Procedures for working with bitmaps as fills have changed significantly since Flash 4. Upon import, a bitmap appears on the Stage in the current frame of the active layer. However, it also lands in the Library, where it truly resides. In fact, you can delete the bitmap from the Stage without clearing it from the Library. However, you might not have noticed that, on import, the bitmap was also deposited in the Bitmap Swatches drop-down of the Fill Panel. Bitmaps that appear in this new Bitmap Swatches are automatically broken apart on import and may be modified with any of the Flash drawing and painting tools.
This is the Bitmap Swatches drop-down of the Fill Panel.
Here’s how to acquire and apply a bitmap fill (of a bitmap that’s already been imported) in Flash 5:
Using a bitmap as a fill can produce some interesting designs.
Breaking a bitmap apart
Breaking apart a bitmap means that the bitmap image is subsequently seen by Flash as a collection of individual areas of color. After an image is broken apart, it may be modified with any of the Flash drawing and painting tools. You can select individual areas of the broken apart image with any of the selection tools, including the Magic Wand option of the Lasso Tool. (This is not the same as tracing a bitmap, which reduces the vast number of colors in a bitmap to areas of solid color and turns it into vector format.) The command duplicates the new Flash 5 automatic conversion of an imported bitmap as it arrives as a swatch in the Bitmap Swatches of the Fills Panel. You cannot use Modify➪Break Apart to generate a variant fill from the same bitmap.
The Magic Wand Option of the Lasso Tool is used to select ranges of a similar color in either a bitmap fill or a bitmap that’s been broken apart. After you select areas of the bitmap, you can change their fill color or delete them, without affecting the Bitmap Swatch in the Fills Panel. Click the Magic Wand option in the Toolbox to invoke the Magic Wand Settings dialog.
The Threshold setting of the Magic Wand
The Threshold setting defines the breadth of adjacent color values that the Magic Wand will include in a selection. Values for the Threshold setting range from 0 to 200 the higher the setting, the broader the selection of adjacent colors. Conversely, a smaller number results in the Magic Wand making a narrower selection of adjacent colors. To see the threshold settings see below.
A value of zero results in a selection of contiguous pixels that are all the same color as the target pixel. With a value of 20, clicking a red target pixel with a value of 55 will select all contiguous pixels in a range of values extending from red 35 to red 75.
The Magic Wand Settings dialog
The Smoothing setting of the Magic Wand option
The Smoothing setting of the Magic Wand option determines to what degree the edge of the selection should be smoothed. This is similar to antialiasing. (Antialiasing dithers the edges of shapes and lines so that they look smoother on screen.) The options are Smooth, Pixels, Rough, and Normal. Assuming that the Threshold setting remains constant, the Smooth settings will differ as follows:
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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