Create or edit a gradient fill

A gradient is a multicolor fill in which one color gradually changes into another color. Animate CC (formerly Flash Professional CC) lets you apply up to 15 color transitions to a gradient. Creating a gradient is a good way to create a smooth color gradation across one or more objects. You can save a gradient as a swatch to make it easy to apply the gradient to multiple objects. Animate can create two types of gradients:

Linear gradients change color along a single axis (horizontal or vertical).

Radial gradients change color in an outward direction starting from a central focal point. You can adjust the direction of a gradient, its colors, the location of the focal point, and many other properties of the gradient.

Animate CC provides additional control over linear and radial gradients for use with Flash Player. These controls, called overflow modes, let you specify how colors are applied beyond the gradient.

  1. To apply a gradient fill to existing artwork, select an object or objects on the Stage.

  2. If the Color panel is not visible, select Window > Color.

  3. To select a color display mode, select RGB (the default setting) or HSB from the panel menu.

  4. Select a gradient type from the Type menu:

    Linear

    Creates a gradient that shades from the starting point to the end point in a straight line.

    Radial

    Produces a gradient that blends outward in a circular path from a central focal point.

    note: When you select a linear or radial gradient, the Color panel also includes two other options if you are publishing for Flash Player 8 or later. First, the Overflow menu is enabled below the Type menu. Use the Overflow menu to control the colors applied past the limits of the gradient. Second, the gradient definition bar appears, with pointers below the bar indicating the colors in the gradient.

  5. (Optional) From the Overflow menu, select an overflow mode to apply to the gradient: Extend (the default mode), Reflect, or Repeat.

  6. (Optional) To create an SVG-compliant (Scalable Vector Graphics) linear or radial gradient, select the Linear RGB check box. This will allow the gradient to look smooth when scaled to different sizes after it is first applied.

  7. To change a color in the gradient, select one of the color pointers below the gradient definition bar (the triangle at the top of the selected color pointer will turn black). Then click in the color space pane that appears above the gradient bar. Drag the Brightness slider to adjust the lightness of the color.

  8. To add a pointer to the gradient, click on or below the gradient definition bar. Select a color for the new pointer, as described in the previous step.

    You can add up to 15 color pointers, letting you create a gradient with up to 15 color transitions.

  9. To reposition a pointer on the gradient, drag the pointer along the gradient definition bar. Drag a pointer down and off of the gradient definition bar to remove it.

  10. To save the gradient, click the triangle in the upper-right corner of the Color panel, and select Add Swatch from the menu.

    The gradient is added to the Swatches panel for the current document.

  11. To transform the gradient, such as to make a vertical gradient instead of a horizontal one, use the Gradient Transform tool. See Transform gradient and bitmap fills for more information.

Adjust Stroke and Fill color

You can specify the stroke and fill color of graphic objects and shapes using either the Stroke Color and Fill Color controls in the Tools panel, or the Stroke Color and Fill Color controls in the Property inspector.

The Stroke Color and Fill Color section of the Tools panel contains controls for activating the Stroke Color and Fill Color boxes, which in turn determine whether the strokes or fills of selected objects are affected by color choices. Also, the Colors section has controls for quickly resetting colors to the default, setting the stroke and fill color settings to None, and swapping fill and stroke colors.

In addition to letting you select a stroke and fill color for a graphic object or shape, the Property inspector provides controls for specifying the stroke width and style.

To use these controls to change the painting attributes of existing objects, first select the objects on the Stage.

Also see: Live Preview of Colors.

Adjust stroke and fill color using the Tools panel

The Tools panel Stroke Color and Fill Color controls set the painting attributes of new objects you create with the drawing and painting tools. To use these controls to change the painting attributes of existing objects, first select the objects on the Stage.

  • Click the Stroke or Fill Color control, and select a color swatch.

  • Click the System Color Picker button in the pop-up window, and select a color. You could also hover the pointer over different colors to preview the effect of the color on the shape.

  • Type a color’s hexadecimal value in the box.

  • To return to the default color settings (white fill and black stroke), click the Black And White button in the Tools panel.

  • To remove any stroke or fill, click the No Color button.

    Note: The No Color button appears only when you are creating an oval or rectangle. You can create an object without a stroke or fill, but you cannot use the No Color button with an existing object. Instead, select the existing stroke or fill and delete it.

  • To Swap colors between the fill and the stroke, click the Swap Colors button in the Tools panel.

Animate CC allows you to preview Stroke or Fill colors live when changing them from the Color Swatch. For more information, see Live Preview of Colors.

Apply a solid color fill using the Property inspector

  1. Select a closed object or objects on the Stage.
  2. Select Window > Properties.
  3. To select a color, click the Fill Color control and do one of the following:

    • Select a color swatch from the palette.
    • Type a color’s hexadecimal value in the box.

Select a stroke color, style, and weight using the Property inspector

To change the stroke color, style, and weight for a selected object, use the Stroke Color control in the Property inspector. For stroke style, choose from styles that are preloaded with Animate, or create a custom style. To select a solid color fill, use the Fill Color control in the Property inspector.

  1. Select an object or objects on the Stage (for symbols, first double-click to enter symbol‑editing mode).
  2. Select Window > Properties.
  3. To select a stroke style, click the Style menu and select an option. To create a custom style, click Custom in the Property inspector, select options in the Stroke Style dialog box, and click OK.

    Note:

    Selecting a stroke style other than Solid can increase file size.

  4. To select a stroke weight, set the Stroke slider or enter a value in the text box.
  5. To enable stroke hinting, select the Stroke Hinting check box. Stroke hinting adjusts line and curve anchors on full pixels, preventing blurry vertical or horizontal lines.
  6. To set the style for a path end, select a Cap option:

    None

    Is flush with the path’s end.

    Round

    Adds a round cap that extends beyond the path end by half the stroke width.

    Square

    Adds a square cap that extends beyond the path by half the stroke width.

  7. (Optional) If you are drawing lines using the Pencil or Brush tools with the drawing mode set to Smooth, use the Smoothing slider to specify the degree to which Animate smooths the lines you draw.

    By default, the Smoothing value is set to 50, but you can specify a value from 0 to 100. The greater the smoothing value, the smoother the resulting line.

    Note:

    When the drawing mode is set to Straighten or Ink, the Smoothing slider is disabled.

  8. To define how two path segments meet, select a Join option. To change the corners in an open or closed path, select a path and select another join option.
    Miter, round, and bevel joins.

  9. To avoid beveling a Miter join, enter a Miter limit.

    Line lengths exceeding this value are squared instead of pointed. For example, a Miter limit of 2 for a 3-point stroke means that when the length of the point is twice the stroke weight, Animate removes the limit point.

    Applying a Miter limit.

Adjust the strokes of multiple lines or shapes

To change the stroke color, width, and style of one or more lines or shape outlines, use the Ink Bottle tool. You can apply only solid colors, not gradients or bitmaps, to lines or shape outlines.

Using the Ink Bottle tool, rather than selecting individual lines, makes it easier to change the stroke attributes of multiple objects at one time.

  1. Select the Ink Bottle tool from the Tools panel.
  2. Select a stroke color.
  3. Select a stroke style and stroke width from the Property inspector.
  4. To apply the stroke modifications, click an object on the Stage.

Copy strokes and fills

Use the Eyedropper tool to copy fill and stroke attributes from one object and immediately apply them to another object. The Eyedropper tool also lets you sample the image in a bitmap to use as a fill.

  1. To apply the attributes of a stroke or filled area to another stroke or filled area, select the Eyedropper tool and click the stroke or filled area whose attributes you want to apply.

    When you click a stroke, the tool automatically changes to the Ink Bottle tool. When you click a filled area, the tool automatically changes to the Paint Bucket tool with the Lock Fill modifier turned on.

  2. Click another stroke or filled area to apply the new attributes.

Modifying painted areas

The Paint Bucket tool fills enclosed areas with color. This tool lets you do the following:

  • Fill empty areas, and change the color of already painted areas.

  • Paint with solid colors, gradients, and bitmap fills.

  • Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill areas that are not entirely enclosed.

  • Have Animate close gaps in shape outlines as you use the Paint Bucket tool.

  1. Select the Paint Bucket tool from the Tools panel.
  2. Select a fill color and style.
  3. Click the Gap Size modifier that appears at the bottom of the Tools panel and select a gap size option:
    • Don’t Close Gaps to close gaps manually before filling the shape. Closing gaps manually can be faster for complex drawings.
    • A Close option to have Animate fill a shape that has gaps.

    Note:

    If gaps are too large, you might have to close them manually.

  4. Click the shape or enclosed area to fill.

Transform gradient and bitmap fills

You can transform a gradient or bitmap fill by adjusting the size, direction, or center of the fill.

  1. Select the Gradient Transform tool  from the Tools panel. If you do not see the Gradient Transform tool in the Tools panel, click and hold on the Free Transform tool and then select the Gradient Transform tool from the menu that appears.
  2. Click an area filled with a gradient or bitmap fill. A bounding box with editing handles appears. When the pointer is over any one of these handles, it changes to indicate the function of the handle.

    Center point

    The rollover icon for the center point handle is a four-way arrow.

    Focal point

    The focal point handle appears only when you select a radial gradient. The rollover icon for the focal point handle is an inverted triangle.

    Size

    The rollover icon for the size handle (middle handle icon on the edge of the bounding box) is a circle with an arrow inside of it.

    Rotation

    Adjusts the rotation of the gradient. The rollover icon for the rotation handle (the bottom handle icon on the edge of the bounding box) is four arrows in the shape of a circle.

    Width

    Adjusts the width of the gradient. The rollover icon for the width handle (the square handle) is a double-ended arrow.

    Press Shift to constrain the direction of a linear gradient fill to multiples of 45°.

    Radial gradient controls

    A. Center point B. Width C. Rotation D. Size E. Focal point. 
  3. Reshape the gradient or fill in any of the following ways:
    • To reposition the center point of the gradient or bitmap fill, drag the center point.
    • To change the width of the gradient or bitmap fill, drag the square handle on the side of the bounding box. (This option resizes only the fill, not the object containing the fill.)
    • To change the height of the gradient or bitmap fill, drag the square handle at the bottom of the bounding box.
    • To rotate the gradient or bitmap fill, drag the circular rotation handle at the corner. You can also drag the lowest handle on the bounding circle of a circular gradient or fill.
    • To scale a linear gradient or a fill, drag the square handle at the center of the bounding box.
    • To change the focal point of a circular gradient, drag the middle circular handle on the bounding circle.
    • To skew or slant a fill within a shape, drag one of the circular handles on the top or right side of the bounding box.
    • To tile a bitmap inside a shape, scale the fill.

    Note:

    To see all the handles when working with large fills or fills close to the edge of the Stage, select View > Pasteboard.

Lock a gradient or bitmap to fill the Stage

You can lock a gradient or bitmap fill to make it appear that the fill extends over the entire Stage and that the objects painted with the fill are masks revealing the underlying gradient or bitmap.

When you select the Lock Fill modifier with the Brush or Paint Bucket tool and paint with the tool, the bitmap or gradient fill extends across the objects you paint on the Stage.

Using the Lock Fill modifier creates the appearance of a single gradient or bitmap fill being applied to separate objects on the Stage.

Use a locked gradient fill

  1. Select the Brush or Paint Bucket tool and select a gradient or bitmap as a fill.
  2. Select Linear or Radial from the Type menu in the Color panel.
  3. Click the Lock Fill modifier .
  4. First paint the areas where you want to place the center of the fill, and then move to other areas.

Use a locked bitmap fill

  1. Select the bitmap to use.
  2. Select Bitmap from the Type menu in the Color panel.
  3. Select the Brush or Paint Bucket tool.
  4. Click the Lock Fill modifier .
  5. First paint the areas where you want to place the center of the fill, and then move to other areas.

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