Basic Vector Manipulation

Written By MrSun at 1:10 pm - Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Categories: Flash

A beginner’s tutorial that I made a while ago

Don’t be scared by the title, it just means that today, we are going to learn some basic techniques on how to easily edit the vector shapes that you create. If you didn’t know, vector shapes are what Flash uses instead of bitmap images. This means that the angles and lines are calculated by math, so that no matter how far you zoom in, the lines will always be smooth. But for now, you shouldn’t have to worry about that information.

So first, just like in my other tutorials, let us draw a shape. For now, we’re going to draw a square.
My Square

The first technique that I’m going to show you is curving the edges. When you hover your cursor over the edge of the square, you should see a curved line under it, indicating that you can manipulate the curve of the line. If you click and drag your cursor, then the edge of the square should curve depending on where you move your mouse. When you release the mouse, you should end up with a curve in your shape.
The outcome of curving the edges
Pretty nifty, no? I cannot tell you how much this tool has helped me in the past, so I won’t, and I’ll leave it to you whether or not you wish to use it.

The next technique is creating a new anchor point. This simply means that if we start off with a square, we are going to end up with a pentagon, by adding a new anchor point somewhere. This process is very similar to the one above. On that same square, hover your mouse over a side that you haven’t touched yet. This time, hold the control key and click. If you drag your mouse around, there should be a small right angle, indicating that you are creating a new point. If you let go, you should end up with a new point! Here is what I came out with:
The outcome of adding a new point

Well, there you go. Those are just two of the many tricks in Flash that will make your life a lot easier. Thank you for reading my tutorial!