Convert lines to fills



In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to convert lines to fills in Flash using Convert Lines to Fill function. I'm also going to explain why ever do such thing. The following info will be especially useful for those of you who draw in Flash, but not only. If you're an ActionScript geek, then you will probably not find the below info that useful. :-)



To convert your Line to a Fill, select it and go to Modify>Shape>Convert Lines to Fills.



OK, so we did convert the Line to a Fill. But what did that actually do? What's the point of doing that?


If you've been using Flash for some time now, you certainly know that Lines (Strokes) and Fills both have different features in Flash. To understand why the Convert Lines to Fills function is so useful, we need to have a look at both of them.

Below I'm going to describe each of them. Once you read the description, it should become clear why this function is useful.

Fills

If you want to find out what a Fill is, just draw a rectangle using Rectangle Tool (R). Make sure there is no stroke around it. The rectangle that you can see now is a Fill.

 

Now, you can easily change it in a way - for example, erase a bit of it. You can also select, say, its bottom and delete it off by pressing the Backspace button. In this way, you will receive a little bit more squat rectangle.

This rectangle is composed of 4 vector points. You can freely move them around in addition to creating your own vector points and curves.

The above figure was created from the rectangle we started from. I added a couple of new vector points, plus I created a few curves.

An in-depth description of this drawing technique can be found here.

 

Fills are, in other words, easily editable.


There is also another very characteristic thing about fills such as the above rectangle. If you were to use the Microsoft Zoom Tool and roll your mouse over the edges of the rectangle you would notice that the figure does not end suddenly - there is one light-blue pixel between the original color of the figure and the white of the canvas. Thanks to this, the rectangle is shaded.

So, this is more or less what a Fill is about in Flash. Now, what about Lines?


Lines

A Line in Flash, is, well, a line. You can change its Height, Type, Cap, Join, etc. freely in the Properties Window.

Just like with a Fill, you can select a bit of it and delete it off. However, inspite of all the options you have to make your line the way you would like it to be, there is no way, for example, to sharpen it at the end. Like shown below:

 

Also there is no way to make it a little thinner here or a little thicker there. If you draw in Flash, then it might be important for you to be able to do these things.

Another very characteristic thing about Lines is the fact that they are always crisp and clear. Even if I drew a line with my Line Tool that would be as thin as 0.25 pixel, it would still be clearly visible on the stage. While advantagous for most of Flash users, for those who illustrate in Flash this attribute of lines is rather disadvantagous.

Compare the two illustrations:

What's the difference between the two faces?

Well, the only difference between them is that  the first one had all of its lines Converted to Fills. In this way, I was able to finetune the lines, plus they now are a little bit shaded, which makes the whole face look (a lot/a little bit) better. :-D

Conclusion

Convert Lines to Fills function in Flash is not a function that you will use too frequently unless you're using Flash to create vector illustrations. When you use this function, your Lines will be converted to Fills, which are different in several ways. Most importantly, Fills can be modified more freely, plus they are shaded, making your Flash creations look a little better.

Hope this info helped you somewhat and thanks for reading,
Cheers

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