Sunday, June 05, 2011


Some recent inspiration drove me to draw Jeff Goldblum this weekend. I started messing with "object drawing" in Flash when I did the FIGHT! animation a few posts back. Flash CS3 instated an "object drawing" button in Flash that makes every stroke you lay down an object. They're essentially "groups" but they call 'em objects because I think it relates to Illustrator and how everything you do in Illustrator is an "object". With this mode on and with a brush color of low opacity, you can effectively "build up" your line work like you would in Photoshop. Stroke after stroke will thicken the opacity and your line becomes more solid. Nothing new to artists, but it's sorta new to Flash and not something all that explored in Flash.

The downsides are plenty: tablet pressure doesn't control opacity in Flash, there is a selection box that always appears around each object, Flash's brushes are "loose" and the "ink" feels uncontrollable at times to put it nicely, there have been 8 brush sizes and 9 brush shapes since the dawn of time in Flash and there is NO way to make a short cut to adjust them. ...basically you should be using Photoshop or Painter.

The upside is that I think it can be handy for animation actually. Roughing in lines and building them up coupled with a timeline and onion skinning can help the traditional feel of animation in Flash. Far from perfect, but it's somethin' to rough in some keys.

Anyway, here's a time lapse of me and Goldblum using the object drawing method in Flash. I think it's worth pointing out that I drew him 5 times (the timeline sorta shows I'm on the fifth frame...) before I even felt warmed up. Then once I got close to done I questioned everything and felt I could push everything more. Never happy, but it was fun dammit!

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