Sketching pen and ink in Flash

When it comes to cartoons, slick is in. Gone are the days of rough edges, pencil marks and hand-drawn etching. However, things may be about to change.

When I was called in to work on a new pilot for a Cartoon Network show called Zubar, the instructions were clear: we were going to create an animation using Flash and it needed to look rough, loose, sketchy and, most importantly, hand-drawn.

This tutorial explains how we achieved this look, using the example of a canyon background image. The technique centres on creating a library of white brush-stroke symbols and tinting these via the Properties panel. By drawing directly into Flash using a graphics tablet for the outlines and building up colour layers beneath these lines, you can create backgrounds that appear hand-drawn. In case you get lost at any stage, I've include a Flash file (canyon_15step.fla) in the support files, with each of the 15 steps clearly laid out.

Click here to download the support files (10.3MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free

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