Flash CS4 Merge Drawing Mode

Flash CS4 Merge Drawing Mode
In a previous tutorial for this project, we used the Flash Object Drawing mode to draw the envelope front and stamp for our ecard animation. Now we are ready to draw the envelope back. If you look at the back of an envelope, you will see that it has a triangular cut out, which is covered by the top flap when the envelope is closed.

In this tutorial, we will draw the back of our envelope and cut out that triangle (see #4 EnvBack2). Because we need to cut out the triangular shape from the rectangular envelope shape, this is a good time to use the Merge Drawing mode in Flash.

As the name suggests, objects drawn in this mode will merge when overlapped. This usually is inconvenient when drawing in Flash, which is why Adobe added the new Object Drawing mode. But, this is one occasion when the merge feature will come in handy for us. We will use it to easily cut out the triangular shape from the top of the envelope back.

Open your fla file into FlashR CS4.

  1. Click on the Rectangle tool and set the Stroke to null and the Fill to the color of our envelope (e4dec6). Now toggle the Object Drawing mode to off. Drag on the stage and draw our envelope rectangle with a Width of 200 and Height of 150. Notice that in the Merge Drawing mode the rectangle does not have the blue bounding box as it does in the Object Drawing mode.

  2. Now we will use the PolyStar tool to draw a triangular shape next to (not overlapping) the rectangle. Click on the PolyStar tool icon in the Tools panel and then click on the Options button in the Properties Inspector. In the Tool Settings dialog box, set the Number of Sides to 3. Finally, set the Fill color to a different color than the rectangle. As you draw the triangle, hold down your mouse button and rotate the triangle until one side is parallel to the top of the stage. When the triangle is in the correct position, release your mouse button.

  3. Click on the triangle with the Selection tool. In the Properties Inspector set the Width to 200 and the Height to 75.

  4. Now we can use the triangular shape to make the cut out for our envelope back. Click on the triangle and drag it over the top of the rectangle. When you see the guide lines indicating that the edges are matching, release your mouse button. Click outside the area to deselect the triangle.

  5. Go back to the envelope and click on the triangle again. Drag the triangle away from the envelope and you will see the cut out for our envelope back. Click Edit – Cut to remove the triangle from the stage. We do not need it anymore.

  6. Our last step is to add our preset filter to the envelope back. First we need to convert the rectangle to a movie clip. Click Modify – Convert to Symbol. Name the movie clip "EnvBack2" because this will be the second version of the envelope back that we will use in our animation. Set the Registration of Center.

  7. Notice that we have the EnvBack2 movie clip in the Library. Double-click on the EnvBack2 movie clip icon to open the movie clip in edit mode. Rename Layer 1 to "Filter" in the Timeline. Right-click on the envelope and convert to symbol. Name the movie clip "Env_Back2" and set the Registration to Center.

  8. In the Filters section of the Properties Inspector, click on the Presets icon. Choose the Env Inner Glow preset that we saved in the previous tutorial. When you click on the preset, you will see that the filter is applied to the selected object (our envelope back) and the settings are displayed in the Filters section.

  9. Click on the Scene 1 link to go back to the main Timeline. We do not need to keep this envelope back on the stage because we have the movie clip in the Library. Click Edit – Cut to remove the envelope from the stage.

  10. Save your fla file.

Note: To convert an object drawn in the Merge Drawing mode to a vector-based object in the Object Drawing mode, use the Modify – Combine Objects – Union command.

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