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Pretty Pictures From Elsewhere - Flash

In the final part of our introductory Flash tutorial, find outhow to add sound to your Flash movie, organize your movie into scenes,share symbols across different movie clips, and import GIFs and JPEGs intoyour animation sequence.

  1. Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
  2. The Wave
  3. Sound Bites
  4. Boom!
  5. Squeezing It All In
  6. Pretty Pictures From Elsewhere
  7. The Scenic Route
By: icarus, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 38
January 31, 2001

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In addition to importing sound clips, Flash also allows you to import images created in other applications and use them in your Flash movie. Flash 5 has support for Adobe Illustrator EPS files, AutoCAD DXF files, bitmaps, GIFs, JPEGs, PNG images, and its own SWF format - all of these can be imported into Flash via the File -> Import command. Imported images appear in the Library with the other symbols you've created.

Since bitmaps are typically quite large, they can substantially increase the file size of your Flash movie - and so, Flash allows you to convert imported bitmaps into more efficient vector graphics with the Modify -> Trace Bitmap command.

The Trace Bitmap command does exactly what the name suggests - it traces the bitmap image and colours to create an accurate rendering of it in vector format. Typically, the final vector image lacks the fidelity of the original, but is still acceptable for use on the Web.

Flash also allows you some degree of control over the trace process, by specifying attributes such as Color Threshold (whether or not to consider pixels with similar color values as the same) and Curve Fit (how smooth curves should be). You'll have to experiment with different values until you find a setting that works for your specific bitmap.

Once the bitmap has been converted to a vector graphic, you can manipulate it in exactly the same way as you would other objects on the stage - convert it to a symbol, alter its colour and shape, scale it, rotate it, and skew it.

Flash also allows you to use imported bitmaps as a fill - to do this, use the Modify -> Break Apart command instead. This will break the bitmap apart into separate segments of colour. Next, select the Eyedropper tool, and you should see the broken-apart bitmap in the list of available fills. Select the fill, and then use the drawing and painting tools to draw and paint with that fill. The following example demonstrates filling an ellipse with a bitmap fill.

This article copyright Melonfire 2001. All rights reserved.

>>> More Flash Articles          >>> More By icarus, (c) Melonfire

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- An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
- Building Web Forms In Flash
- Building Data-Driven Flash Movies
- Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
- Flash 101 (part 5): Spiralling Out Of Control
- Flash 101 (Part 4): Don't Touch Me!
- Flash 101 (part 3): Bouncing Around

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