Importing Vector Graphics
Many graphics programs are capable of exporting in the SWF format, either natively or with the help of a plug-in. For a list of third-party programs that can export in the SWF format, see Appendix C, "Flash Resources." You can import those SWF files just like you would any other graphic. After an SWF is imported, it can be left as is or broken apart and further modified inside Flash.
There are a few things you need to know about importing SWF files that might not be intuitively obvious. Because of the way SWF files are compressed, not all elements of the original file can be extracted from an SWF. This holds true for SWF files created both in Flash and in other programs. Some of the things you need to be aware of include these:
Now that you know what will be preserved and what won't, try importing an SWF file and modifying it inside Flash. (See Exercise 5.3.)
Exercise 5.3 Importing an SWF File
The file you are going to import was created in Swift 3D and exported as an SWF without any shading.
If you want to take a look at importing a more complex file that was created natively in Flash, try importing subculture.fla from the Chapter_05/Assets folder. You'll be taking a very close look at that file later in this chapter and getting a good feel for what is lost and what is preserved.
You also can import vector artwork that's been created in other programs but not converted into the SWF format.
Importing Art from Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand
Adobe's Illustrator and Macromedia's FreeHand are generalized
drawing programs, not
Importing from Adobe Illustrator is very straightforwardyou don't have any options. To import from an Illustrator file, do the following:
Flash imports all the elements of the Illustrator file as grouped objects. It also maintains the original, named layer structure.
Because Macromedia products are designed to integrate very
closely, you have more control when you import a FreeHand file.
When you import a FreeHand file, you'll get the FreeHand Import
dialog box with a series of options. (See Figure 5.9.) You can
choose which pages you want to import and how to map the pages and
Figure 5.9. The FreeHand Import dialog box lets you control how you import a FreeHand file into Flash.
The FreeHand Import dialog is divided into three sections: Mapping, Pages, and Options. In the Mapping section you have two options for importing Pages from the FreeHand file:
Because I almost never work with scenes (I prefer using movie clips), I always import my FreeHand pages as keyframes.
You also have three options for importing the FreeHand file's layers:
You also can set three other options:
So far, so good, but how do combinations of these selections affect the file import? The combinations that follow assume that all three options in the Options section are selected. Pay special attention to the Note about including or not including invisible layers.