Draw and Merge Shapes in Flash CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You’ll want to become familiar with the Shape tools on Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5’s Tools panel; you will use them as the starting point for everything from basic buttons to complex Flash CS5 illustrations.

How to draw a shape in Flash CS5

Locate the Rectangle tool; also notice a small arrow in the lower-right corner of the icon, which means that more tools are hidden underneath. Click and hold the Rectangle tool to reveal the Oval and Polystar tools; select the shape tool you want to use.

Before you draw the shape, set some colors for it by using the two swatches at the bottom of the Tools panel. The Fill color swatch (indicated by the paint bucket icon) lets you specify a color to fill your shape. The Stroke Color swatch (indicated by the pencil icon) controls the outline or border color.Abshier House

Flash lets you choose colors from the Swatches panel. You can add your own colors to this panel, but for now, choose one of the available colors for your shape’s fill and stroke.

Click and drag on the stage to create a shape. Notice that shapes are drawn by default from the left corner outward. You can draw shapes from the center (which is sometimes easier) by holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while drawing the shape.

To constrain a shape proportionally, hold down the Shift key while drawing or resizing.

How to merge shapes in Flash CS5

If you overlap two or more shapes in Flash, they automatically merge, or become one complete shape. You can take advantage of this behavior by using an overlapping shape to knock out another, or you can make more complex shapes by combining simpler ones.

You may also find that overlapping strokes results in divided fill areas, which can be a desirable effect. Experiment by drawing and overlapping shapes and using the Selection tool to select parts of the resulting object.