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Modifying Primitive-Shape Paths

Flash's rectangle- and oval-primitive tools create shapes whose paths are defined, and constrained, by a set of properties specific to that shape. You cannot change the outline of a primitive-shape freely the way you can change the outline of a merge-shape or drawing-object (for example, you can't add or move points on the path describing an oval-primitive to make a curvy amoeba shape). You can change the specific properties that define the primitive by dragging control points in the shape itself or by setting new values for those properties in the Property inspector.

To change a rectangle-primitive's properties interactively

  1. Using the selection or subselection tool, on the Stage, select the rectangle-primitive you want to modify.

    The shape's bounding box highlights, and control points appear (Figure 4.67). Each corner has two control points. For sharp corners with a corner-radius setting of 0, the points sit directly on top of one another; for rounded corners, a control point appears at either end of the arc that defines the corner. The two points work in concert; dragging one moves the other.

    Figure 4.67

    Figure 4.67 The rectangle-primitive has two control points for the corner radius of each corner. When the corner radius is set to 0, the corner is a sharp 90-degree angle, and the control points sit directly on top of one another.

  2. Position the pointer over one of the control points.

    The pointer changes to a small solid arrow.

  3. To modify the shape, do one of the following:
    • To increase the radius (make the corner more rounded), drag the point inward.
    • To decrease the radius (make the corner less rounded), drag the point outward.
    You can drag diagonally toward (or away from) the center of a shape, or you can drag vertically or horizontally toward (or away from) the center of the edge containing the control point (Figure 4.68).
    Figure 4.68

    Figure 4.68 As the corner radius increases, two control points appear at the end of the arc defining the corner. Drag inward to round the corner more, outward to round it less.

To change a rectangle-primitive's properties precisely

  1. With the rectangle-primitive selected on the Stage, access the Rectangle Primitive Properties tab of the Property inspector.
  2. To modify the shape, in the Rectangle Corner Radius fields, do one of the following:
    • To create rounded corners, enter positive values.
    • To create indented corners, enter negative values.
    For more details about setting the values of the various properties for rectangle-primitives, see Chapter 2.

To change an oval-primitive's properties interactively

  1. Using the selection or subselection tool, on the Stage, select the oval-primitive you want to modify.

    The shape's bounding box highlights, and control points appear. Oval-primitives have four control points: one pair for the start and end angle of the outer oval and another pair for the start and end angle of the inner oval (Figure 4.71). When the start angle and end angle of an oval have the same value, the control points lie directly on top of one another.

    Figure 4.71

    Figure 4.71 An oval-primitive has control points that control the start angle and end angle for the outer and inner oval shapes.

  2. Position the pointer over a control point.

    The pointer changes to a solid arrow.

  3. To modify the shape, do any of the following:
    • To change the start angle, drag the control point clockwise or counterclockwise around the perimeter of the oval (Figure 4.72).
      Figure 4.72

      Figure 4.72 Drag the control points on the outer edge of an oval-primitive clockwise (or counterclockwise) to change the start and end angle of the shape.

    • To change the end angle, drag the control point clockwise or counterclockwise around the perimeter of the oval.
    • To increase the inner radius (to create a larger space inside the oval), drag outward (Figure 4.73).
      Figure 4.73

      Figure 4.73 Drag the control points on the inner edge of an oval-primitive to resize the radius of the inner oval: Drag toward the center of the shape to close down the opening in the middle of the shape; drag away from the center to open up a bigger space.

    • To decrease the inner radius (to create a smaller space inside the oval), drag inward.

To change an oval-primitive's properties precisely

  1. With the oval-primitive selected on the Stage, access the Oval Primitive Properties tab of the Property inspector.
  2. In the Start Angle, End Angle, or Inner Radius fields, enter new values.

    For more details about setting the values of the various properties for oval-primitives, see Chapter 2.

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