The new Paint Brush tool in Animate CC (formerly Flash Professional CC) brings the capability of using Art Brushes and Pattern brushes, as commonly known in Adobe Illustrator, within Animate. Paint Brush tool is based on strokes and is different from the existing Brush tool.

Paint brush tool lets you draw stylized brush strokes by applying the selected art brush’s pattern along the drawn path. You can apply brush strokes to existing paths, use the Paintbrush tool to draw a path and apply a brush stroke simultaneously or customize the smoothening output of your image.

Art Brushes

Art brushes paint a vector pattern along the path and stretches to its entire length. A set of Art Brush Presets are available by default for using them directly within your Animate project. These presets are accessible in the Brush Library of the Properties panel, when the Paint Brush tool is selected in the Tools panel.

Once added to the document, these Art brushes are available with tools such as Paint Brush, Pen, Line, Rectangle, or Oval, except the Pencil tool, which lists the primitive stroke styles only.

 

Paint Brush tool

Pattern brushes

Pattern brushes follow and repeat the pattern along the same path. A set of pattern brush presets are available by default within the Brush Library.

Using Pattern brushes

To view and select pattern brushes:

  1. Select Windows> Brush Library or select the Paint Brush tool and go to Properties Panel>Style> Brush Library icon.

  2.  Double click on any pattern brush in the Brush Library to add to the document. Once added to the document, it is listed in the Stroke Style drop down in the Properties panel.

Editing Pattern Brushes

  1. In the Properties Panel>Stroke Style settings and click on Edit Stroke Style option to display the Paint Brush screen.

    Paint Brushes from the Paint Brush tool

  2. In Paint brush options, select the Brush type as Art or Pattern.

    Art Brush and Pattern Brush

  3. If you select the Brush type as Art, set the following options:

    • Name: Specifies the name of the selected brush.
    • Scale proportionately: Scales the art to a proportional measurement of the stroke length.
    • Stretch to fit stroke length: Stretches the art to fit the stroke length.
    • Stretch between guides: Stretches only the art region lying between the guides. The Head and the Tail portion of the art is applied to all the strokes without stretching.
    Pattern Brush Options

  4. If you select the brush type as Pattern, set the following options:

    • Name: Specifies the name of the selected brush.
    • Stretch to fit, Add space to fit and Approximate path: These options specify how the pattern tiles are applied along the stroke.
    • Flip artwork: Flips the selected pattern: Horizontally or Vertically.
    • Spacing: Sets space between different segments of the patterns. The default value is 0.
    • At corners: Corner Tiles are auto-generated based on the selected settings: Center, Flank, Slice and Overlap. The default option is Flank.
    • Apply to existing strokes and update the brush: Allows you to create a new Brush with the given settings (changes will only apply to new strokes drawn going forward) or apply these settings to all previously drawn strokes.
    Pattern Brushes in the Brush Library

Stretch to Fit

Add Space to Fit


Approximate Path



Importing brushes from Adobe Capture CC

 You can use Adobe Capture CC mobile app for Android and iOS to create and add new brushes to your CC Library. For more information, see Adobe Capture CC.

To create or import custom vector brushes:

  1. Use Adobe Capture application to capture a picture.

  2. Convert the picture to a brush and save it to the CC library.

  3. Open CC library in Animate and click on newly added brush. This adds the brush to the Brush Library and the current document.

Adding art or pattern brushes to your document

From Brush Library

You can import new Art Brushes that are available in the Brush Library to your document.

  1. In the Tools panel, click the icon. The Paint Brush options appear in the Properties panel.
  2. Click on the icon. The Brush Library panel appears.
Brush Library

  1. Click on the Art Brush categories, sub-categories, and navigate to the brush that you want to use or search the library by typing a string in the search box. 
  2. Double-click on a brush to add it to your document. The selected brush appears in the Style dropdown of the Paint Brush tool in the Properties Panel as the currently selected stroke style. 

From Creative Cloud (CC) Library

You can import new Art Brushes to your Animate document using the CC Libraries in addition to the Art brush presets available by default.

To add a new Art Brush, open the CC libraries panel and just click on any of the supported brushes. (Animate currently supports only Vector Brushes from CC Libraries).

  1. In the Tools panel, click the icon. Select the Paint Brush or Pattern brush from the Properties panel.
  2. Click Window > CC Libraries. The CC Libraries panel appears.
Importing a brush from CC Library

  1. Within Brushes, browse through the created and saved brushes within the CC libraries. 
  2. Double-click on a brush to add it to your document. The selected brush appears in the Style dropdown of the Paint Brush tool in the Properties Panel as the currently selected stroke style. 

Using Art Brushes

You can use the stroke-based Paint Brush tool to draw brush strokes by applying the selected art brush’s pattern along the drawn path. Apply brush strokes to existing paths or use the Paintbrush tool to draw a path and apply a brush stroke simultaneously.  

Object drawing and merged drawing modes

When using Art Brushes, the Drawing Object mode is enabled by default so that each brush stroke is drawn independently and do not merge with the existing strokes causing undesirable stroke intersections. You can see better performance when you use Object drawing mode compared to Merged drawing mode because brush strokes typically contain heavy vector data and merging of shapes may cause Animate to perform slower.

To convert an already drawn shape to a Drawing Object, select the graphic on stage and click Modify > Combine Objects > Union.

Converting art brush strokes to fills

Art brushes drawn in Animate behave as strokes and can be changed to fills by using the ‘Convert Lines to Fills option.

To convert, first select the brush strokes drawn on stage and click Modify > Shape > Convert Lines to Fills.

Once converted to fills, it will behave as normal fills and lose its path editing capability.

Draw as fill

The Draw as Fill option in Paint Brush tool helps you control the shape created by the Paint brush to be a stroke or fill a region.

The Draw as Fill option

Applying Art Brush styles to graphics on stage

You can apply the new art brush styles to already drawn shapes or in your existing Animate documents.

Select a shape on stage and modify its stroke style by choosing an Art brush stroke style on the Properties Panel . 

Pressure and Tilt in Paint Brush

Animate CC provides Pressure and Tilt support for strokes drawn using the Paint brush tool. You can draw art and pattern strokes with variable width, dependent on the applied pressure or tilt on the stylus. For further refinement, use the Width tool to adjust the width points.

Note:

Pressure and tilt icons in the tool bar are displayed only if you have connected a Wacom pressure-sensitive tablet to your computer.

Using Pressure and Tilt modifiers

  1. Select Paint brush tool and select the    icon from the tool bar to enable pressure sensitivity or select the  icon to enable tilt sensitivity. The default percentage values are 1% and 100% corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of Pressure/Tilt.

  2. Use the Paint brush tool to create variable-width strokes based on pressure or tilt applied on the pen.

    With and without pressure sensitivity

Customizing Pressure and Tilt sensitivity

  1. Select the Paint Brush tool. In the Properties Panel, select Stroke Style settings and click on Edit Stroke Style option to display the Paint Brush options.

  2. Set the minimum and maximum Pressure or Tilt sensitivity percentage values for minimum and maximum stroke width. The acceptable values are integers in the range of 1 to 100.

    Pressure and tilt values

  3. Click Add to add a new brush with the selected Pressure and Tilt Sensitivity settings.

Drawing with the Paint Brush tool

Paint brush tool lets you draw stylized brush strokes by applying the selected art brush’s pattern along the drawn path. You can apply brush strokes to existing paths, or use the Paintbrush tool to draw a path and simultaneously apply a brush stroke.

  1. In the Tools panel, click the   icon. 

  2. Select a drawing mode of the Paint Brush tool within the Options in the Tools panel:

    Brush Tool Options

    • To draw straight lines and convert approximations of triangles, ovals, circles, rectangles, and squares into these common geometric shapes, select Straighten .
    • To draw smooth curved lines, select Smooth .
    • To draw a ink mode output with no modifications, select Ink .
    Lines drawn with Straighten, Smooth, and Ink mode

Editing Brushes

You can edit art brush properties using the Edit Brush option. Clicking the Edit Brush icon launches the Brush editing dialog box for the selected brush. If you select an Art Brush for editing, the Art Brush Options dialog box appears. You can modify properties such as brush direction, scaling preferences, and overlap preference, and apply the changes to the existing strokes. Clicking Edit Brush after selecting a normal brush launches the edit dialog box that brush type. 

Editing art brushes

  1. Select an art brush style and click on the edit button next to the Style dropdown box.
  2. In the Edit Art Brush Options box, you can edit the following:
    • Scale Proportionately: To scale the brush dimensions according to proportions without stretching.
    • Stretch to fit stroke length: To stretch the brush according to the length of the stroke that you are drawing.
    • Stretch between guides: To stretch the brush between the guides. 
    • Overlap: To specify whether to adjust corners and folds to prevent overlap.
    • Flip artwork: To flip the brush shape.
    • Brush direction: To change the direction of the brush.
Editing art brushes

  1. To apply the changes to existing strokes drawn using the brush and apply your changes to the brush, select Apply to existing strokes and update the brush. 
  2. Click Add to save the changes. 

Editing stroke styles for Solid and Primitive Stroke Styles

  1. Select a brush/stroke style and click on the edit button next to the Style dropdown box.
  2. In the Stroke Style box, you can edit the following:
    • Type
    • Zoom 4X
    • Thickness 
    • Sharp corners
Editing a stroke style

PI shortcuts to frequently-used options

You can use the following shortcut buttons in the Properties panel for easier access:

  • Expand to fill: Converts the selected strokes to fills and merge them together
  • Create Object: Converts the selected shape in merged mode to Drawing object (same as Union operation)
  • Break Apart: Breaks the selected Drawing Object into a raw shape
Video: Working with Art Brushes

By Train Simple (www.trainsimple.com)

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