Unit 7. Working with Objects (I)

The Objects. Starting

Independently of our working with animation, at the web page, at the catalogue for CDRoms or in any other place, we will have to work with objects. In general, we would consider everything that appears and is visible in the movie as an object, hence, we could work with it; for example, an object could be any image, which we create or import, a button, a drawing created by ourselves etc...

The objects that are considered in this way have 2 fundamental parts:

The Border: It consists in one thin line that separates the object from the exterior part of the stage.
It could exist or not, depending on what is convenient for us. When we create an object, the border is always created and its color will be indicated in the Outline Color (inside of the Color Mixer Panel).

If we want to draw and create Borders we must use the Pencil Tool, Line or Pen and if we want our drawing without border, it will be enough to select the border and delete it (see the next point)

The Fill: The Fill is just the object without border. So far it is the interior part of the object. Its existence is also arbitrary, because we can create an object which interior color is transparent, as we've seen in the Drawing unit, and therefore, it will seem that this object has no fill, although, in fact, it does exist but it's transparent. In order to draw Fills (without borders) we can use such tools as the Paintbrush or the Paint Bucket


In order to work with objects, it is fundamental to know how to select the object part that we want to modify (move, rotate, change the color...). We can observe that the selected object parts take an appearence with a texture to indicate that they are selected.

NONE selected object

Object with the selected BORDER

Object with the selected FILL

Let's see how we can select different object parts:

Select a Fill or a Border: It is enough to click Border and Fill once.

Select the Fill and the Border: Double click the Fill.

Select all the borders (or lines) of the same color that are in contact: Double click one of the lines that have the color you want to select

Select a Symbol, a text, or a group: Click the Symbol in the text or in the group. This types of objects will show the blue colored border (by default) after being selected

Select Various elements: We'll keep pressed SHIFT while selecting the objects that we want.

Select the objects, which are in a certain zone: We'll use for this the Selection Tool (Arrow). We'll click one part of the stage and drag the arrow up to wrap the area with objects that we want to select. If this area cuts any object, only the parts that are included in the wrapped area will be selected. If we want to include this object, we might only press the key SHIFT and select the part of the object that is lacking.

This way to select object allows us to choose quickly many objects, apart from allowing to select certain zones of the objects for cutting, pasting them....

Moreover, in addition to the Arrow Tool, we can use Lasso Tool, that is even more useful. It allows us to select any zone of the object of any shape. On the contrary, the selected areas can not be rectangular as in the Arrow Tool case.

Select from the Timeline: If we select a certain frame from the Timeline, all the objects from this frame are selected automatically. It's useful if you want to modify quickly all the frame elements.

Select All: The most natural mode of selecting all consists in clicking the menu Edit → Select All.

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