Learn How to Practice Your Vector Drawing Skills in Macromedia Flash 8
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Now, some great practice with this is just bringing up files and tracing them. We are not always going to be tracing. Sometimes you will be drawing straight in a blank document but it is great practice to kind of get things going. This tool is one that you definitely want to practice on. So, I am going to open up another file that we got in our Lesson 3 folder. We got a pen tool tracing file.
Now, this is a great idea for just trying out your skills with the tool. What I got in here, I got a couple of layers of just some bitmap graphics and bitmaps are great because these are just nice, simple shapes that we can trace our way around. We got lots of different contours we got to work into here and different ways that we are going to be building the file up just to get the shape.
Now, I will work through the doc01 with you because I want to kind of just give an example of how we work through these files but I have also included a couple of other layers in here with some other graphics that you can try out yourself and just get comfortable with this tool. We got lots of different shapes, some corner points to play with, all kinds of different areas.
So, let me scroll back down to the doc01. I will set my doc trace layer as my active layer and let us try to use that pen tool and see if we can make ourselves a doc. I can pick a point to start. It does not really matter where I start. Let me zoom in a little bit. I will just start right here on the docs back. I am looking for a place that is nice and flat.
What I am doing as I am building this out, I am actually visualizing where I am going to put the next point. I think that is the real trick in using this tool is planning the next position in because that is going to control how far I drag the cursor to make the handle and where I position things. So, I am going to set my point there and my next position is planned here.
Now, this is an area where I have a very gentle counterclockwise and I go into a tight clockwise. So, it makes a good place for me to put that point in. So, I will drag my first line there. Once again, I got clockwise going to counterclockwise, so it looks like quite about in here, I got another section.
And here, I got my curve not changing direction that is going from very tight to a very lose curve. So, I can trace right around that. You can see the key is just really point placement. Do not worry about being wrong, there is no wrong point. There are only the points that make up your file as you go along.
I got a couple of more in here and set up the bottom, working my way right around that curve. Now, again here, I am even looking at a subtle difference between a very wide curve and a little tight corner there, so I am going to bracket that corner, put a point on that one side and the other.
Here is a good point that will come up very often and that is, I have drawn in this curve but I am also thinking ahead and thinking I am going to put my next point here. Now, if you watch while I drag the handle, it was almost out to here which is almost the full length of the curve.
And very often I needed to drag the handle out to a certain distance to get this side of the curve working well, and this side of the curve is not working quite so well. So, as I pull this one out, I might find out that I got a little bit too much handle on this side.
Now, I am going to switch over to my subselect tool. You will notice that once I have made the handle, I am not using my Alt or Option key as I would in the PC. If I change the direction, it is going to change both sides. But if I change the length, I am only changing one side of it at a time. Did you see that other handle? It is still sitting out there at the same length that was before.
So, after you have drawn a curve, you can change the length of one side of a handle if it is not appropriate and that will give you a little smoother curve as you are going through here. You can see I needed more handle on this side than I needed on that side.
I will restart this curve, I can click in and start dragging the way and I will