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Drawing: Re-Using Color

208 Drawing
Flash Compatibility: Flash 8   (Also works in Flash MX04/Flash MX)

Written by: Andrei Doubrovski   from:   Meet the Flash

Editor: Phil Schulz

Length: 300 words

Assumed Knowledge: Minimal knowledge of Flash

Difficulty: Easy


Free Flash Tutorial

After mixing a perfectly matched color or a complex Gradient we may want to apply it to other Shapes. This tutorial shows you the tools & options available to achieve this. Knowing how you can use the Eyedropper and other related tools makes drawing in Flash much easier.

Cross Ref: Flash Drawing Tutorials 201 to 209 are a consecutive series and you may want to start from the beginning: Pencil Tool

Re-using Color

Step One: Copying Fill or Strokes to Shapes

  1. Activate the Selection Tool:

  2. On the Stage: Select a Shape

  3. A Shape with a Gradient Fill has been selected.

  4. Activate the Eyedropper Tool:

  5. Click on a: Source Shape

  6. The Fill is transferred to the selected Shape.

    Note: If you click on a source Stroke the Stoke attributes would have been transferred but not the Fill color and visa versa.

    Look at the cursor to know what is going to be copied:

    Transfers the Fill color.
    Transfers the Stroke color. This does not copy the Stroke width and style attributes.
    Transfers Stroke (or Fill) color to both the Fill and Stoke on the selected Shape. Hold Shift to get this tool.

    You will notice that when as soon as you have used the eyedropper tool the tool automatically changes.

Step Two: Copying Fill or Strokes from Shapes

  1. Re-activate the Eyedropper Tool:

  2. Deselect all Shapes: Edit > Deselect All (Ctrl Shift A)

  3. Click on a source Shape to: Copy Shapes Stroke (or Fill)

  4. Coping Stroke Attributes.

    Note: The Eyedropper will now change to the Ink Bottle tool:
    When using this method the Eyedropper will not just copy the Strokes color's but also other attributes such as width and style.

    Tip: If you had clicked on a fill the Eyedropper would have changed to the Paint Bucket tool:

    You can now apply the Strokes attributes to other Shapes:

  5. Click destination shape to: Paste the Stroke Attributes

  6. Paste the Stroke attributes to a new object.

  7. Continue to: Stroke Additions Shapes

  8. Stroking Additional Shapes.

Step Three: Creating Swatches

Another method of reusing a Fill color or Gradient is by adding it to the document's Swatches. To save the current color attributes do the following:

  1. If the Color Mixer is closed, open it: Window > Color Mixer (Shift F9)

  2. Go to the Color Mixer Panel corner menu and select: Add Swatch
  3. Open the Color Swatches: Window > Color Swatches (Ctrl F9)
  4. You can find the added swatch in the Color Swatches Panel and in pop-up Swatches:

    Gradients are added at the bottom.

    If you add colors they go at the end of the other colors.

Step Four: Lock Fill Option

When you click with the Eyedropper on a Filled Shape, Flash automatically activates the Paint Bucket tool and enables Lock Fill mode. In this mode all the applied Fills can be regarded as parts of a single Fill. For example, if you apply a radial Gradient twice, the Fills may look very different, because the both Gradients start from the point you first clicked at.

  1. Select the Paint Bucket Tool:
  2. Note: If you have continued from the steps above you should be able to see the following in the Tool Box:

  3. In the Tool Box if a Gradient Fill is not selected, select it:
  4. In the Tool Box if the Lock Fill option is not selected, select it:
  5. Fill a: Shape
  6. Fill additional: Shapes
  7. Note: You should be able to see that they contain the same Gradient.

  8. Select the Gradient Transform Tool:
  9. Cross Ref: If yo are not familiar with this tool you may want to see the tutorial: Using Gradients

    Note: You will see that you are editing a single gradient spanning several Shapes.

    If you do not want a Gradient to span several shapes then but want the Gradient Fill center's to be specific to each Shape you will need to turn off the Lock Fill.

Step Five: Converting Strokes into Fills

We have seen that Strokes are very handy to create and modify. However, sometimes we may need to edit a Stroke in a Fill-like way, for example, copy to it a Fill attributes to a Stroke. To do this:

  1. Activate the Selection Tool:
  2. Select a: Stroke (or strokes)
  3. Go to: Modify > Shape > Combine Lines to Fills

Note: You cannot reverse this conversion back to a line!!

Cross Ref:
Go to the next in this drawing series: Next >>>


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