Join Kelly McCathran for an in-depth discussion in this video Using filters and color effects, part of Learning Flash Animation.
In this video, we're going to have some fun with Filters. One thing to keep in mind when using filters in the Motion Editor is the more filters you have on an object, the more calculations the Flash Player has to go through in order to display that effect, so that can effect your performance. Filters can be applied to movie clips, buttons, or text objects, not to graphic symbols. So, we're going to take this movie, 0702 Filters Begin, and I'm going to slide to about keyframe 48. This is where this rectangle starts to slide in. I'll select it on the stage, and you'll notice the type is graphic. When this was added to the Library, it was added as the simplest symbol type, a graphic symbol.
Well, there's no options for filters here on a graphic symbol. And if I go to the Motion Editor and Collapse Basic Motion and Collapse Transformation, I can do color effects, just as I can do here in properties. But filters is not an option. So, for that reason, I'm going to easily through the Properties Inspector, convert this to a move clip, the most complex sort of symbol. Once it's a movie clip, here I can see the filter's Plus sign is now available. You can do filters either through the Motion Editor, or here through Properties by adding them at the bottom with the New button.
So, the most common filters are drop shadow, blur, glow, bevel. There's a few others that are very fun. But on this one, what I want to do is apply a blur effect as it slides in. So, I'm going to do it through the Motion Editor. In Filters, I'll choose Blur. And then, when I choose Blur, you can choose how much blurring do you want to have happen. I'm looking at the Motion Editor but I'm only seeing 32 viewable frames.
And this animation plays for longer. So, I'm going to slide that up a bit and I'll scroll down a few clicks. And there I can see Blur X and Blur Y. I'm going to go ahead and set Blur X to 20 pixels. When I press Return or Enter, these two are linked so you can see that it had did both Blur X and Blur Y at the same time. When I scrub my timeline, there's the blur effect. So, like a soft feathered drop shadow, it's applying to the whole object here at keyframe 72, roughly.
Often, I'll go back to the timeline to check my exact position. I'm actually at 74, so let's slide it back to 72. You can see that in the Motion Editor, but I find it easier in the timeline. There, I want to insert a change. So, I'm going to click this little diamond. It'll turn yellow when I click it to add or remove keyframe. So, it'll start at 20 pixels, and now let's have it go down to 0. I'll press Return or Enter, and you'll notice the chart in the Motion Editor bends to indicate some change is happening.
So, the edges start out soft, and then end up crisp, I'm slowly scrubbing this so that you could see that. I'll press Cmd+Return on the Mac, or Ctrl+Enter on the PC, and preview my work so far. So, it came in soft edge and got sharper. You can even make that far and more dramatic by sliding over here, and let's try a 100 pixels. Now, I'll press Cmd+Return or Ctrl+ Enter to test, and there it slides in and gets very sharp. I'll close this window.
And another effect you may want to apply is, you'll notice as the Creative Suite lovers button came in, it just kind of appears. So, I'm going to slide over by dragging my play head, or I like to use the timeline, but something I top off at a certain amount to get to the spot where I am. The Motion Editor is a mirror of the timeline, but the timeline's been around longer, so I'm more comfortable there. Now, I'm where the button comes in.
So, I'm going to do again another filter on the button. I'll select the button on the stage, come back to the Motion Editor, and this happens quite often. If you don't have the Motion Tween setup, or if you don't have the Motion Tween Span selected, you won't have any options in the Motion Editor. So, it's important that you see this here. I'll come back to the timeline, and this isn't set up to Motion Tween. I deselected so that I could see that. It's a light gray which means the button is there but it has no animation to it. So, let's right-click anywhere on the button and choose Create Motion Tween. Once the Motion Tween is there, now I can select that keyframe span, so it's all highlighted.
Now, I can go to the Motion Editor, and there my options are available. So, I'll choose Filter. And on this one, I'll do a glow. And you'll notice, it automatically popped in a glow color for the background. As I slide the play head, nothing is changing in the effect. So, here again, I have Options. I have a Blur X and Blur Y that applies to the glow, in this instance. So, let's do a larger blur. Let's try 30. There I get a nice, big glow.
No changes still happening for the duration of this. So, I'll come back to Blur X and Y, I'll click the Diamond to insert a change, and I'll put that to zero. So now, I'll get a highlight that appears. Or it starts out with a larger red glow, and fades down. I think, while I'm here, I might as well make that button fade in and fade out. So, you do that with alpha, which isn't technically a filter. It's a color effect. So, I'm going to come back to where the glow starts. I'll go to Color Effect and choose Alpha.
Every now and then, if you notice your interface not showing something that you know it should, it helps to collapse and expand to see your options. And make sure the object is selected on the stage. Sometimes, I have to click away and click back where I know the object to be in order to see my options. There we go. Had to scroll down a little bit. And this is why I love using the Timeline. For the Alpha amount at zero, I'm going to go all the way to the end and set that to 100. I'll slide it back.
And I don't want it to start out completely clear so I'll start it at about 20%. Now, I'll press Cmd+Return or Ctrl+ Enter to test my movie. And there's a couple fun effects that you could add. Give them a go on your own.
- Understanding the Timeline
- Working with Timeline effects
- Adding keyframes
- Creating slideshows
- Incorporating other media into your movies
- Distributing your work effectively
- Organizing your assets
- Developing efficient workflows