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Working with Graphics in Flash

Graphics

Animated drop shadow

Animation and gradients

 
Graphics

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Graphics samples are provided when you install Macromedia Flash 8. This chapter contains a brief overview of each sample.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Animated drop shadow

Animation and gradients

 

Animated drop shadow

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This sample shows how to create a realistic-looking animated drop shadow by layering two instances of the same movie clip and adding a drop shadow filter to the lower layer.

To re-create the process of constructing this sample, you first create the shadow effect for the dog by nesting the animation inside a movie clip. You then duplicate the movie clip instance and place it behind the original instance. (You can keep the duplicate on the same layer and arrange it behind the original instance, or paste it to a new layer below the original.)

You then select the duplicate instance and, in the Filters tab of the Property inspector, select Drop Shadow from the Plus (+) menu.

Next, adjust the strength level to around 45% and select Hide Object. This hides the movie clip object but reveals the drop shadow filter properties. You can make further adjustments by setting Quality to Low, Medium, or High, or modifying the amount of blur, the color, the angle, or the distance of the blur effect from the original graphic.

To prevent this effect from looking too much like a drop shadow against a flat wall behind the original object, you can use the Free Transform tool to skew the filtered movie clip instance.

This technique takes a bit of trial and error. Squash and skew the instance until it looks as if the shadow is being cast upon a floor. (You may need to reposition the instance.) Test the movie clip, and you see the effect come to life.

 

Animation and gradients

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This sample shows how to create a realistic-looking animation with gradients and drop shadows.

To re-create the process of constructing this sample, you first design the eight-ball graphic. Start by mixing a radial gradient containing three colors: black, white, and a medium gray. Then create a circle with the Oval tool (hold down Shift to constrain the shape so it is perfectly round), and fill it with the new radial gradient. Using the Gradient Transform tool, edit the radial gradient fill by offsetting it from the center of the circle. This gives the illusion of depth as the off-center white highlight gradually changes to black and a subtle amount of gray appears in the lower-right corner of the sphere. This is crucial for making a convincing-looking sphere; it suggests light wrapping around from behind the ball.

Then convert the gradient fill to a graphic symbol and edit it further by adding a new layer and applying a shadow using a linear gradient. The linear gradient uses two colors with varying amounts of alpha mixed in.

The next step is to create a movie clip symbol and place this eight-ball graphic inside it. Inside this movie clip is where the "8" graphic is added along with a mask layer. Then add a mask that is the same size and shape as the eight ball, and use the Free Transform tool and motion tweening to create the illusion of the ball rolling in various directions by moving and squashing the "8" graphic across the surface of the circle. The mask constrains the visibility of the "8" graphic to the exact area of the circle below it. This makes for a convincing illusion of the ball rolling.

Then add animations of the ball rolling to a stop and starting from a stationary position. Use descriptive frame labels and simple frame actions so this movie clip can be targeted later with ActionScript from the main timeline. The movie clip has to be set up this way; it uses a drop shadow, which can be applied only to movie clip instances.

Applying the drop shadow is the easiest part, thanks to the graphics filters in Flash. You simply select the movie clip instance, and from the Filters tab of the Property inspector, click the Plus (+) pop-up menu and select Drop Shadow. From there you can adjust the amount of blur, strength, quality, color, angle distance, and so on.

The drop shadow filter is used to create blurs only when the eight ball is animated moving rapidly across the screen. This emphasizes the speed at which the ball is moving and creates a dynamic visual effect.

 

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How to work in Flash WorkSpace

Working with Projects in Flash

Process to Build your First Application in Flash

Using Symbols, Instances and Library Assets in Flash

How to Build Video Player in Flash

How to Work with Color, Strokes and Fills in Flash

How to Create Document in Flash

What is Vector and Bitmap Graphics in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 1

How to Work with Text in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 2

How to Use Imported Artwork in Flash

How to Create a Banner in Flash, Part 3

How to Work with Graphic Objects in Flash

How to Work with Layers in Flash

How to Use Filters and Blends

Working with Graphics in Flash

What is Accessibility Features in Flash

How to Create Motion (Shape Tween & Motion Tween) in Flash

How to Create an Application in Flash

What is Masking in Flash

How to Work with Video in Flash

How to Use Layout Tools in Flash

What are Behaviors in Flash

How to Work with Sound in Flash

How to Create Symbols and Instances in Flash

What is ActionScript in Flash

How to Write ActionScript With Script Assist in Flash

How to Add Button Animation and Navigation in Flash

What is Data Integration in Flash

How to Work with Screens

How to Create a Presentation with Screens

What is Extending Flash

How to Create Multilanguage Text in Flash

How to Create Graphics: Draw in Flash

What is Flash Lite

Ways of Data Integration

How to Create Graphics: Create a Timeline Animation in Flash

Getting Started with Flash Lite in Flash

How to Publish Flash Documents

How to Create Graphics: Making Animations with Easing

Learning Flash Lite 1.X ActionScript in Flash

How to Export Flash Content and Images from Flash

How to Create Graphics: Applying Gradients in Flash

Process of Writing and Editing ActionScript 2.0 in Flash

How to Create Accessible Content in Flash

How to Create Graphics: Apply Graphic Filters and Blends

What is Data and Data Types in Flash

Process of Printing from SWF Files in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Use Script Assist mode in Flash

Learn Syntax and Language Fundamentals in Flash

How to Create E-learning Content in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Write Scripts in Flash

Working with Functions and Methods in Flash

Process of Using Templates in Flash

Using ActionScript: Process of Adding Interactivity in Flash

What are Classes in Flash

Control Tag Summary of XML to UI in Flash

Using ActionScript: How to Create a Form with Conditional Logic and Send Data in Flash

What is Inheritance in Flash

What is Data Integration: Overview

Using ActionScript: How to Work with Objects and Classes in Flash

Overview on Interfaces in Flash

What is Data Integration: Using XML for a Timesheet

How to Work with Text and Strings in Flash

How to use Handling Events in Flash

What is Data Integration: Using XUpdate to Update the Timesheet

Learning Animation, Filters and Drawings in Flash

How to Work with Movie Clips in Flash

How to Create Interaction with ActionScript in Flash

How to Work with Images, Sound, and Video in Flash

How to Work with External Data in Flash

What is Security in Flash

How to Debug Applications in Flash

List of Error Messages in Flash

Using Object-Oriented Programming with ActionScript 1.0 in Flash

How to Write Scripts for Earlier Versions of Flash Player in Flash

List of all Keyboard Keys and Key Code Values for using in Flash

Terminology

Introduction to Components in Flash

What are Components in Flash

How to Create an Application with Components

How to Work with Components in Flash

How to Handle Component Events in Flash

How to Customize Components in Flash

How to Create Components in Flash

What is Collection Properties in Flash