How to Create Bitmap Fills in Flash CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5, bitmap images can be used as fills for shapes, illustrations, and even Flash type as an alternative to solid colors or gradients. Bitmap fills can create cool effects and let you add interesting photographic textures to enhance your artwork.

You can create bitmap fills from existing bitmaps that have already been imported into your library, or you can use the Color panel to import a bitmap whenever you need to create a new bitmap fill.

Follow these steps to create a bitmap fill:

  1. Create a new Flash document.

  2. Create a shape on the stage and then set a fill and stroke color with the swatches at the bottom of the Tools panel.

    To use a bitmap fill on type, you first have to break apart the type by choosing Modify→Break Apart. Type is created and edited on a type path, so you need to break it off the path and down to its raw form (points and paths).

  3. Select the shape with the Selection tool and choose Window→Color to launch the Color panel.


  4. Make the fill color active by clicking the Paint Bucket icon on the Color panel.

  5. Choose Bitmap Fill from the drop-down list in the upper-right corner of the panel.

    If you have no bitmaps in your library, choose a bitmap file from the Import to Library dialog box that appears.

    Or, if you have bitmaps already in your library, a thumbnail preview of each one appears at the bottom of the Color panel. Click the one you want to fill the shape with.

    The shape is now filled with the bitmap you chose.


After you apply a bitmap fill, you may want to adjust the positioning and size of the bitmap within the fill area. Use the Gradient Transform tool (located underneath the Transform tool). Gradients and bitmap fills, although quite different, both have a visible orientation point that you can adjust.

To position a bitmap fill, select the Gradient Transform tool and select a shape that uses a bitmap fill. When the circular bounding box appears, drag its center point to reposition the bitmap, or use the outside handles to rotate, scale, and skew the bitmap.