It is true that once you get used to Flash drawing tools it apears more simple then any other tool. It has very intuitive handling of strokes, fills gradients, automatic stroke intersections, drawing priomitives, importing .ai graphics, using layers, etc. etc.
I personaly use flash for initial drawing. Anyhow, Flash .swf format is not standard format for other applications, and also is not interchangeable. Once done you need to do some conversion.
Flash has an option to export finished drawing to .ai (which comes in CS package) and from there you can export it to .eps, .jpg and other DT required interchangeable formats.
Now there is a slight problem. While all previous Adobe applications cooperate just fine with each other it seems that there are still some problems with applications that are added to Adobe packages after Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia. One of them unfortunately is Flash.
Simple drawings with solid fill can be exported from Flash to .ai and then successfuly opened with Adobe Illustrator for further processing.
But! If your drawing uses gradients and some other elements file becomes corrupted for some reason. Actually, I believe that .ai export is just good but kind of incompatible with Illustrator requirements. You get some strange errors about missing parameters or attributes which obviously points to uncompatible Flash export routine. This is obvious bug that still isn't solved in any of CS series
If you use any of CS packages (means, you have installed Suite) here is what you can do:
1. Make your illustration in Flash CS any way you like. Notice that maximum usable area of your flash is 2880x2880 pixels.
2. After you save your work (.fla) publish it to get the .swf file
3. Using your Windows explorer (or other program you use to browse your folders) find your .swf file and run it by double clicking
4. When your image opens in Flash player, use File/Print to print your image to .pdf format (notice: if you have complete Suite installed then probably Adobe PDF is added as your virtual printer. Selecting it as a printer it will actualy create a pdf file of your image instead of printing on paper. If you dont have Adobe PDF yoou may have another virtual PDF printer so you can give it a try, I cant say if it will work in this case)
5. Open this your .pdf file in Illustrator and there you are. You may play a bit with artboard and size to get higher resolution while saving/exporting to .ai/.eps/.jpg
This complete process actually keeps your illustration vectorized even you go through .pdf format. What is important that same file exported from Flash to .ai directly will be corrupted and you cannot use it in Illustrator.
While we wait for adobe to fix this issue this override can be a great day saver.
Hope it may help someone.
Photo credits: Aleksandar Horvat.
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