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Learning to Draw in Macromedia Flash MX  : Page 4

Flash is the most ubiquitous drawing and animation tool ever created. Learn to create and edit images using the versatile drawing tools featured in Flash MX.




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Publishing Your Work
If you wish to preview your graphic as it will appear in a stand alone Flash file, go up to the Control menu and select the Test Movie option. When you are finished previewing the graphic, simply close the window. There are many ways to take a Flash file and embed it in an HTML page, but for now, just click on the Arrow tool and go down to the Properties panel and click on the button labeled Flash Player 6 (see Figure 18).
Figure 18: Publishing your Flash graphic
In the dialog box that appears, simply click the "Publish" button. Clicking the Publish button creates an HTML file with the Coffee Grounds image embedded in it, located in the directory where you saved your .fla file. To see the completed image, load that HTML file into your browser.

You have just used Macromedia's vector-based drawing tools to create a lightweight, resolution-independent graphic that weighs about half of what it would had you created it as a GIF file. This barely scratches the surface of what Flash MX's content creation tools can do. Try practicing with all of the drawing tools, especially the Pen tool. The Pen is difficult to master, but its precision and capacity for elegant curves are more than worth the effort. You might also try to emulate the method used to create the coffee cup to draw more complex objects by combining simple shapes.

John Lee holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and is the sole proprietor of John Lee Studios in Louisville, KY where he is a freelance writer, illustrator and Web designer. Samples of his work can be seen at www.johnleestudio.net. Reach him by e-mail at johnleeart@alltel.net.
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