A Guide to Create.swf for Beginners
|14 min read
Vachvell's avatar
By Vachvell   |   
74 46 12K (1 Today)
NOTICE: Hey guys. I barely ever log onto Deviant Art these days, so I won't be able to answer all of your questions in time, and I may end up stop replying overall. Apologies in advance.

Table of Contents (Use CTRL + F to search for a specific part of this guide.)

[00.0] Introduction
[01.0] Controls
[01.1] Keyboard
[01.2] Mouse + Keyboard
[02.0] The Interface
[02.1] Title Bar
[02.2] Menu Bar
[02.3] Selection Bar
[02.3a] Objects
[02.3b] Clusters
[02.3c] Rain
[02.3d] Characters
[02.4] Speech Bubbles
[02.5] Snapshots
[03.0] Targeting Box
[04.0] Closure

[00.0] Introduction

Welcome to a comprehensive guide to create.swf by KirbyM! This guide will give a brief overview of what each of the keys can do.


[01.1] Keyboard

1~0: Changes the face of selected character to a preset face. Preset faces can be changed under Menu>Options. Click the hotkeys tab.

Q: Saves the current Scene and creates a new part. You will be sent to the newer part.

R: Randomizes selected character. Selected object will rain down.

T: Selection will move to and follow your mouse cursor.

P: Pins or unpins the selection from moving. (Pinned characters and objects cannot be moved or rotated with the mouse.)

Brackets or "[ ]": Selects the next or previous object in the scene.

S: Takes a screenshot of the selected scene.

D: Duplicates the selected character. Objects are transformed into clusters.

Shift+D: Spontaneously combusts a pile of duplicate characters. Does nothing to objects.

F: Flips selection horizontally.

Shift+F: Flips selection vertically.

L: Locks all character parts. (Locked parts cannot be changed. The face can still be changed with the number keys, however.)

C: Changes the hair color of selected character. Objects can either change colors or turn into a different object of the similar suit. (i.e. Bullets can change colors, but trees can turn into coconut trees, pine trees, etc.)

M: Shows or hides the targeting box for the selection. (Targeting boxes allows the user to always select the object no matter where the object is.)

Space Bar: Enters theater mode. (Theater mode hides the title bar, menu bar, and selection bar. The arrow keys also allow you to swap between scenes.)

Arrow keys: Moves selection by one unit. (Pinned objects can still be moved with the arrow keys!) In theater mode, moves to the next or previous scene.

Shift + Left or Right Arrow Keys: Rotates the selection by one degree. (Pinned selections can still rotate!)

Shift + Up or Down Arrow Keys: Moves the selection forward or backward by one layer.

CTRL + Left or Right Arrow Keys: Adjusts the size of the selection by one unit.

CTRL + Up or Down Arrow Keys: Brings the selection to the front or the back of the all layers.

Insert: Generates a random character.

Delete: Removes selection from the scene.

[01.2] Mouse + Keyboard

Left-click: Selects the selection. (Oh my gosh! Redundancy!) Click on the character's body to move it. Click on the character's head to rotate it. Clicking on the tail of a speech bubble rotates it.

Double Left-click: Opens up the options window for the selection. Set text for speech bubbles.

Shift+Left-click: Adjusts the size of the selection. Adjusts the size of text as well in speech bubbles.

CTRL+Left-click: Enables user to move a character without rotating it. Rotates objects. Moves the speech bubble.

Shift+CTRL+Left-click: Adjusts the size of the speech bubble. Text remains unchanged.

[02.0] The Interface

When you open up create.swf, you'll see the title bar at the top left as well as the menu bar at the bottom left. The selection bar will appear as soon as you select an object on the screen.
[02.1] Title Bar

When you click on the title bar, (Usually labeled UNTITLED: PART 1) It opens the drop down box to reveal Scene Info, Save Scene, Parts, New Part, and Clear Stage.

Scene Info: You can change the title of your scene here. The title of the scene is under "Scene Name:" box. You can also allow transition from one scene to the next when in theater mode. Simply type in the title of another scene in either "Prev scene:" or "Next scene:" boxes.

Save Scene: When using a web browser, a save file is saved into your cookies whether it's online or offline. (Not sure where the save file is for flash players.)

Parts: Reveals a list of all parts in the scene. The up and down arrows allow you to swap the order of parts in the scene. The trash bin will allow you to delete the part in the scene.

New Part: Saves the current part and adds a new one. You will be moved to the newer part.

Clear Stage: Removes all objects, characters, background, and screenshots. This does not remove toys.

[02.2] Menu Bar

This gives you access to all the characters, objects, speech bubbles, save data, and many other things. You can also customize your options here as well. Most of them are self-explanatory, but a few will be explained in detail here.

Options: Opens a new window that allows you to adjust your settings.
Under the Options tab: Click stops spin will cause objects and characters to stop rotating when checked.
Old quick change, when checked, prevents the back, accessories, and items from changing when using the quick change option in the character options window.
Auto-scroll menus allow you to move up and down a list without needing to use the scroll bar. Simply move your mouse over the list up and down.
Theater mode enables the arrow keys to move between parts.
Pinned scene loading causes everything to be pinned when moving to the next or previous part.
Under the settings tab: Default character determines what character is generated when create.swf is opened.
Arrow speed determines the amount of units an object is moved when suing the arrow keys. This stays true when rotating or resizing. *WARNING* There's a bug with this. Changing the arrow speed to any other number may move a character or object by a ridiculous amount. Reverting it back to one will not fix this. It's best to leave this alone. *WARNING*
The Hotkeys tab adjusts the preset faces for the number keys. The number you enter coincides with parts list in the character parts list. (i.e. For eyes, 1 is eye 1, 2 is eye 2, etc. For mouths, 1 is none, 2 is mouth 1, etc.)

Insert: Generates objects, bubbles, and images in the scene.
There are a variety of objects with a few that can change colors. Most of the bullets can change colors, and some objects can change to a different suit. Remember to press C to experiment!
For Bubble, speech generates a bubble with a pointy tail. Use this for characters that are talking. Thought generates a bubble with two circles as a tail. Use this for characters that are thinking. Box generates a rectangle. Use this for time shifts, narration, or explaining the scenario. Floating generates text by itself. Use this for general sound effects, or murmured dialogue. Action generates spiky bubbles. Use this for loud noises or speeches.
Image opens up a new window which requests the URL of the imported image. To upload imported images, Copy the URL in the address bar in the folder that contains the image you want to upload, then type out the name of the image INCLUDING the extension. (i.e. C:\Users\User\My Documents\image.jpg) Imported images will remain imported into the scene as long as they are in the folder you imported them from. If you move the image or the folder, then the image will not generate within the scene even if you saved the scene.

Global locks: Manages locked parts for all characters in the scene. You can choose to lock specific parts or all parts of all characters.

Stage: Alters the scene through clearing, randomizing, scrambling and shrinking. Clear wipes a specific option from the list. Randomize all transforms all characters, scramble! Shifts the position of all characters and spins them. Shrink reduces the size of a specific option from the list to 40. If the size of anything is less than 40, this does nothing.

Background: Opens a new window to adjust the scenery for your characters and objects to interact with. The arrows at the top of the window changes to the next or previous background.
Positive numbers on the X and Y axis will push the scene right and down while negative integers will push the scene left and up.
Rotation degrees turn the background clockwise or counterclockwise.
Friction determines how many units objects or characters slow down when pushed or spun. If this is at 0, then they will move constantly. If this is negative, then they will accelerate when they move.
Brightness will adjust the lighting on everything, including speech bubbles. Any number can be entered in setting, but the actual brightness will always be within 0~100.
Autoscale will automatically try to adjust to fill your entire screen with the background upon starting up create.swf. The autoscale size is different for every computer.

Toys: Fun for the user to play around with. It is recommended you tinker with them yourself rather than having being spoiled by this guide. In fact, this guide will not even spoil you on what they do. However, this will give you hints on how to interact with them. All toys stay on screen unless they are dismissed through the selection bar.
Mysterious gap: Put any character on top of the gap.
Clone capsule: Put a character in the capsule and interact with the selection bar.
Boxing Chen: Place Boxing Chen on top of any character.
Gravity Well: Interact with the selection bar. Have any characters on screen.
Grouchy Reimu: Double-click Grouchy Reimu or interact with the selection bar. Have any characters on screen.

Load Preset: A list of all Touhou characters. All characters are listed in alphabetical order.

New Character: Generates a random character.

File: All saved data for create.swf is found here. All saved characters and scenes will generate when you click their names. Opening scenes will remove all parts of the current and replace them with previously saved parts. Opening saved characters will simply generate them and will not replace any selected characters. Click the trash bin next to the saved files to delete them.

Help me Eirin!: Ask Eirin for help. Gives info about the program itself and the basics on how to use create.swf.

[02.3] Selection Bar
This is where objects, characters, screenshots, and other things can be altered. Each type of selection will provide different options.

[02.3a] Objects

Options: Adjust the X,Y axis, scale and rotation of the object.
Clusterize: Generates multiple duplicates of the selected object. New options are available.
Rain!: Showers the screen with the selected object. New options are available.
Edit: allows you to rename, or adjust the positioning of the object.
Delete: Removes the object from the scene.

[02.3b] Clusters

Similar to objects, but has additional options.
Distance determines how far each individual object in the cluster is to one another. The larger the number, the farther apart they are.
Spiral determines the concave as the rows branch out. The larger the number, the larger the curve.
RMod determines the rotation of each individual object. The larger the number, the greater the rotation.
Rows determine the number of ring of objects in the cluster. Larger numbers mean more rings.
Columns determine the number of line of objects in the cluster. Larger numbers mean more lines.
Start D. determines the starting point of the first ring in the cluster. Larger numbers makes the first ring start farther out from the center of the cluster.
Shot Direction determines where each object in the cluster is pointing. Click on the "Out" button to change the direction of the objects.
Clicking the close button will close the options window.

[02.3c] Rain
Rain can be moved around like any other object, which allows the area to be rained down at a specific spot if desired. Rain has similar options to objects, but with additional features.

Rotation determines the direction flow of the rain. This allows for objects to fly sideways or even upwards.
Density limits the number of objects that appear onscreen at once. The greater the number, the more objects will fall.
The second "X:" and "Y:" boxes determine the speed of the objects falling. The first box is the minimum speed, and the second box is the maximum speed. Objects that respawn will have a random X and Y direction speed. Larger numbers give greater speed. If the number is negative, then the objects will move in the opposite direction.
Twirl gives object a spin while falling. If they are given the number zero, then the objects will not spin.

[02.3d] Characters

Save: Stores data of the character in the menu. They can be found in Menu>File>Characters.
Show DNA: Gives a string of numbers and letters that can be copied and shared with other users.

Options: Has similar options to objects, but require to be set to confirm numerical changes. Clicking on the edit options to the left or parts options arrows to the right will make changes immediately. Clicking on the quick change arrows will change most of the parts on the character. This is not random, and is predetermined.

Duplicate: Creates a copy of the character.
Colorize: Changes the hair color of the character.
Lock Parts: Prevents a specific part from changing.
Change Parts: Reveals a list of parts to adjust your character accordingly.
Edit: Allows you to rename, or adjust the positioning of the character.
Randomize: Changes all the parts of the character. Locked parts will not be randomized.
Delete: Removes the character from the scene.

[02.4] Speech Bubbles

Options for speech bubbles are slightly complicated. Changes done in the text section will be applied to text only. Changes done in the general section will be applied to both the text and the bubble. Changes done in the bubble section will be applied to the bubbly only. Make sure to click set to apply changes done to the speech bubble.

Colorize: Changes the color of the text.
Set Font: Gives a new style for the text.
Edit: Allows you to rename or adjust the positioning of the speech bubble.
Set text: Highlights text and allows you type in the speech bubble.
Delete: Removes the speech bubble from the scene.

[02.5] Snapshots

Snapshots work just like objects, except under the options window for opacity, you can adjust the transparency of the snapshots. The smaller the number, the more transparent the snapshot becomes.
Filters can be applied to snapshots as well. Clicking on grayscale of inverse colors will apply the effect. Clicking the same filter again will revert the changes. You can have either grayscale or inverse colors as the filter, but not both.
Blur will open an options window for the blur effect. The "X:" and "Y:" boxes determine how far from the center the image will blur. Larger numbers will eventually split the snap shot into two images. Quality determines the intensity of the blur. Larger numbers will make generate better blurs.

[03.0] Targeting Box

Used in just about everything, the targeting box can be seen when the M key is press and a selection is clicked on. The points on the targeting box have quick and easy to access usage that essentially have similar effects as adjusting them under the selection's option windows. Not every point will be revealed for each selection, but each point has the same effect for all selections regardless.

R: A blue circle. This rotates the selection.
S: A red circle. This adjusts the size of the selection.
P: A green circle. For clusters, this sets the direction objects are facing. For speech bubbles, this adjusts the position of the speech bubble itself.
Bubble T: For speech bubbles. This adjusts the position of the text.
Bubble S: For speech bubbles. This adjusts the size of the speech bubble only.

[04.0] Closure
If there are any questions or comments, please message me or post them in the comment section below.
anonymous's avatar
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TechnoLodgicMLP's avatar
TechnoLodgicMLPHobbyist Digital Artist
How do you change the color of something other than the hair?
Darkstar-001's avatar
For skin, you can use "Skin Color," but other parts cannot be directly changed in vanilla Create.swf.
Some props can be cycled through different colors with the C key (you can also change the color by
changing the frame number in the item's options menu). Some parts have different color variations
as entirely different objects, such as several bodies that are a solid color, different colored kimonos, etc.

If that isn't enough, you can use the "Effects" menu (near the bottom of part menu) in CreateX (extended version),
which has "Change Color" and "Solid Color." Change Color modifies the colors of the object, whereas Solid Color overwrites
them completely, including the outline. Clicking either option once will enact a random color; clicking it after that will bring
up a menu to input the color of your choice, in hexadecimal format. If you don't know how to do that, you can obtain a hex
code by changing the hair or skin color of a new character to what you want, and then copying the "RGB Code", and pasting
it into the Change/Solid Color menu. Specifically, the characters after "OX" inside the quotations are the hex code; the rest
is left in place, aside from the number beside "Strength" on Change Color, which determines how much the new color overwrites
the existing ones. You can also change the blendmode in the Effects menu to further customize the look.
Darkstar-001's avatar
I know I read this a long time ago, but it seems that I forgot about some of the more advanced features. Nice work; very thorough guide.
thexgamer1980's avatar
Ok...how do i save my character to my computer as an image
Vachvell's avatar
Only thing you can do is press print screen, then paste the image into an image editing program like Paint or Photoshop and crop your photo around your character.
SailorVelvet's avatar
SailorVelvetHobbyist Traditional Artist
Any way to render the floating text obsolete? Cuz I AM sick of clicking of it in some random area.
Vachvell's avatar
The best way to avoid clicking on floating text is either delete them or send them all the way to the back (CTRL + Down arrow key). This will also make your text behind every layer except the background, so if you have your text in front of anything, you may want to adjust the object in your comic a bit. Alternatively, you can shrink the size of the invisible bubble that surrounds the text to about 20 because the invisible bubble is what causes the text to be selected often. This should keep the text from being selected too often.
SailorVelvet's avatar
SailorVelvetHobbyist Traditional Artist
Tepig125's avatar
I don't know if this is possible, but I think it is. HOW DO YOU MOVE A CHARACTER'S ARMS/LEGS?!?! I've seen it in videos(I think), but I don't know how to do it.

EDIT 1/10/16: I figured it out. You have to use the "arm" item. But this is awesome! Thx!
VGMJack's avatar
And I need assistance once again ... I have commented on how walfas wasn't saving properly (like ... a year ago) and now I need help with it not loading properly ... we all have heard of save.exe and I kinda wanted to start using walfas again so I found some old projects I did and decided to load them ... all the imported images were missing since it wasn't in the folder they were imported from so I went to Notepad++ and replaced the lines with the proper locations. Now, before I go further ... yes I did set my local storage to unlimited ... I learned my mistake. Once I load up a save I go to review it with the imports existing ... I only can view 2 parts of 9 before its just blank ... and the imported images didn't even show up as they should have. Is there something wrong with my flashplayer or is it save.exe ... I is confused.
Vachvell's avatar
Hey sorry for the late reply.

Sometimes changing the names of some files can prevent images from showing up into walfas.swf. If you press "M" and then press the "[" or "]" key repeatedly, you may see the target box showing up on invisible snapshots. This implies that the objects still exist in walfas.swf, but it can't grab the image you're looking for. If you can remember the original file extension for each snapshot, you can make the file extensions the exact same way they were before in your folders. I don't recommend that, however, and it'd be better to just import them again.
HolyLatios's avatar
How do you make comics and stuff? 
Vachvell's avatar
Click on Menu at the bottom left corner and select either Insert, Background, or New character. Play around with those options and experiment with objects. The rest is up to your imagination.
AzureAether's avatar
Good Day!
Thank you for creating this guide!
But I have a question: where are the save data for the offline version? I can't seem to find them anywhere...
Vachvell's avatar
The save data for the offline version is in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\[random characters]\localhost

I suggest navigating through your directory manually instead of copy and pasting this file extension.
suikunavi's avatar
suikunaviHobbyist General Artist
Dragynn275's avatar
Dragynn275Hobbyist General Artist
PewDiePieTheWolf's avatar
how do you use custom items/characters/backgrounds then using create.swf if its running on IE? (When I open it, it opens a tab for it. not the same as the normal version.)
Vachvell's avatar
Make sure you're running create.swf offline.
Go to Menu>Insert>Image. 
Under the Import Image window, copy and paste the file location of your image and the image name along with it (e.g. C:\Users\User\Pictures\image.jpg).
alvaro84's avatar
I found this guide super useful, especially the hotkey section!

AlgaeNymph's avatar
I'm pressing Shift but am not able to adjust character/object size.  Also, pressing M isn't doing anything either.  This isn't a knock against your guide, it *has* worked before but isn't now.
Vachvell's avatar
The shift key has to be held first, then click and drag your mouse to adjust the size. Also, for the M key to work, you need to click on a character or object, then press the M key. If it still doesn't work, you can try re-downloading the flash file again from walfas.org. You should still have all your saved work from the most recent download, but if you're worried about losing your old work, you can always save the newer version under a different name.
AlgaeNymph's avatar
Okay...I had it working before, but now it isn't!  I *held* shift, *then* clicked-dragged but to no avail.  Clicked on character first, *then* clicked M but still nothing.  Redownloaded Create.swf and still nada (though I didn't lose what little work I've got).

Anyone know what to do in these circumstances?  Sorry I didn't ask sooner but this felt like something I should be able to easily fix.  If only I knew how!
anonymous's avatar
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