How to Use Adobe Animate Drawing Tools to Create a Shooting Star

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In Brief...

The drawing tools in Adobe Animate are vector based, meaning that they're not based on resolution or defined by the number of pixels. Unlike bitmap images that degrade in quality as they're enlarged, vector graphics can be resized at will without affecting image quality. The following 12 steps show how to use drawing tools to create a shooting star.

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Instructions

  1. The Polygon tool [ Polygon Tool ] is used to create star shapes.
  2. To specify the star shape, go to the Properties panel. The Stroke and Fill can be set by clicking the color swatches. In this case, I've turned off Object Drawing Mode because I want alternating lengths on the star's spikes, so I'll be creating two stars. By turning off Object Drawing Mode, the shapes will merge together. Next, under Tool Settings, click Options.
    Properties Panel
  3. I've set the Style to Star, the Number of Sides to 9, and the Star point size to .10. (The smaller the number, the longer the spikes.)
    Tool Settings
  4. Polygons and stars are created on the radius, from the center out. They can be rotated by dragging before the mouse is released. Here I've created the two stars which have merged together. After the first star was created, I zoomed way in so I could accurately position the cross-hairs at the center to create the second star.
    Star
  5. Before creating the "tail" of the star, I'll create a new layer in the Timeline so that I can animate the objects separately if I want. After clicking the New Layer button, double-click on the layer name to highlight the text and rename it.
    Timeline
  6. The Line tool [ Line Tool ] creates straight lines, but they can easily be modified. In the Properties panel, I've set the Stroke color and turned Object Drawing Mode back on so that each line will be a separate object. Now I'll drag out three diagonal lines from the center of the star to the lower right edges of the stage.
    Line Properties
  7. The angle of the lines can be adjusted by using the Subselection tool [ Subselection Tool ] to drag the end points of the lines.
  8. To curve the lines, switch to the Selection tool [ Selection Tool ], then hover over the line and when the cursor displays a tiny curved line next to the arrow, click hold and drag.
    Curve Line
  9. The lines can be stylized by applying a brush stroke. With a line selected, go to the Properties panel and click the Brush Library button.
    Properties Panel
  10. In the Brush Library panel there are three lists. Select the Category on the left, the Type in the middle and then double-click the Style on the right to add it to the document.
    Brush Library Panel
  11. Back in the Properties panel, select the brush from the Style menu and adjust the Stroke Weight as needed.
    Properties Panel
  12. Apply the style to each of the lines.
    Shooting Star

Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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