Unit 10.  Graphics (II)

Introducing Bitmaps


A Bitmap file format image can be created with many programs. If you want bitmaps to be in your movies it's more likely that you prefer to create them and to make them more spectacular in another program, more appropriate than Flash for the handling of Bitmaps: Photoshop, Fireworks or Photopaint.

    Flash 8 allows us to import bitmaps from other programs, when they have been saved in graphic formats GIF, JPG, tiff and others. It also allows us to modify them in certain way. We can change the size and convert it into a symbol to take advantage of the options provided by Flash. Although, considering what a bitmap is, we will not be able to modify it "internally" but we will be able to use it like one more symbol.


To import a Bitmap to the stage click on the menu File → Import → Import to Stage.

The Import dialog will open, there you will have to select the image format you want to import selecting it from the Type list. Then browse your folders until finding it. Select it by clicking on it and press the OK button.

The image will be included on the stage and will be ready to work with.


Here you have an example of how to do it.


Importing a vector file 

There are other programs that work with vector graphics, like Flash 8 also does. 

    If we want to import a vector file created in another program, for example Freehand, we can do it easily.

We just access the menu. File → Import → Import to Stage. Next, we select the type of file format corresponding to the vector graphic that we want to import. For example, FH11 of the Freehand 8 (11).

We press Open, and we already have our vector file.

We will be able to modify this file internally because Flash can handle with graphics of this file format.


Concretely, the Freehand belongs also to Macromedia, like Flash, so that the compatibility in this case is total.

Exporting a Flash object as bitmap


The interface of Flash turns out very comfortable for draw. So it could be interesting to use Flash 8 to create a drawing and later to use it in other programs or for any other use.

This is perfectly possible with Flash, since it allows us to export a Flash objects like bitmaps file. However, we must take into account, as we saw in the basic units, that most of the bitmaps doesn't allow animations, because of this, a Flash object must not contain animation because it will not be saved.

In order to make it, select the object that we are going to export and access the menu File → Export → Export Image... Then, introduce in the field Name the name that we want to our new bitmap.

We select the type of bitmap into which we want to convert our object and press Save.

Now we can already use our Flash object like a bitmap.


  To understand better how to do this we advise you to do the Exercise Exporting Bitmap.

Exporting a Flash object as animation


As we saw in the basic theme there are types of bitmap files that support animations, as the GIF. So, with Flash we can also create an animation and export it like an animated GIF.

Nevertheless, as we saw, the animated GIF consists in a sequence of images shown successively and that's why to export a Flash 8 objects like animated GIF it's necessary that all the frames of this animation to be a key frame, because otherwise the GIF will not recognize it and we will not see the desired effect.

To export a symbol and save it as an image we will have to select it first with the Selection tool.

Once selected, we will have to click on the menu File → Export → Export Image... And a dialog will open.

In this dialog we should set the name of the file we will create and its type in the Type list.

One filled all the fields, and chosen the folder where to save it, press the Save button. The image will be ready to be include in a web page or to edit it using any Image treatment program.



You can just follow the steps of this clip (Note: it will be used as base of the animated graphics that we created in the paragraph of creating graphics, since the graphics are made frame by frame):

    On the right we see the Animated GIF that is result of exporting our Flash graphics.


You can test your knowledge by doing the:

  Unit 10 Test

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