Fill and Stroke Effects Flash

Gradient fills are one kind of important fill effect. They give extra depth and richness to shapes that are drawn in Flash and are commonly used to give a three dimensional effect to shapes.

Spheres
Spheres are very easy to make. To make one, draw a circle on the stage, and then apply a radial gradient fill to it but don’t just stop there! Learn to use the gradient fill to give it some depth by adding highlights and shadows.

As shown below, starting with a simple sphere (left), a highlight effect is added to the sphere (middle). Then, working with the Radial Gradient drop-down of the Fill Panel, a unique radial fill is generated to apply highlight and shadow effects to the sphere (right).

Creating highlights and shadows for a 3D effect.

Creating highlights and shadows for a 3D effect.

Here’s how to make a simple sphere look more realistic.

  1. Select the Oval Tool and choose a radial gradient for the fill.
  2. Shift-drag across the stage with the Oval Tool to make a circle, which should look like the sphere shown at the left.
  3. To give the sphere a little highlight effect, transform the fill by reapplying it with the Bucket Tool, so that the lightest part is at the top left of the circle, as shown in the middle sphere of the figure.
  4. Now play around with the colors in the fill until you get a nice looking sphere, as shown in the figure at the right. Add colors to the radial gradient to tweak the effect of highlight and shadows.

The sphere illustrates a very simple 3D effect created with gradient fills. Although it’s not really three-dimensional, it does give the illusion of it. More complex and detailed 3D effects can be created by judiciously combining the power of gradient fills.

Stroke effects
Stroke effects which are controlled by the Stroke Panel in concert with the Line, Oval, Rectangle, and Pencil Tools can be used to give more life to lines. One really neat way of using this effect is to apply a stroke style (stipple, hatch, custom) to a line, and then turn the line into a fill (Modify➪Shape➪Convert Lines to Fills) and apply various effects to the resulting fill. Then you can apply both Gradients and Bitmap Fills to your lines. Beware that overuse of this technique on complex styles can significantly increase .SWF file size and download time. On slower machines, it may also cause the animation to drag



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