View Full Version : Using Flash to produce static GIF files.

09-24-2001, 07:29 AM
I've switched over from doing my comic strip the old way (pencil, pen, ink, scan) to drawing it directly in Flash 5.0 and saving the image as a static GIF file. Flash is a great tool for animation, but it's equally adept at producing static illustrations. And naturally, since it's a GIF file, no Flash plug-in is required for viewing.

Public Eyes #24


Almost forgot: the font in the strip is Digital Strip, a FREEBIE from Blambot Fonts (http://www.blambot.com). Gotta give credit where credit is due.

09-24-2001, 09:02 AM

Neat, your really getting into Flash and looking like your having some fun! One of my favourite things about Flash is that it makes Quicktime movies too...!

09-25-2001, 05:49 AM
Yeah, Sher...lotsa fun working with Flash. And the more I work with the drawing tools, the better I like 'em. It would be a royal pain trying to do something like this in a bitmap graphics program like PaintShop Pro. For me, at least. Vector graphics work much better. Learning the main Flash shortcut keys is really speeding things up, too.

I spent about 60-80 hours doing preliminary drawing work (with a mouse--no tablet yet), designing my characters from various angles, doing the props, and converting everything to symbols to store in my library. Doing this strip itself took three hours, but that time should drop as I get into the routine.

I have a few more things/characters/angles to design (another 80-100 hours or more), yet, but I had enough done to get this first digital strip out. After I get my library done, I'll only have to draw new stuff from scratch as I need it.

The good thing: I can use these same characters/props in an animation if I decide to.

Not only is Flash versatile in it's export options, but also it's import options.

It's just a great all-around program.

09-26-2001, 10:55 AM
Have you started using Libraries yet? WOW What a simple but great idea! If you haven't - You can put your character in the library items.. and within the library animate a walk cycle of him on the spot... then from outside of the library on the stage... all you have to do is animate him going from left to right or whatever, and you can reuse the character walk-cycling over and over and over again. I love it! Flash is too cool :cool:
I don't normally do that so much, because I like pretending I work for Disney and do it the hard way for a traditional look, which is fine with flash too. It lets you do anything you want. It has Onion Skin, which means you can see the last frame.. perfect for animating characters.
But I did use that method when animating a bee once... In Library animated his wings going, when on the stage just moved him about. It really makes life easy.
Oh gosh, now I'm rambling you'll never shut me up about flash again now...

09-26-2001, 02:13 PM
Rambling is fine, Sher. I do a lot of that myself.

Yes, I'm building a library now of the static characters and props. I realize I can also add movie clips to the library, but my focus right now is on doing static comic strips, with an occasional animation.

There are two different ways of getting objects out of the library. I can copy my PE General.fla file to the Macromedia/Flash 5.0/library folder and then open it as a common library, or...just leave the FLA where it is and open it with "Open as Library" under the File menu.

When I start my next strip, I'll just open PE General.fla and grab my artwork out of it. And then add any new stuff I need. Once done with the new strip, I can open PE General.fla normally and add the new stuff to it by opening the new strip file with "Open as Library."

Pretty neat, this Flash.

10-10-2001, 02:40 PM

I like the new technique. Sounds like you're making good use of Flash. I've done a couple of Flash tutorials but nothing major. I love it when people find unintended uses for software!


11-01-2001, 12:57 PM
LOL!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

11-04-2001, 08:24 PM
Thanx for the flash tip KG! I have some experience in Flash 4 and wondered why some of the drawing programs didn't have the same ease of drawing. :)

11-05-2001, 01:50 AM
I don't know, MIC. Flash 5.0 is a snap to use once you get used to it, especially once you learn a lot of the keyboard shortcuts. I read that some people like the drawing tools in Version 4 better than Version 5. I've never seen 4, so I don't know.

I really wish for a perspective envelope thing in 5. You can skew an object with the rotation thing, but only in one direction. I'd like to grab both corners and squeeze down one end of an object.

As it is now, I have to use vanishing points and draw the perspective in manually...or draw the object in Corel, put the perspective envelope on it, and then export it as an Illustrator object for use in Flash.