Adobe Animate: Creating Shapes

I’m pleased to introduce animator, illustrator, and graphic designer Patrick Macauley and his upcoming tutorial series on Adobe Animate. Patrick is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, acquiring a BFA in Emerging Media, and is the owner of Mythic Design Graphics.


Updated March 4, 2019.

Almost* everything you can create in Animate is a referred to as a Shape. All the following tools are used to create Shapes:

Pen (P)                 Line (N)

Rectangle (R)    Oval (O)

Polystar               Pencil (Y)

Brush (B)            Paint Brush (Shirt+Y)

* The only tool from this section that does not create shapes is the Text Tool (T). To convert text to shapes, you must first Select (V) the text box and then Break Apart (Ctrl+B). Breaking Apart a text box once will split the letters into individual text boxes. Breaking Apart a second time will turn those letters into Shapes.

Shape Properties:

  • Shapes are made up of a stroke and/or a fill.
  • The stroke and fill can be selected and manipulated individually.
  • Double-clicking the Shape fill will select the fill and the stroke.
  • Shapes can be manipulated with any tool that interacts with Anchor Points.* This includes the Selection (V), Subselection (A), Free Transform (Q), and Convert Anchor Point (Shift+C) Tools.

* Anchor Points are points that exist around the edges of a shape and which define its perimeter. Manipulating these points changes the form of a shape.

  • A Shape’s fill boundary will conform to its stroke boundary as long as one has not been manually separated from the other.
  • Shapes will merge together when interacting/taking up the same space.

Below is a video by Jessica Edington, Multimedia Instructor at Morgan Community College, with an excellent example of the Merge Drawing Mode, in Adobe Animate CC. She compares it to the Object Drawing Mode, which we’ll discuss in our next post: Adobe Animate: Drawing Objects, Groups, and Symbols.


Click to learn more about Adobe Animate

Click here to visit the Adobe Animate support site.

This Adobe Animate series is brought to you by animator, illustrator, and graphic designer Patrick Macauley of Mythic Design Graphics.

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