Tutorial: Creating a Flag
We have had a few requests recently asking how to create a flag. There is currently a USA flag provided with our components (see Shapes | 2D | Artwork | Flag_USA). However if you want to create a flag for a different country, this tutorial will guide you through the steps.
Step 1 – Get the flag design
Wikipedia documents most, if not all, of the worlds flags. Search for the flag using the term “Flag of COUNTRY” where COUNTRY is the name of the countries flag you wish to reproduce.
Click on the image of the flag you wish to reproduce. This will take you to a page that details information about the graphic.
Check the copyright information associated with the graphic and if appropriate, download the .svg file and convert it to a .emf file as outlined in this blog article.
Step 2 – Import into Max
Resize the flag as required using the Transform or Reshape panels. It is advisable to lock the aspect ratio padlock to ensure symmetrical scaling.
As the image was created from a vector graphic file, it should scale very well.
Step 3 – Add Animation
This optional step demonstrates how to add the familiar flag waving animation.
Right click on the flag in the Layout or Outline panels and select Break | Break into Pieces.
The suggested settings for a 500 x 250 flag are shown in the image to the right (Click on the image to see it full size). You may have to experiment with these settings to get the best results. It is a good idea to save the imported flag under a different name before proceeding. The pixel overlap value may need alteration for different flag sizes.
The suggested settings will break the flag into 30*15 = 450 triangular pieces.
Right click in frame 1 of the Timeline panel of the flag object to display the context menu.
Select: Looping Continuously | Flag Waving. This applies the Flag Waving effect to the grouped flag object, Flag_of_Australia.
Negative undulations will cause the ripples to extend from the top left to the bottom right.
Positive values will cause the ripples to extend top right to bottom left.
Finally, to allow the flag to wave independently of the main timeline, wrap it in a movie clip by selecting the grouped object, then using right click to display the context menu. Select Grouping | Group as Movie Clip.
Once grouped, name the Movie Clip appropriately via the Properties or Outline panels.
The example shown at the beginning of this article can be downloaded from here. In addition to the flag described above the following changes were made:
- Added a flag pole (rectangle, 7 x 375 with linear gradient light gray, dark gray fill)
- Resized flag movie clip
- Used Shadow component to create the shadow on the ground. To do this, the pole and flag were added to the component and the sample objects were deleted. The shadowHeight parameter was set to 0 and the updateShadow parameter was set to true to cause the shadow to be re-created.
Due to the symbolic importance of a flag, it is highly likely that there are restrictions placed on its use by its country of origin. Even in the absence of such restrictions, it is suggested that all flags be depicted in a dignified way.