Printing an SWF

A question about Joshua Davis and his techniques came up in my online Class. I thought I post to the answer here as others might be interested in how to print the stage in an SWF.

Joshua Davis is pretty inspiring. I like the idea of creating art with Flash via an automated system. He uses a script that creates art automatically by crating movieclips on the stage dynamically. THen he prints these our.

This is not so hard to and doesn’t require any special software other than flash. You can also import the work into Illustrator and work with it there.

Note that randomly generated art may or may not be art. The color choices and other elements may need to be adjusted and added or removed to make a really artful design. That said the process can add interesting elements to your work.

Try it for yourself. Follow these steps.

1) create a Flash movie with some art on the stage. You could just place elements on the stage for now. As you learn AS you can write a script that generates things on the stage.

2) Launch the SWF.

3) Right Click the stage and choose Print…
In the print dialog box print to PDF. This option may show up in different places on different systems.

But the secret is that the PDF can be imported into Illustrated. Printing to the PDF format creates a record of the current content on the stage as vectors in the PDF document.

Note that Illustrator will change a few things or not interpret them correctly. Stroke weight for example, is scaled in Flash but not scaled in Illustrator.

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