Monday, November 14, 2011

PART 4 - Creating and editing a symbol - Introduction to Flash Symbols

You can create a symbol out of any artwork that you draw or import onto the stage. In this tutorial, we'll draw a simple circle shape, convert it into a symbol, and then edit that symbol.

Step 1

Create a new Flash document.

Step 2

Select the oval tool and draw a circle on the stage. It can be in the merge drawing mode or object drawing mode. But I'll be drawing in the merge mode.

Step 3

Switch to the selection tool and use it to select the circle on the stage. Make sure that you select the ENTIRE shape.


Step 4

Once it's selected, right-click on the shape and choose Convert to Symbol.


This will bring up the Convert to Symbol dialog box.

Step 5

In the Convert to Symbol dialog box, change the name of the symbol to Circle. For the symbol type, click on the drop-down menu and choose Graphic. For the registration point, you can click on any of the nine tiny squares to select a point. We won't be discussing what the registration point is for in this tutorial, but for now, choose the center registration point by clicking on the tiny square that's in the center of all the tiny squares. The chosen registration point will turn black.


Then click OK.

The shape on the stage should now be converted into a symbol.

Step 6

Open up the library to check that your new symbol is there. If you can't find the library, you can go to Window > Library or you can press ctrl + L (PC) or cmd + L (Mac) on your keyboard.


Step 7

Add a few more instances of the symbol by clicking and dragging the symbol from the library down to the stage. In the image below, I've added a total of five instances to the stage.


Step 8

Let's make some changes to the symbol by editing it. In the library, right-click on the symbol and choose Edit.

Step 9

After clicking on Edit, take a look at the edit bar to make sure that you are inside the Circle symbol. The edit bar should say Scene 1 > Circle.


Step 10

In the timeline, let's add another layer by clicking on the new layer button. So we should now have two layers.


Remember! We are inside the Circle symbol so this means that the layer was added to the symbol's timeline and not the main timeline.

Step 11

Select the brush tool and choose a color that's different from the color of the circle. Then make sure that the new layer that you just added is the active layer, and then draw a smiley face on top of the circle.


Step 12

Go back to the main timeline by clicking on the Scene 1 link. You should see that all of the instances on the stage now have smiley faces.



Congratulations! You've just created and edited your own symbol.

Try this on your own

  • Draw two circles on the stage.
  • Convert each circle into a graphic symbol.
  • Go inside each symbol's timeline and draw a face on the circle.
  • Use multiple layers to separate the parts (eyes, nose, lips, etc...) of each face.

And that concludes this tutorial series on an Introduction to Flash symbols.

<< PREV: The 3 types of symbols - Introduction to Flash Symbols PART 3
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