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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.

Creating Solid Colors: Color Mixer Panel

You can define new solid colors for fills and strokes in the Color Mixer panel. You can do so visually (by clicking a graphic representation of a color space—all the available colors in a given color-definition system) or numerically (by entering specific values for color components). Always choose the type of color—fill or stroke—before you start defining. Flash updates all the related color boxes with the new color. If you define a new fill color, for example, that color becomes the setting for all the tools that use fills. You can also set a color's transparency in the Color Mixer panel.

To access the Color Mixer panel:

  1. If the Color Mixer panel is not open, from the Window menu, choose Design Panels > Color Mixer ( Figure 3.78 ) or press Shift-F9.
    fig_0378_wndwsdpnlsclrmxrw.jpg

    Figure 3.78 To access the Color Mixer panel, choose Window > Design Panels > Color Mixer.

    The Color Mixer panel appears.

To access solid-color attributes in the Color Mixer panel:

  1. Open the Color Mixer panel.
  2. From the Fill Style menu, choose Solid.
  3. To choose a color space, from the panel's Options menu, do one of the following:
    • To define colors as mixtures of red, green, and blue, choose RGB.
    • To define colors by percentage of hue, saturation, and brightness, choose HSB ( Figure 3.79 ).
      fig_0379_clrmxrpnloptsmenw.jpg

      Figure 3.79 The Color Mixer panel lets you choose a color from the color-space bar or enter values directly to define a color in the RGB or HSB color space. Choose the desired color space from the Options pop-up menu.

  4. To determine where Flash applies the new color, do one of the following:
    • To set a new stroke color, click the pencil icon.
    • To set a new fill color, click the paint-bucket icon.

To define a new color visually in the Color Mixer panel:

  1. With the Color Mixer panel open, choose a color space.
  2. Position the pointer over the desired hue in the color-space window.
  3. Click. The crosshair cursor appears, and Flash selects the color within the crosshairs ( Figure 3.80 ).
    fig_0380_clrmxrfullm.jpg

    Figure 3.80 In its default, expanded mode, the Color Mixer panel displays a color-space window, a preview window for the new color, a luminosity/ lightness slider, and a text field for entering the precise hex value of a color. Click in the color-space window to choose a new color visually.

To define a new color numerically in the Color Mixer panel:

  1. With the Color Mixer panel open, choose a color space.
  2. To define a new color, do one of the following:
    • For RGB colors, enter values for red, green, and blue in the R, G, and B fields ( Figure 3.82 ).
      fig_0382a_rbgfieldsw.jpg

      Figure 3.82 Enter RGB values to specify the amount of red, green, and blue that make up the color. Enter HSB values to specify the color by hue, saturation, and brightness. The new color appears in the selected color box.

    • For HSB, enter values for hue, saturation, and brightness in the H, S, and B fields.

To define a color's transparency:

  1. With the Color Mixer panel open, define a color.
  2. Enter a value in the Alpha field ( Figure 3.83 ).
    fig_0383_alphafieldw.jpg

    Figure 3.83 Enter an Alpha value of less than 100 percent to define a transparent color.

    A value of 100 (100 percent) results in a completely solid color; a value of 0 results in a completely transparent color.

After you define a new color, you may want to add it to the Color Swatches panel so that you can use it again. (For more information about the Color Swatches panel, see "Creating Color Sets" later in this chapter.)

To add a color to the Color Swatches panel:

  1. Use any of the techniques described earlier in this section to define a new color in the Color Mixer panel.
  2. From the Color Mixer panel's Options menu, choose Add Swatch. Flash appends the new color to the solid-colors section of the Color Swatches panel. (To access the Color Swatches panel if it is not open, choose Window > Design Panels > Color Swatches.)
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