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Video Transcript

Vector Drawing.

To draw with vectors in Storyboard Pro you need to be on a vector layer. So to create a vector layer, you can go to this first icon in the Layers toolbar, which is called Add Vector Layer. You can identify vector layers in the layers stack by the light grey bar they have on the left-hand side. If you're on a vector layer, the tool properties for any of the tools that you select will change to accommodate this layer type. For example, if I toggle to a bitmap layer. You'll notice that the tool properties for the brush tool, which is the tool that select it from the Tools toolbar have changed in the tool properties. So the three vector drawing tools that you can use are the pencil tool, the brush tool and the textured brush.

So the brush tool and the textured brush are essentially the same tool, except that their tips differ. So the first few brush tips that you see here at the top belong to the regular brush, whereas the second half belong to the texture brush. So just to show you a quick example, you could draw with the brush tool and do not lift your brush. You'll actually create a solid shape. If I switch to the select tool and select my strokes, You can see there is actually a single stroke. And this is actually one way to create big shaded regions, such as this. So this was probably created just with a brush. But they become solid areas, which in fact is actually lighter than doing something like this where you're creating separate strokes. However, if you create separate strokes like that, you can see that each individual stroke is editable.

Of course transparency is affected in a different way, if you make individual layered strokes versus not lifting your pen while creating multiple strokes. So vectors are great for creating sketchy drawings like these, where you see the black lines, because they're quite light. So if you have lots of sketchy lines like that, it doesn't really add much to your file size. Were you to do this with a bitmap brush, make lots of sketchy lines, it becomes quite heavy. So vectors are definitely the way to go, if you want to make sketchy drawings. The lightness of vector strokes is also quite efficient when you do long projects, in terms of when you play back your project. If your project was very heavy with many textures and images, you can imagine that that would lag in the playback of a very long project.

Vectors are also great for having a nice, clean hard edge. So obviously when you're doing cartooning, a very common aesthetic is to have nice, sharp, clean outlines to your characters. So once again, vector drawings are very well for that aesthetic. And this holds true even when you zoom in. If I use the keyboard shortcut 2 to zoom in, we see no matter how close we get to the drawing, it will always look clean and crisp between the edges of lines and shading. So the only real disadvantage to using vectors is that you don't really get that nice, natural softness that you get with textured lines. However, there is a little bit of a work around. If you decide that you want to have some textured lines on a vector layer, and that's by using the texture brush.

And I'll do the same example, so I can do a little sketchy blob as well as create individual strokes. And then if we grab the select tool, you'll see that this, just like its solid counterpart, is actually a solid object. Whereas these strokes are individual objects that can be moved, scaled, rotated, etc., individually. However, unlike the pencil line and the regular brush strokes, you can't use the Contour Editor on textured lines in the same way. So for example I can use the Contour Editor to pull out the vector contour of this textured stroke, but you'll see that there is nothing but emptiness behind. Whereas if I use them on this solid vector stroke, you can actually change the shape of the stroke and the color will fill up to the edges of this contour. And that's the same for a pencil line, you can use the Contour Editor to actually manipulate the shape.

And this also holds true for the Prospective Tool, which you can't use really on these textured lines either, but do work for the regular strokes. In addition to all of these, and let me just maybe delete all these, this is getting a little bit messy. You can't flatten textured brush strokes of different colors. So if I draw a purple line here and then a red line on top, and then I select both of them and click the flatten tool, you'll see that there is still two individual strokes. Were it to have done this with two textured strokes of the same color, they in fact can be flattened to a single object. And usually flattening is done in order to minimize the file size and make the file slightly lighter. So that's once again, a slight disadvantage to using textured brush strokes on a vector layer.

However, the obvious advantage to using textured strokes on a vector layer is that if you ever want nice, natural looking textures but still want the ability to modify them after, then this is of course the way to go. For example, this Terry Glow layer is actually bitmap, and we know this because of this blue bar right here. And look, if I try to select and just select the layer first. If I try to select any of these strokes or textured areas built up by strokes, you'll see that all I get is a single vector bounding box. I can only move or manipulate the entire layer as a whole. So this is where textured strokes on a vector layer would come in handy.