View Full Version : Animating Brush effects?

11 November 2003, 03:53 PM
Hi All

I'm new to flash, as you might be able to tell with the question I am about to ask.

I am trying to animate a line that will draw around some text, just a basic square with some smooth corners. I have no idea apart from using a motion guild layer, and some how using the brush tool, any help will be much appreciated, thank you.

11 November 2003, 01:31 PM
I take it no one has the answer?

11 November 2003, 01:12 PM
hey im not such a flash hero but i'd do this: draw the line and then draw a rectangle (or whatever) over the line (in another layer of course and color is same as background).

1st frame: none of the line is visible.
last frame: the whole line is visible.
now create a motion tween

i dunno if this can solve your problem, but good luck!!!

11 November 2003, 09:36 AM
hi cheers

i'm not 100% sure about that, but I'll give it a go thanks, anymore idea's out there?.

11 November 2003, 10:58 AM
let me hear when you have solved yer problem!!
(now i wanna know what is the best way to do this too!!!)

Ian Jones
11 November 2003, 11:22 AM
I don't know much about it in Flash, but I went to a Discreet Combustion 3 product launch and it is capable of exporting animated *.swf files direct from its brush animation engine!

Pretty nifty feature. That is of course, if you own C3. :)

11 November 2003, 10:01 AM
HI All

Just an update, the last method I used which has been explained by gf666 works fine in the sense that the whole objects appears.

But what I'm trying to achieve is to have a line follow a path, to then form a shape around the text.

1) Text appears

2) A line starts to form around the text, a bit like a snake

3) Both ends of the line meet to form a shape around the text.

Hope the has cleared things up, thank you :-)

11 November 2003, 05:02 PM
Perhaps this can help you:

Draw a line. Make Keyframe at frame 10. In this new keyframe you draw the next part of the line. For the frames between you chose tweening form. Now the 1st line should morph into the 2nd.

To controll the shape of the morph. You go under "modificate" (hope it is modificate because i use a german version) -> "shape" ->"add shape mark (or controller) or something like that.

read the manual for further information.

Follow this steps for every part of the line.

I hope this helps to find the solution of your problem


11 November 2003, 11:21 PM
Pyoeter's suggestion should work, but would be quite time consuming and I wouldn't trust the Flash shape tweening engine with anything as complicated as text outlines (it is really very poor with complex shapes).

You could do something like Peter Hall's handwriting example (, but it may be a little slow on low end computers (thousands of duplicate movie clips).

What I would suggest is to make your text outlines (I don't have Flash here, but hopefully you could just break apart some normal text and delete the fill), and then mask it to make it look like it appears (shape tween the mask). This way your mask can be quite messy, and Flash can stuff it up a bit and it won't matter. I would suggest breaking your text outlines into say 6 manageable chunks (top left of outlines, top middle, top right etc), so you are only working on a fairly small section at any one time (again, Flash will give you problems if your tween shape is complex).

Edit: Oops, I didn't read your original question properly. I was assuming your outline would draw around the actual letters, actually you just want a box around the whole lot.

Same thing though, but heaps simpler. Just draw your box, and shape tween a mask to work around the box, making it appear. Use shape hints as Pyoeter suggested to get it just right.

12 December 2003, 09:22 AM
Thanks a lot guys, I will try it as soon as i can.

12 December 2003, 01:10 PM
There's another way to do this with (IMO) better results. Personally, I don't trust Flash's shape tweening any further than I can throw it. Here's a huge and basic example I threw together in about 5 minutes -

Box Draw Example (

Basically, you cut each side of the box onto separate layers and motion tween a masking box over it. It's probably not the most efficient way of doing it, butit gets the job done. I just find the shape tween to be too linear, and by the time you get it to work, you've put so much time into the effect that it's almost counterproductive. In my experience. Anyway, here's the file if you want it.

Box Draw (

(right click and save link target for the fla.) The example .swf is large, only because I didn't take the time to crop the stage or anything, and I made it at 12 fps, 12 frame reveals. Hope it helps!

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