The envelope tool can help shave some time off your production schedule. In this case, the Envelope tool was used to deform the head of the Evil Mime character to represent the effect of being hit by a self-imposed upper-cut. Sure, the entire head could have been drawn, but not often do we have the luxury of time to start from scratch when a deadline is looming. It was much easier to start with the head already drawn and warp it to suit our needs.
1) Duplicate the artwork of the head by creating a new keyframe in the head symbol. Select the entire head and the Free Transform tool Q, then select the Envelope subselection tool.
2) Using the Envelope tool, you can move the handles to deform the relative area of the head.
3) Continue to push and pull the Envelope’s anchor points and control handles to deform the shape to your liking.
4) You can start the envelope process over by deselecting the artwork and selecting the Envelope tool again. This will reset the anchors and handles which will allow you to further distort your image.
5) Don’t be afraid to manually go back into the artwork and adjust your linework using the Selection tool. Don’t rely purely on the tools; often it’s your own eye that is the best tool.
6) Here’s the hand drawn in Flash using the Line tool. You may find the need for a variation of this same illustration and need to make it quickly.
7) Using the Envelope tool allows you to quickly distort the drawing into a different shape.
8)Here’s the foot in its default state. Depending on your animation, you may need several feet in different shapes.
9) Once again, the Envelope tool gets the job done, quickly and efficiently.
10) Don’t rely completely on the tools. In most cases, they can only go so far. You may want to further refine the details of your image manually.
HOT TIP Don’t rely on the Envelope tool for everything. In a situation like this, where a complex shape is being warped, you will probably find that upon ending your transformation, you will need to refine your shapes manually by using the Selection tool or any of the drawing tools.
Excerpt from How to Cheat in Flash CS6 by Chris Georgenes © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.
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