In the real world, a mask is used to selectively obscure items beneath it. In Flash, a Mask layer is used to selectively obscure items on the specific layers beneath it.
To create a mask effect, a Mask layer is used in conjunction with a Masked layer, or multiple Masked layers. When a mask is enabled, everything on the Masked layer is hidden except what’s beneath filled areas of the Mask that it’s linked to. Almost any content, (excluding lines) may be used to create a mask. Masks may be animated or static. The only limitation is that motion paths cannot be used to animate a mask, nor can layers within buttons be masked.
Masking with a graphic
Here’s how to create the simplest form of mask:
A simple mask
Masking with a group
A group can also be used as a mask, as long as it consists of filled shapes and as long as the mask doesn’t also include simple ungrouped shapes: If a mask is composed of multiple items, using a group usually facilitates positioning the mask, as shown below.
Who is that masked man?
Masking with a symbol
Working with symbols is working smart because doing so can help to reduce file size. Because symbols comprised of filled items can be used as masks, there’s no reason not to use a symbol from your Library to make a mask. Let’s return to our moon example from and see what we might be able to do with our primitive shapes.
Figure below shows the original shapes that we used to create a moon shape. The only difference here is that the shape that was used to cut out the bulk of the moon (the gray shape cutter), leaving only a sliver of moon, is now on its own separate layer and the layers are set up as a Mask layer and a Masked layer.
Using a circular moon shape for both a Mask layer and a Masked layer
Unfortunately, when we enable masking (by locking both layers), we don’t get a sliver of moon. Instead, as seen in Figure below, we get a silly lemon shape! What happened? Well, if you think about it, you’ll notice that the upper shape reveals the content beneath it. So, as you can see, masking involves a logic that’s the opposite of the cookie-cutter interaction that we used to create shapes earlier.
Not only can text be masked, it can also be used to mask. To mask text, simply set up your layers as described in the previous section, with the text to be masked on the Masked layer, and the filled item that you’ll use for your aperture on the Mask layer, as shown below.
The upper circle reveals only the part of the lower circle that it covers.
To use text as a mask, the layers should be set up as described previously. In this situation, the text (which goes on the Mask layer) will look as though it were filled by whatever is place on the Masked layer. For this to be effective, a larger point size and fuller, bold letterforms are advised, as shown below.
Using text as a mask
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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