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Modify Simple Graphics in Flash MX 2004

Chapter Description

Flash back to Macromedia Flash MX 2004 for a retro tutorial on how to modify simple graphics in Flash! If you're still using Macromedia Flash MX 2004, you'll want to sneak a peek at this sample chapter, which shows you how to use the selection, lasso, and subselection tools to select and modify graphics. You'll also learn about using the Property Inspector and other panels to modify elements' attributes.

Reshaping Curves with the Selection Tool

You can reshape a curve, or change a straight-line segment into a curve, by using the selection tool to push and pull on the curve. You can also reshape curves by using the pen and subselection tools in combination (see "Reshaping Curves with the Subselection Tool" later in this chapter).

In the following exercises for the selection tool, make sure that the line or curve you want to reshape is deselected when you start each exercise.

To reposition the end of a curve with the selection tool:

  1. Position the selection tool's pointer over the end point of the curve. The corner-point modifier appears.
  2. Click and drag the end point to a new location. As you drag, the end of the line changes to a small circle, showing that the line is active for modifications. The last segment of the curve changes direction depending on where you locate the end point. Flash previews the new curve segment as you drag ( Figure 3.34 ).
    fig_0334_drag_pt.jpg

    Figure 3.34 Using the selection tool, click the curve's end point and drag it to a new position. Flash reshapes the end of the curve.

To reshape a curve with the selection tool:

  1. Position the selection tool's pointer over the middle of a curve segment. The curve-point modifier appears.
  2. Click and drag the curve to reshape it ( Figure 3.35 ).
    fig_0335_reshpcrvm.jpg

    Figure 3.35 Click the middle of a curve (A). Flash activates the curve segment (B). Drag the curve to a new position (C, D). When you release the mouse button, Flash redraws the curve (E).

    Flash previews the curve you're drawing.
  3. Release the mouse button. Flash redraws the curve.

To turn a straight-line segment into a curve segment with the selection tool:

  1. Position the selection tool's pointer over the middle of a line segment. The curve-point modifier appears.
  2. Click and drag the line to reshape it ( Figure 3.36 ).
    fig_0336_crvfrmlnm.jpg

    Figure 3.36 Although this line doesn't look curved (top), Flash considers all its middle points to be curve points. Drag one of those points to create a line that looks like a curve (bottom).

    Flash previews the curve that you're drawing.
  3. Release the mouse button. Flash redraws the line, giving it the curve you defined.

To create new corner points with the selection tool:

  1. Position the selection tool's pointer over the middle of a line or curve segment. The curve-point modifier appears.
  2. Option-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows). After a brief pause, the selection tool's modifier changes to the corner-point modifier, and a circle appears where the pointer intersects the line. You are now activating a corner point.
  3. Drag to modify the line or curve segment and add a new corner point ( Figure 3.37 ).
    fig_0337_linenewcrnrpt.jpg

    Figure 3.37 Option-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows) to create a new corner point for editing your line. Dragging a corner point from a straight-line segment creates a sharp V (top). Dragging a corner point from a curve creates a V with curving sides that comes to a sharp point (bottom).

14. Reshaping Curves with the Subselection Tool | Next Section Previous Section