Basic Flash Cartooning




This instructable will teach you how to make vector objects for animation or anything else you want to use them for. I'm going to start simple and make a pot.

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Step 1: Open Flash

This instructable will work in most any version of flash. If you don't have it, you can download a 30-day trial for Mac or Windows here:

After you download this, simply open the application and create a new Flash Document.

Now we're ready to start.

Step 2: Make the Basic Shape

The first step is to select the oval tool, hold down Shift, and drag across the white area to make a circle. Then select the rectangle tool, and drag across the top of the pot to make a rim for the pot.

Step 3: Shape the Pot

Grab the end of the circle on the right that is touching the rectangle and, making sure the black arrow is selected, drag it about half an inch to the right along the rectangle. Note the green dot in the picture. That is about where the line should be moved to.

Then grab the center of the circle on the right side and move it around until it looks good. The green line again indicates about where you should drop the line.

Now do the same thing on the other side.

Step 4: Swap the Colors

Since we want a black pot, we should probably color it now.

First, change the background color by pressing Control-J (or Command-J on a mac, I believe), and click the color next to 'Background Color' to open a palette. Select #333333 and then hit OK.

Then, making sure the pot is white with a black outline, hit Control-A (or Command-A on a mac) and press the swap colors button in the tools box.

Step 5: Bend Lines and Convert to Fills

Let's make the outline thicker, shall we? Click on the properties tab at the bottom of the page and then double-click on the line around our pot. The properties tab should say 'shape' on it and have a box with a number in it. Change that number to 3 and close the properties box, as you will not need it any more in this tutorial.

Bend the lines on the rim of the cauldron if you want to make it look smoother in the final image.

Now we need to convert the lines to fills so we can add depth to the white outline. To do this, press Control (or Command)-A and select Modify->Shape->Convert Lines to Fills.

Step 6: Add Weight to Lines and Finish Up

Now we can add weight to our lines, which we just converted to fills. To do this, grab a line and pull it inward and release. Repeat with as many of the lines as you want until you think it looks good. The green line in the pic shows what I mean.

The final step is to convert this in to a movie clip. Hit Control/Command A and press F8. Enter 'pot' or another appropriate name and click OK. Now you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I might make more soon if I have the time.

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    15 Discussions


    13 years ago

    Nice. I've done so much tutorial work with flash, but I'm still terrible at it.

    1 reply

    13 years ago

    Is it just me, or is this something that is so simple, that in order to need it, you have to know it? I don't think there is anyone out there who is googling "how to draw a prop", and this helped them. However, you did a great job with the instructble, I'd just pick a better topic next time. ;-)

    3 replies

    Reply 13 years ago

    I did change it. Now it's just a basic flash tutorial.


    Reply 12 years ago

    Cool! I sometimes even use the brush to fill in it, because it gets that shaky edge-thing... I think it looks cool :-D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i got a problem... i have flash mx and the properties bar wont show. if i right click and click properties or go to window and try it just wont show. please help :'(

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Try Selecting the selection arrow (thats the black arrow from the tool bar on the left)
    now click on the screen, anywhere will do fine.

    now open the properties menu.

    for more flash help or to learn how to make your own cartoonmake your own cartoon visit


    13 years ago

    You will end up with major issues with inbetweening when using dynamically shaped lines. I find the best way to create a prop is to sketch it up , scan it and just line overthe top, making sure the normals do not create any visible angles. for static illustration your method would work good, but for animation I wouldn't go to all the trouble to draw a pot like that :) hehe


    13 years ago

    The purpose was more over to orient people to the drawing tools in flash. I just thought a pot would be an easy topic.