Flash Art Brush Tool: It Works!

As I mentioned in a previous post, for years I’ve wished for the ability to use art brushes in Flash.  I’ve found, though, through years of wishing and hoping followed by disappointment, that the Flash development team is very unlikely to add in new features that are likely to help me as an animator.  They’re too focused on supporting Flash as an application development platform, not as an animation medium.  I think on their list of priority customers, animators who target non-interactive media are near the bottom.

That’s a big reason why I started creating Flash extensions — to fill in the gaps that the Flash development teem is either unaware of or is unwilling to address.  Well, a short time ago I realized that I could probably create a tool to perform one of my all-time wished-for features: art brushes.  Illustrator’s had them for a long time.  They’re very useful in there, and they would be similarly useful in Flash.

After about a week and a half of work, I’ve attained success!  My art brush experiment has blossomed into an actual usable tool!  It turned out significantly better than I had hoped, with fairly quick runtime (even before I’ve done any optimization) and very good visual results.  It’s not quite ready to post for the general public but I’m interested in getting people to test it a bit and give me feedback — Tell me what new features it needs and let me know if you run into any bugs.  If you’re interested, please let me know either in the comments or via email.

To give you a tantalizing taste of the possibilities, here are some actual examples of what my new Flash art brush tool can do:

2 thoughts on “Flash Art Brush Tool: It Works!

  1. Gabriel says:

    hi. i like the art brush. but the remaining invisible line is not a good thing. because it is just trash on the stage (can confuse drawing). and the other problem with it,
    that the color picker of the pen turns to alpha 0% too.

  2. David says:

    Thank your for the feedback. It’s very helpful to get these kinds of notes on how people use the tool.

    I left the invisible line behind because I figured that some people might like to still have it there. For instance, I use it sometimes because Flash has a bug where if you undo after applying an art brush inside a symbol the display gets a little screwed up. It ends up being easier just to delete the recently-applied brush art, and then the line is still there for me to use as I please. This problem may only occur in Flash CS4 (I haven’t been using CS5 because of various problems, but mostly a slow scripting interface for my plugin commands).

    Your point about the stroke color being alpha 0% is a good one. One thing to notice is that the color picker in the toolbar maintains its original color and alpha. I’ll definitely look into this problem but in the mean time perhaps you can use the picker in the toolbar?

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