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Converting Bitmaps to Vectors in Flash
by Andrew Mall
The following directions enable you to add a bitmapped
graphic as a vector graphic to the library of the current Flash movie. You can
also use these directions to convert a bitmap directly on the stage, without
adding it to the library.
Insert > New Symbol (Ctrl + F8)
the symbol, and select Graphic as the behavior
> Import (Ctrl + R) the bitmap graphic you want to use
the graphic selected, choose Modify > Trace Bitmap
a Color Threshold value between 1 and 500 - When two pixels are compared,
if the difference in the RGB color values is less than the color
threshold, the two pixels are considered the same color - As you increase
the threshold value, you decrease the number of colors
Minimum Area, enter a value between 1 and 1000 to set the number of
surrounding pixels to consider when assigning a color to a pixel
Curve Fit, select an option from the pop-up menu to determine how smoothly
outlines are drawn
Corner Threshold, select an option from the pop-up menu to determine
whether sharp edges are retained or smoothed out
on Scene 1 in the upper left corner (below the menu) to exit symbol
can now delete the bitmap from your library - the vector is in the library
for you to use at will
I recommend playing around with the different settings to
achieve different effects. For a vector image that looks closest to the bitmap,
use the following settings:
Threshold: Many Corners
For a more cartoon-y effect (for example, the personae
images) raise the color threshold and area values, and lower the curve fit and
corner threshold settings.
Note that you can import vector graphics from other programs
(Fireworks, Freehand, Illustrator, Corel Draw, etc.) in .swf and .png format,
but they are more difficult to edit than a vector graphic created natively in