Flash Pro tutorial: Design kick-ass characters

Step 14 Now delete the ‘Trace’ layer and give the characters a bolder finish by adding the fat cartoon-style outline. Unlock all the layers, and if there are still grouped objects from previous steps, ungroup them (Modify > Ungroup, or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + G), select all the lines (Cmd/Ctrl + A), and copy them. Lock all the layers, create a new layer named ‘Outline’, and perform a Paste in Place for all the lines (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + V). Increase the Stroke size to 24.

Step 15 Before colouring the bunnies, rearrange the layer orders: they should go (from top down) mouth, head, body, legs, arm, then Outline. Hide the ‘Outline’ layer and unlock the rest of the layers. Now be creative – use the Paint Bucket tool (K) to colour the bunnies however you like. You can also adjust the stroke size to your liking.

Step 16 Now you’ve completed a character design in Flash, reward yourself by turning your masterpiece into desktop wallpaper. Create a new layer, drag it to the very bottom layer, import one of the background images provided at digitalartsonline.co.uk (they each start with bg_). Align the image to centre-stage, move your characters to centre-stage, and export your wallpaper by going File > Export Image and picking JPEG as the file type. Tick the Full Document Size button, set the quality to 80, and you’re done.

About this tutorial

About the author: New Zealand-based artist and designer Paul Shih is originally from Taiwan. His work is about events, characters, and is inspired by his surroundings to create a visual world that tells the story. His Hollow Threat characters have also appeared as toys, phone covers and T-shirts. He has websites online at paul-shih.com and hollowthreat.com.

Time to complete: 3 hours

Software used: Adobe Flash CS4 or later

Download: You can download the resources for this tutorial from here.

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