How to create visual effects

With Adobe Flash Professional CS6 filters (graphics effects), you can add interesting visual effects to text, buttons, and movie clips. You can change text, shapes, and symbols in many ways by adding filters. This guide illustrates how to apply specific effects to shapes, how to edit effects, and how to remove effects. You can apply any number of effects by using this technique.

Applying graphic filters to symbols In the following steps, you first create a shape, convert the shape to a symbol, and then apply a filter to the symbol.

For more information on creating shapes in Flash, see the guide “How to draw and create shapes.” For more information on creating symbols, see the guides “Symbols, instances, and the library” and “How to work with symbols.”

To create a visual effect:

  1. From the Tools panel, select a shape tool, such as the Rectangle tool.
  2. In the Properties panel, select properties for the shape.
  3. Draw your shape on the Stage. You need to convert the shape to a symbol before you can add a filter.

    visual effects 1 Figure 1 - Create a object on the stage

  4. Select the shape on the Stage. Note: If your shape includes a stroke and fill or more than one object drawing, be sure to select the entire shape or group.
  5. Convert the shape to a movie clip symbol or a button symbol. Note: The object must be a movie clip or button symbol to add a filter. You cannot add filters to graphic symbols.

    visual effects 2Figure 2 - Convert the object to a movie clip or button

  6. Make sure the symbol is still selected on the Stage and expand the Filters section in the Properties panel.
  7. Click the Add Filter button in the lower-left corner of the Properties panel to open the Add Filter menu (Figure 1).

    visual effects 3Figure 3 - Click on the Add Filter button

  8. Select a filter, such as Drop Shadow. Flash applies the filter to the symbol.

    drop shadow filter1Figure 4 - add Drop Shadow filter

  9. Examine the filter properties in the Properties panel Figure 4 above.
  10. Experiment with the Drop Shadow properties to see the affect on the symbol. For example, change the highlight color or increase the Blur and Distance values. Note: To change the color of the symbol instead of the effect’s shadow or highlight, you must open the symbol and edit its underlying shape.

    drop shadow 2Figure 5 - Modify the Drop Shadow options

  11. With the symbol still selected, click the Add Filter button and apply another filter, such as Blur. Flash adds the second filter to the symbol, as shown in the Properties panel (Figure 5). It does not replace the existing filter.

    blur 1 Figure 6 - Add Blur filter

  12. Make changes to the Blur options:

    blur 2Figure 7 - Modify the Blur filters

  13. You can add as many filters as you want to the movie clip or button.

Removing and disabling visual effects

You can remove or disable an effect after you have applied it.

To remove or disable an effect:

visual effectsFigure 8 - you can click on the Add FIlter, Presets, Enable or Disable Effect, Reset Filter, or Delete Filter.

  1. Select the object from which you want to remove a filter.
  2. In the Properties panel, select the header for the filter you want to remove. You can disable a filter (turn it off without removing it). You can also remove the filter from the symbol.
  3. Click the Enable Or Disable Filter button (eye) at the bottom of the Properties panel (Figure 6). The filter no longer appears on the symbol, but it still exists in the Properties panel for the selected object. The properties for the filter are hidden and a red X appears in the filter header in the Properties panel (Figure 8).
  4. Click the Delete Filter button (trash can) at the bottom the Properties panel (Figure 8). The effect is removed completely from the symbol and the Properties panel.