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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
Now we will look at a practical application for using filters. On this Stage I have my biker. So she is riding a bike and I will preview the animation in the Flash Player. So we have seamless looping background with some other elements. What we are going to do is use a Filter to create a shadow for the girl on the bike. So the first thing I am going to do is actually copy the girl. So I'm not going to use the default Drop Shadow effect. I am going to kind of customize it and create my own type of Drop Shadow.
So I will copy and create a new layer called shadow and I will Paste in Place. Remember that Shift+Command+V. And of course I dragged the shadow below the biker layer but it doesn't matter whether if the shadow is in front or behind the original layer. With the biker locked, I will use the Free Transform tool. move the transformation point at the bottom center and then click-and-drag down for the shadow. Then I am going to skew using the Free Transform tool.
Move the girl to the right. Now I'm doing this because of the position of the sun, so the sun is here and the light is being cast in this direction. So the shadow would be cast in about this way. So we have the girl in place. Now I'm going to take this instance of the girl and swap it out with a shadow. To do that, I'll select the instance and go to the Filters section of the Properties panel and click to add a Drop Shadow filter. I am going to collapse the other sections in the Properties panel to get a little bit better view of the Filters area.
So here I can customize my filter to suit my needs. So for right now, I don't really want to see the girl there. I just want to see the shadow itself. So to do that I can just click the Hide Object checkbox and then the girl disappears and I still have the shadow. Also I want the distance to be 0 pixels, so it will be at the same place as the original artwork. So if I want to, I can modify things like the color of the shadow. I can modify the opacity by adjusting the strength and I can control the blur as well.
I like a really soft blur for this type of shadow, so I will leave it at 2 pixels. And feel free to make any other changes that you'd like. But the great thing about using an animated movie clip as a shadow is the fact that the animation is reflected in the shadow. So let's test this out in the Flash Player and see what it looks like. So you can see the girl peddling in the shadow and in the original animation. So by applying filters to your applications you can create realistic effects like this shadow we created here.
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