in the View menu.

If you first set the stroke height or stroke color, this will affect subsequent lines you draw. Select a different color in the square swatch on the Properties panel. Then change the stroke height, either by typing a number in the Stroke height field or by clicking the arrow and dragging the slider. Now draw another line.

If you want to change the stroke attributes of a line you've already drawn, first select the Arrow tool and then click the line. While a line is (or lines are) selected, you can use the Properties panel to affect its attributes.

Select the Pencil tool. Notice, first, that the Pencil tool has an option for Pencil Mode. Click and hold the button that appears in the Options section to change the Pencil Mode, as shown in Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5. The Pencil Mode is an option that affects exactly how the Pencil tool will behave.

The Straighten option will attempt to straighten what you draw. Try drawing the letter S. It's likely to look jagged. Now try drawing the letter Z. It probably looks more like what you wanted. You'll learn to change the sensitivity later this hour, but drawing these letters should exemplify how the Straighten Pencil Mode works.

Choose the Smooth option and try drawing an S and Z. It's nice what happens to the S, but the Z has curves where there weren't any before. This option can come in handy if you find that your hand-drawn images look too jagged.

Finally, the Ink Pencil Mode will draw almost exactly what you draw. Flash adjusts what you draw to reduce the file size. A simple line takes less data to describe and results in a smaller file that's faster to download.



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