Flash pen tutorial

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This entry is part of the Flash tutorials.


Learning goals
Learn about basic Flash 9 (CS3), Illustrator and Inkscape bitmap tracing.
Flash CS3 desktop tutorial
Flash drawing tutorial
Flash layers tutorial
Moving on
The Flash article has a list of other tutorials.
Not complete. This tool is fairly complex ...
It aims at beginners. More advanced features and tricks are not explained here.
Materials (*.fla file you can play with)

The pen tool allows to create complex shapes with lots of straight lines and perfect arcs.

Basic use
  • To insert a series of connect points with straight lines, just click on several points in a row
  • You may want to display a grid (Menu View->Grid->Edit Grid or View->Grid->Show Grid
  • Once you are done: double click on the last point to create a closed shape or hit ESC or select another tool.
  • To insert curves, select a new point where the curve should start, but hold down the mouse for a while, then drag the mouse either out (along the line) or turn right/left.
  • To draw a line after a curve, click on the last curve control (round circle you just created), the click elsewhere.
  • The tiny rectangles (magnify if you can't see them) are called anchor points. You may later move them with the subselection tool.
  • The little dots are called curve controls. You can drag them in all directions to create the arces you'd like.
  • To close a curve, move it over an anchor point. A little circle should appear next to the mouse pointer. Click.
Other pen tools

When you hold down the mouse over the pen tool you can get three other tools that you may use while your are working on a drawing (before hitting ESC)

  • The Add Anchor Point tool: To add an anchor point to a segment, click on it.
  • The Delete Anchor Point tool: To delete a point click on it.

By default, the Pen tool changes to the Add Anchor Point tool as you position it over a selected path, or to the Delete Anchor Point tool as you position it over an anchor point.

Later, you also can use the subselection tool to repair.