There’s plenty of ways to import graphics into flash, but it actually offers a fairly good toolset itself for drawing in flash. The two main tools that are used consist of the brush tool and the pencil tool. Both tools offer a distinct style that is unique to each tool. Here are some differences between the two, that you can use to pick which tool is better.

Brush Tool

  • The brush tool is harder of the two to pick up and start using. It has more of a learning curve than the pencil. You will occasionally find yourself redoing a line due to the fact that a piece of it was removed when you moved your cursor too fast.
  • It offers tilt and pressure optionsĀ  for those using a tablet. This gives you more control over your art than you could achieve with the pencil tool.
  • Is less exact than the pencil. Line thickness will vary giving it a unique look, but less of a professional feel.
  • It is harder to change the lines once they are drawn. You won’t be able to use the erase lines option to select all of your outlines, it will have to be done by hand.
  • Offers multiple shapes to use as the brush
  • You can’t change the thickness once you’ve drawn it. Once the brush stroke is there, it’s thickness is pretty much final.
  • Allows you to paint using different modes such painting only fills, behind existing brush strokes or lines, painting the selection, and painting inside of existing brush strokes or fills.

Pencil Tool

  • It is easier to pick up and start using. You will always produce a straight line with it, so just click on it and start drawing.
  • There is a steeper learning curve. Lines are much more exact, so how you move your hand is how it is going to turn out.
  • You can edit it more easily. Lines, unlike fills, allow you to edit each section of the line. This makes it easy to correct most of your mistakes.
  • It takes more time to use. With lines, you’ll find yourself constantly removing little bits and pieces to achieve that perfect look.
  • No tilt or pressure options on lines.
  • There are a variety of line types available for use; such as dotted lines, solid lines, hairline, and more.
  • You can change the thickness by just highlighting it and going into it’s option. This can’t be done with brushes.

I’ll let you decide which one is best. Personally, I prefer the brush tool for it’s ease of use and style that comes with using it. But every artist needs to make this choice for themselves, as once you choose a style, you will get better at it. Once you go back to use the other style, you’ll find it doesn’t look so good because you haven’t practiced with it. So take your time, and experiment with each. Figure out which one you like more, and go with it.

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