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Chapter 3. Creating Graphics > Drawing with the Pencil Tool

Drawing with the Pencil Tool

Use the Pencil tool for freeform drawing. When you draw with the Pencil tool you are creating strokes. It works the same way as a real pencil with options for smoothing and straightening. Depending upon which mode you choose, Flash makes corrections to the drawn line. Smooth mode softens the curve of the line you draw while Straighten mode transforms the line into a series of straight-line segments and standard curves. If you are using the Pencil or Brush tools with Smooth mode, you can specify the degree of smoothness (). Additionally, Flash performs shape recognition to the lines you draw so that if it detects something approximating a simple geometric shape such as a rectangle, oval, or triangle, it converts your drawing into whichever shape it detects. To bypass these modifications, select Ink mode. This mode allows for the most freeform drawing with minimal correction by Flash.

FL8DS-4.2A

Use the Pencil Tool in Straighten Mode

1.
Click the Pencil tool in the Toolbar.

The pointer becomes a pencil. The Pencil tool options appear at the bottom of the Toolbar. The default mode is Straighten.

TIMESAVER Press Y to select the Pencil tool.

2.
Draw on the Stage with the Pencil, and then release the mouse.

A rough preview of the line appears as you draw. In Straighten mode, Flash transforms the line into a series of straight-line segments and standard curves.

Did You Know?

Flash converts rough shapes into clean, geometric shapes. If you draw a rough rectangle in Straighten mode, Flash converts your shape into a clean rectangle with straight sides. It does the same for other shapes, such as ovals and triangles. Set the tolerance level of shape recognition in the Drawing preferences.


Use the Pencil Tool in Smooth Mode

1.
Click the Pencil tool in the Toolbar.

The pointer becomes a pencil. The Pencil tool options appear at the bottom of the Toolbar.

2.
Click the Pencil mode popup in the Options area of the Toolbar, and then click Smooth.

3.
In the Property Inspector, click the Smoothing popup, and then click a value from 0 to 10 ().

The default value is set to 5. The greater the smoothing value, the smoother the resulting line.

TROUBLE? To display the Property Inspector, click the Window menu, and the click Properties.

4.
Draw on the Stage with the Pencil, and then release the mouse.

A rough preview of the line appears as you draw. In Smooth mode, Flash smoothes the line you draw into curved line segments.

Did You Know?

You can disable straightening and smoothing. Click the Pencil mode popup in the Options area of the Toolbar, and then click Ink mode to yield a line closest to the line you’ve drawn with minimal corrections performed by Flash.


For Your Information

Smoothing Curves Another Way

You can also smooth curves by optimizing the shape. Optimizing a shape refines curved lines and fill outlines by reducing the number of curves used to define the shape (). To optimize a shape, click it, click the Modify menu, point to Shape, click Optimize, specify a smoothing level, select additional options (select Use Multiple Passes to repeat the smoothing process until you can’t anymore, and select Show Totals Message to display an alert when smoothing is complete), and then click OK.


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