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Creating masks and masked content

From: Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating masks and masked content

In Flash, masks reveal a portion of the content in a layer. This is a useful tool for when you are publishing Flash content. If I were to publish this file to the Web the parts of the bridge that come outside of the Stage might show, depending on the settings in my HTML file. Let's say I wanted to ensure that they are always hidden. So I only want to reveal the content that is the same width and height and area as the Stage. So I will do that by creating a mask to only reveal that portion of my content.

Creating masks and masked content

In Flash, masks reveal a portion of the content in a layer. This is a useful tool for when you are publishing Flash content. If I were to publish this file to the Web the parts of the bridge that come outside of the Stage might show, depending on the settings in my HTML file. Let's say I wanted to ensure that they are always hidden. So I only want to reveal the content that is the same width and height and area as the Stage. So I will do that by creating a mask to only reveal that portion of my content.

So I will create a new layer, I'll name the new layer mask. When I am masking content, I want to use a solid color shape, preferably a color that's not used anywhere else in your application. I really prefer bright colors when working with masks, so just in case they are accidentally not set to be masks they are very obvious to me. So I'm going to choose the Rectangle tool. Now when you are working with a Mask in Flash only the fill matters, so I never use a stroke, so I am going to get rid of the stroke by selecting stroke color picker, I am going to click the No Color button.

Then in the fill color picker I am going to choose a bright color that's not used here. Green will work pretty well. So I have my Rectangle tool selected and instead of trying to draw exactly the same sizes of Stage I am going to draw a rectangle that is any size, and then I will use the Align panel to set it at the same size as the Stage. So I will use this Selection tool, I will select the Rectangle, open the Align panel, make sure Align to Stage is checked and then I am going to click Match width and height in the Match size section and the rectangle of the same size as the Stage and then I just want to align it to the center of the Stage.

So I will click Align horizontal center and Align vertical center. So now I have this big green rectangle, and remember in Flash a mask reveals content. So everything that this rectangle is covering is going to show when this content is published in the Flash Player. So to set this layer as a mask and to mask Layer 1 I am going to right-click the mask layer and then I am going to choose Mask. There you go. The bridge on the overflow section of the Stage is now hidden by the mask, because the mask didn't cover that portion of the bridge.

It only covered the portions of the bridge that's on the Stage. You can tell that a layer is a mask layer because it has the Mask icon. That's a checkerboard oval with a black background. Layers that are masked by the mask layer have a checkerboard pattern but are rectangular and don't have that black background. Notice that both of these layers are locked. If I unlock either one of them then I don't see how the mask affects the content. So if you are going to preview a mask inside a Flash you will need to lock the mask and all the layers that are being masked.

I just want to point out really quick that you can also control masking through the Layer Properties dialog box, which can be opened up by clicking the layers icons. So this time we are not going to click the layer's name, just the layer's icon. This opens up the Layer Properties dialog, so that was a double-click and now I can change the type of layer. So if I want this mask layer to be a normal layer again I can Normal. I don't want that for right now, but it's just an option that you can do. So I can edit its name, chose to show or lock the layer, change the outline color of the layer to view it as outlines or to change the layer height.

I am not going to do any of that right now, I am just going to click Cancel. So that's how you control the masking for a layer. Let's say we wanted to mask multiple layers, to do that I am going to unlock Layer 1, I'm going to hide the mask layer. So let's say I wanted to mask the stroke on the outside, so I will select that stroke on the outside of my artwork and I am going to cut the artwork and I will create a new layer and I will make sure to drag this layer above the mask so it's not masked, you can see the normal layer icon there, and then I'm going to paste the stroke, using the Paste in Place command.

That's Shift+Command+V or Edit > Paste in Place. So now I want to mask this layer so all I have to do is drag it under the mask, and you can see that the layer placement line indents under the mask which is telling me that this layer is going to be masked if I release my mouse button here. So I'll release the mouse button and then Layer 3 is then masked by the mask. So I can add multiple layers to the same mask by dragging them just like this. So when you are working with masks you can reveal content in Flash.

Just make sure you're using a solid color shape and remember in masks the strokes don't apply.

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This video is part of

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Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training

181 video lessons · 64502 viewers

Todd Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 2m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
    3. What is Flash Professional CS5?
      52s
  2. 17m 26s
    1. Understanding Flash file types
      2m 11s
    2. Becoming familiar with the Flash environment
      1m 5s
    3. Creating and setting document properties for an FLA file
      1m 25s
    4. Working with panels
      4m 30s
    5. Working with the toolbar
      1m 21s
    6. Using the Zoom and Hand tools
      3m 6s
    7. Understanding workspaces
      2m 23s
    8. Understanding bitmap and vector graphics
      1m 25s
  3. 14m 42s
    1. Understanding Merge Drawing and Object Drawing
      3m 23s
    2. Drawing lines using the Line tool
      2m 43s
    3. Using the Oval tool
      2m 21s
    4. Using the Rectangle tool
      1m 41s
    5. Using the Oval and Rectangle Primitive tools
      1m 25s
    6. Using the Polystar tool
      1m 20s
    7. Using the Deco tool
      1m 49s
  4. 50m 58s
    1. Selecting lines and fills
      3m 57s
    2. Modifying lines and fills
      2m 16s
    3. Using the Pen tool
      5m 25s
    4. Using the Brush tool
      5m 52s
    5. Optimizing shapes for enhanced performance
      1m 15s
    6. Using the Eraser tool
      1m 54s
    7. Working with groups
      2m 39s
    8. Using the Eyedropper tool
      1m 20s
    9. Changing fill and stroke colors with the Paint Bucket and Ink Bottle tools
      3m 30s
    10. Using the Color panel
      2m 50s
    11. Using the Color Swatches panel
      1m 51s
    12. Creating gradients
      2m 19s
    13. Using the Gradient Transform tool
      2m 4s
    14. Using the Free Transform tool
      3m 27s
    15. Aligning objects with the Align panel
      3m 57s
    16. Using the 3D tools
      4m 11s
    17. Using rulers and guides
      2m 11s
  5. 17m 11s
    1. Organizing a file into layers using Distribute to Layers
      1m 35s
    2. Organizing layers and editing layer properties
      2m 52s
    3. Using the Paste in Place command to organize layers
      2m 9s
    4. Showing, hiding, and locking layers
      2m 11s
    5. Creating masks and masked content
      4m 32s
    6. Creating guide layers
      2m 22s
    7. Viewing layers as outlines and changing layer outline colors
      1m 30s
  6. 16m 29s
    1. Understanding the library
      3m 51s
    2. Importing bitmap graphics
      1m 15s
    3. Updating the library with changed graphics
      1m 29s
    4. Adjusting bitmap compression in the Bitmap Properties window
      3m 6s
    5. Using the Lasso tool with bitmap images
      4m 3s
    6. Using bitmap fills
      51s
    7. Vectorizing bitmap graphics using the Trace Bitmap tool
      1m 54s
  7. 23m 0s
    1. Understanding the Text Layout Framework
      1m 54s
    2. Using the Text tool for TLF text
      5m 57s
    3. Working with fixed and variable width text fields
      3m 17s
    4. Connecting text through multiple text fields
      2m 25s
    5. Working with Asian and right-to-left fonts
      1m 7s
    6. Embedding fonts
      2m 25s
    7. Using device fonts
      2m 6s
    8. Using the Break Apart command to convert text to fills
      1m 16s
    9. Using classic text
      2m 33s
  8. 20m 30s
    1. Understanding symbols
      2m 33s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      3m 32s
    3. Navigating through multiple timelines
      2m 42s
    4. Editing graphic symbols through the library
      1m 43s
    5. Understanding the Editing in Place mode
      1m 41s
    6. Differentiating symbols from instances
      2m 23s
    7. Applying color changes and transformations to instances of symbols
      1m 55s
    8. Swapping and duplicating symbols
      2m 31s
    9. Nesting symbols
      1m 30s
  9. 29m 28s
    1. Getting to know the timeline
      1m 11s
    2. Understanding frames, keyframes, and blank keyframes
      2m 56s
    3. Creating frames, keyframes, and blank keyframes
      2m 53s
    4. Selecting and removing frames
      3m 15s
    5. Creating a simple animation
      3m 42s
    6. Previewing an animation using Test Movie
      1m 33s
    7. Using onion skin
      2m 43s
    8. Using onion skin outlines
      1m 34s
    9. Copying and pasting frames
      1m 45s
    10. Editing multiple frames
      3m 17s
    11. Nesting an animation in a graphic symbol and controlling its starting frame
      4m 39s
  10. 7m 43s
    1. Understanding shape tweens
      2m 34s
    2. Creating and removing a shape tween
      1m 20s
    3. Using Shape Hints
      2m 28s
    4. Troubleshooting shape tweens
      1m 21s
  11. 22m 19s
    1. Understanding motion tweens
      1m 19s
    2. Creating and removing a motion tween
      2m 24s
    3. Working with Property keyframes in the timeline
      2m 2s
    4. Using motion tweens for parallax scrolling
      2m 45s
    5. Selecting, moving, and copying motion tweens
      1m 55s
    6. Editing a motion path
      1m 32s
    7. Adding rotation to an animation
      4m 7s
    8. Animating color and alpha changes with a motion tween
      1m 49s
    9. Animating text, bitmaps, and other objects
      1m 53s
    10. Animating 3D objects
      1m 17s
    11. Converting a motion tween to a frame-by-frame animation
      1m 16s
  12. 28m 13s
    1. Understanding the Motion Editor
      2m 45s
    2. Using the Motion Editor to modify a motion tween
      3m 7s
    3. Adding and removing property keyframes with the Motion Editor
      2m 50s
    4. Adding easing in the Properties panel
      2m 11s
    5. Adding easing in the Motion Editor
      4m 56s
    6. Modifying custom easing curves in the Motion Editor
      4m 5s
    7. Extending and shortening animations
      2m 1s
    8. Using the Motion Presets panel to save and apply animations
      2m 9s
    9. Reversing an animation
      48s
    10. Creating nested animations
      3m 21s
  13. 15m 16s
    1. Understanding Inverse Kinematics
      54s
    2. Using the Bone tool
      2m 28s
    3. Adjusting bone properties in the Properties panel
      2m 28s
    4. Creating IK animations
      2m 4s
    5. Staggering IK animations using graphic symbols
      2m 57s
    6. Creating runtime IK interactivity
      1m 9s
    7. Adding spring to IK animations
      2m 9s
    8. Converting an IK animation to a frame-by-frame animation
      1m 7s
  14. 8m 46s
    1. Understanding classic tweens
      1m 0s
    2. Creating a classic tween
      1m 6s
    3. Troubleshooting classic tweens
      1m 22s
    4. Adjusting easing in a classic tween
      1m 7s
    5. Editing easing curves in a classic tween
      1m 46s
    6. Using classic tweens for character animation
      2m 25s
  15. 6m 49s
    1. Understanding button symbols
      53s
    2. Creating button symbols
      2m 35s
    3. Adding layers to button symbols
      1m 27s
    4. Creating invisible buttons
      1m 54s
  16. 8m 5s
    1. Understanding and creating movie clips
      2m 9s
    2. Converting a graphic symbol to a movie clip
      1m 43s
    3. Creating seamlessly looping animations with movie clips
      2m 23s
    4. Using movie clips to create animated buttons
      1m 50s
  17. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding blend modes
      2m 14s
    2. Applying blend modes to objects
      1m 27s
    3. Understanding filters
      2m 53s
    4. Applying filters to objects
      2m 55s
  18. 13m 7s
    1. Understanding audio in Flash
      2m 11s
    2. Importing and adding audio to an animation
      1m 25s
    3. Compressing audio with the library
      3m 10s
    4. Controlling sound effects through the Properties panel
      1m 44s
    5. Syncing sound to an animation
      3m 17s
    6. Adding sound to a button
      1m 20s
  19. 12m 12s
    1. Understanding video in Flash
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Adobe Media Encoder to encode video
      2m 8s
    3. Importing video
      2m 15s
    4. Using the FLV playback component
      2m 34s
    5. Working with cue points
      3m 59s
  20. 24m 29s
    1. Understanding ActionScript 3.0
      2m 22s
    2. Working with the Actions panel
      2m 41s
    3. Understanding code snippets
      2m 9s
    4. Using code snippets to stop a timeline
      1m 28s
    5. Using code snippets to navigate a timeline
      2m 55s
    6. Using code snippets to create a hyperlink
      2m 7s
    7. Using code snippets to control video
      6m 35s
    8. Using code snippets to stop sounds from playing
      1m 2s
    9. Using Flash templates for pre-built interactivity
      1m 28s
    10. Using behaviors with ActionScript 2.0
      1m 42s
  21. 14m 10s
    1. Integrating with Photoshop
      4m 10s
    2. Integrating with Illustrator
      2m 58s
    3. Integrating with Flash Builder
      4m 16s
    4. Integrating with Flash Catalyst
      1m 21s
    5. Integrating with Dreamweaver
      1m 25s
  22. 15m 20s
    1. Understanding publishing in Flash
      1m 35s
    2. Controlling HTML settings in the Publish Settings window
      2m 39s
    3. Adjusting SWF publish settings
      2m 9s
    4. Publishing for search engine optimization with SWFObject
      4m 31s
    5. Publishing and exporting image files
      2m 40s
    6. Publishing and exporting video files
      1m 46s
  23. 27m 18s
    1. Viewing the finished slideshow
      1m 18s
    2. Importing photos into Flash
      2m 33s
    3. Animating slideshow images
      1m 53s
    4. Modifying animations with the Motion Editor
      3m 26s
    5. Saving and reusing animations
      1m 4s
    6. Finishing the animation
      2m 43s
    7. Adding sound
      1m 4s
    8. Adding button interactivity
      6m 31s
    9. Adjusting image and sound compression
      3m 2s
    10. Publishing the application
      3m 44s
  24. 6m 27s
    1. Understanding Adobe AIR
      41s
    2. Viewing a simple AIR application
      1m 37s
    3. Publishing an AIR application
      4m 9s
  25. 14m 55s
    1. Understanding Flash on the iPhone
      21s
    2. Preparing to create iPhone content Flash on the iPhone
      2m 19s
    3. Generating a P12 file in Windows
      6m 41s
    4. Viewing a simple iPhone app in Flash
      1m 43s
    5. Publishing an iPhone app from Flash
      3m 11s
    6. Testing a Flash iPhone app on an iPhone
      40s
  26. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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