An Overview Of The Free Transform Tool

If you are familiar with any graphic design software, than the Free Transform Tool in Adobe Flash should seem fairly familiar. The tool is pretty universal and works the same way as it does in programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. However, if you’re new to Flash and the Free Transform Tool, it’s not hard at all to grasp. Simply put, the Free Transform Tool allows you to resize and skew drawings and symbols. This can be especially useful not only in resizing drawings, but doing simple animations as well.

One thing to be aware of when using the Free Transform Tool is the difference between resizing drawings and symbols, especially if you have lines in the object. When you resize a drawing with the Free Transform Tool, lets say for instance a rectangle with a 1 point line border, the line width stays the same. This isn’t the case with a symbol though. Take the same example, a rectangle with a 1 point border, except turn that rectangle into a symbol then resize it, the border width will actually change depending on how you resize it. If you make the symbol bigger, then the line will get thicker. If you shrink the symbol, the line will get skinnier. This is important to remember because sometimes you will want the line to remain the same size and if its a symbol, you may need to break the symbol apart, resize it as a drawing, then reapply it as a symbol.

The Free Transform Tool can allow for a simple, yet neat animation effect. Lets say you are tweening an object and want it to appear as if it’s approaching the screen. This can be easily done by putting the object on one frame then a few frames later enlarging it. Put a tween function between these frames and you have what appears to be an object coming towards the screen. Adjust the number of frames in between and frame rate to change the speed of the motion. And of course you can do the reverse effect by having the symbol enlarged on the first frame, than smaller a few frames later to create the effect of something going away from the screen. This may seem simple but it’s a great trick.

To summarize, the Free Transform Tool is great for resizing and skewing objects. And if you’re animating something, you can do some neat 3D-esq effects as well!

Would you like to view and follow along with a more in depth tutorial on the Free Transform Tool? Check out the FREE tutorial at http://www.lilredheadstudios.com/tutorials/tutorial-03.html and start becoming a Flash Master today!

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