The Brush Tool (B) in Adobe Animate allows you to custom-define a brush by setting parameters of the brush such as shape and angle. You can create natural artwork in your projects by customizing the brush tool to suit your drawing needs. You can choose, edit, and create a custom brush in Animate through the Property Inspector, when the brush tool is selected in the toolbox.

Choosing a custom brush

By default, the Brush tool provides you several brushes in customized shapes to suit your various drawing needs. You can see several brush shapes when you choose the Brush Tool from the toolbox and within the "Brush" setting in Property Inspector.

You can choose a brush from the Brush drop-down list and start drawing the artwork on the stage.

New brush sizes

Animate provides a wide range of Brush sizes with more granular control and includes the following enhancements:  

  • New brush sizes in the range of 1-200 pixels
  • Live preview when adjusting brush sizes
  • Brush and Eraser tool cursors uses outline mode view and is non-obstructive when you draw in context with other artworks
  • Remembers Brush settings such as last used brush size, shape, and mode across Animate sessions 
  • Improved drawing experience, especially for shorter brush strokes
Erasor tool Cursor Outline
Eraser tool: cursor outline

Brush size slider
Brush size slider
Brush size slider - Live preview
Brush size slider - Live preview
New Brush Cursors
New brush cursors

Smoothing options in Brush tool

In Animate, the smoothing factor has been changed from a slider ranging from Low to High to a slider with 0-100 range.


Creating a custom brush

You can create custom brushes with custom-defined size, angle, and flatness as follows:

  1. Click the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbox and click the New file button next to the Brush setting in the Property Inspector.
  1. In the Nib Options dialog box, select a shape, specify an angle, and flatness percentage. You can see a preview of the brush as you set the parameters. 
Nib options
Nib options
  1. Click OK. The new custom brush is selected in the Property Inspector as the default brush for the current document. 

Resizing and zooming brush sizes

You can use the Zoom size with stage check box to scale the brush size proportionately to the changing zoom level of the stage. You can also draw seamlessly adjusting to any zoom level. 

Disable the 'Zoom size with stage' check box in the brush Property Inspector to revert to the earlier default behavior of brushes.

You can resize the brush to the desired size by adjusting the Size option. 

Use the Size slider bar to resize the brush to the desired size. You can preview and edit the value of the brush size next to the slider bar.

Brush size
Brush size

Editing a custom brush

You can change the properties of the custom brush that you have created as follows:
  1. In the Property Inspector, click the button with a pencil icon next to the brush options to select the custom brush that you want to modify.
Edit custom brush
Edit custom brush
  1. In the Nib Options dialog box, modify the properties such as shape, angle, and flatness and click OK.  
Edit nib options
Edit nib options


You can edit only those brushes that you have custom-created and cannot modify the properties of any of the default brushes.

Deleting a custom brush

  1. To delete a custom brush you have created, select the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbox. Choose the custom brush that you want to delete within Fill and Stroke in the Property Inspector.
  2. Click the delete button that is enabled. The selected custom brush is deleted from the list.
Delete custom brush
Delete custom brush


You can delete only those brushes that you have created. You are not allowed to delete the default brushes.

Synchronizing settings in Brush and Eraser tools

You can choose to synchronize sub settings such as pressure or tilt settings, nib size, and nib shapes in Brush (B) and Eraser (E) tools. These settings are remembered even after quitting and relaunching a session in Animate.

  1. Enable the Sync settings with Eraser check box in the Brush tool (B).
  2. Current settings of Brush tool (B) tool are mirrored in the Eraser (E) tool and conversely.
Synchronize settings in Brush and Eraser tools

Synchronizing custom brushes to the cloud

Custom brushes you create can be synchronized to the cloud through the Animate preferences. To do that, navigate to Edit > Preferences on Windows or Animate > Preferences on a Mac. The option to synchronize custom brushes within "Sync Settings" section is shown below:


This feature is applicable only for Animate 18.0 and earlier versions. 


Create a character with brush tool

Sketch a character using the brush tool. Brush tool is easy to access and use. Want to learn how use brush tool to create your character. Watch the tutorial at the end of this example and follow these steps.

  1. In the Properties Inspector panel, select the brush tool.

  2. To modify the size of the brush, drag the Size slider.

  3. Click the object drawing icon and select a color from the Color option.

  4. To increase or decrease the transperancy of the color, select the Color option and modify the Alpha percentage.

How to draw a character using Brush tool

How to draw a character using Brush tool
Watch the video to learn how animate helps sketch your character and add colors to it.