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Getting Even with Your Tablet

To start experimenting with your graphic tablet in Flash, try this:

  1. Open a new blank document in Flash MX 2004 or Flash Pro.

  2. Import a photo of your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to Layer 1 and lock the layer. Name the layer evil person from my past.

  3. Add a new layer above Layer 1 and name it modification, as shown in Figure 3.

  4. Figure 3Figure 3 Two very important layers.

  5. On the modification layer, choose the Brush tool and choose Paint Normal from Toolbar options.

  6. Also in Toolbar options, enable the Use Pressure and Use Tilt options now that you have a tablet installed, as shown in Figure 4.

  7. Figure 4Figure 4 The Pressure and Tilt options for the Brush tool make your new tablet cool and fun to use.

  8. Grab your stylus, if you're not already using it, and move the cursor over the photo. The cursor appears as a circle with crosshairs inside of it.

  9. Press lightly on the tablet, right above the mouth of your ex-significant other, and draw a mustache (if he or she doesn't already have one). As you go, feel free to press harder to get thicker strokes and release a bit more of your leftover bitterness.

  10. Add eyebrows and horns, and then paint the eyeballs black so that everyone knows how evil your ex really is.

  11. Save your work, publish the SWF, and post it to your blog.

Mission complete! You've successfully used the Internet for its true purpose—to make your ex look like a fool.

When you're done and are feeling more comfortable using your tablet, you can move on to more constructive things, such as your Photoshop tribute series to the work of Henri Matisse.

Aside from the Brush tool, you can use the Pencil and Pen tools in Flash to draw (albeit without the Tilt and Pressure options), navigate through menus, and perform anything else you normally do with Flash. And because the stylus has its own eraser, you'll never have to activate the Eraser tool again. It can be used like so:

  1. Unlock the evil person from my past layer and select the photo.

  2. Choose Modify > Break Apart to break apart the image.

  3. Flip your stylus over and erase away your pain.

As you can see in Figure 5, using a graphics tablet with Flash can save you thousands of dollars in psychiatric care.

Figure 5Figure 5 The incredible disappearing ex.

Until next time, happy Flashing!

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