The Pencil tool is on the Tools panel, it is used for freeform drawing. When you draw with the Pencil tool you are creating strokes. It works the same way as a real pencil with options for smoothing and straightening.
The Pencil tool has three options which are displayed in the option area of the Tools panel, after you select it (see the image below).
Depending upon which mode you choose, Flash makes corrections to the drawn line.
- Straighten - transforms the line into a series of straight-line segments and straight curves.
- Smooth - softens the curve of the line you draw.
- Ink - used for more freeform drawing, to yield a line closest to the line you've drawn with minimal corrections.
To change the straighten rate, select the object, click the Modify menu -> Shape -> Advanced Straighten, enter a value between 0-100, and then click OK.
To change the smooth rate and angles, select the object, click the Modify -> Shape -> Advanced Smooth, enter a value, and then click OK.
Another way to optimize a shape in Smooth mode: select it, click the Modify -> Shape -> Optimize, add a value between 0-100 and click OK.
In the Properties panel you can set various options to Pencil tool (after you have selected it), like: color of the line, thickness (between 0-200), style, smoothing. See the presentation below:
Using the Pencil tool
The Pen tool is used for more complex vector drawing. This tool utilizes anchor points and Bézier handles to create perfect arcs and a lot of perfectly straight lines.
To create straight lines with the Pen tool, click the Stage to create anchor points, which Flash automatically connects using perfectly straight segments.
If you drag the Pen tool (instead of just clicking), Flash displays a preview curve and a control line that lets you adjust the angle of a curved arch. These curves can be modified with precision by adjusting the Bézier handles that extend from the anchor points, or you can move the anchor points themselves.
Pen Tool drawing
In the Pen tool button, on the Tools panel, there are other pen tools to add, delete, or convert anchor points. You can edit the anchor points and vectors to create the drawings you want.
- The shapes and lines created with the Pen Tool can be easily modified from the anchor points with "Subselection Tool".
- Add Anchor Point Tool (=) - adds anchor points to desired locations, including drawings which are not made with the Pen Tool.
- Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) - deletes an anchor point when you click on it.
- Convert Anchor Point Tool (C) - converts and use an anchor point between lines as point to create a curve, and vice versa, converts a curve point in a corner point.
You can set Flash to preview line segments and curves one step before to draw it. Select Edit -> Preferences then, select the Drawing category. The Pen tool preferences appear at the top of the Preferences window. Click to activate the Show pen preview (see the image below).