In this chapter, you'll gain your first experience with Flash's vector drawing tools. Many of Flash's tools are similar to those available in other applications, so you may be able to apply some of what you already know to Flash. However, some of Flash's tools behave in unique ways. For example, Flash builds everything you draw using vectors. So, although using Flash's Brush tool will feel similar to using a brush tool in a bitmap editing application such as Photoshop, what you draw will actually be a vector shape.
Flash's selection tools also behave a bit differently than those in a typical drawing application. You can select a shape's fill or stroke independently, and even separate the two. Also, using the Lasso tool, you can freely draw a selection path across any shapes and work only with the selected portion of those shapes. This combination of pixel-and vector-based drawing approaches makes creating Flash assets a natural and immediate experience.
If you are comfortable with traditional vector drawing applications, don't worry; you will also find a Pen tool for creating Bezier curves complete with vertices and control points in Flash. However, even if you are unfamiliar with these terms, you'll still be able to jump right in and start creating.
Your first proect is to create a graphic you might use in a psychedelic poster illustration of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. You'll begin by drawing a box, which is one of the most commonly used shapes in design and a frequently used metaphor in this book. Next, you'll customize your lines and fills, add a vibrant array of colors, and draw Jimi's silhouette. The techniques used in this chapter are the first steps in learning to create assets within Flash, and they are commonly used for animation, illustration, game development, application design, and virtually anything else you'll do in Flash.