How to Create a Spiral Twist Using Macromedia Flash

Written by dan ravens
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How to Create a Spiral Twist Using Macromedia Flash
A spiral twist can be augmented with Flash tweening and alpha effects. (spiral image by Dragomir Uzunov from

Twisting and spiral effects in Adobe Flash can be accomplished with either the timeline or through ActionScript, Flash's scripting language. For the less experienced Flash user, the timeline is easier. Start with Fireworks, bundled with Flash for photo editing since before Adobe bought Macromedia. Fireworks has a filter to twist and fade out an image. The layers created in Fireworks can be imported into Flash for greater variety by combining motion effects of one image spiralling into another.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Fireworks

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  1. 1

    Open a graphic image in Fireworks.

  2. 2

    Choose the twist and fade option from the "Commands" and "Creative" drop-down menu.

  3. 3

    Adjust the four twist and fade properties visible in this effect's window: steps, spacing, rotation and opacity, to get closest to the effect you want. Drag the sliders for each value, and view the preview below them. "Fade Opacity," located under "Options" should be checked.

  4. 4

    Save the image and open it in Flash.

  1. 1

    Open the fireworks image in Flash, and drag one of the image layers to the stage. Convert that image to a Movie Clip symbol. Press F8 to convert it to a symbol. Name the symbol whatever you wish, and set the symbol type to Movie Clip.

  2. 2

    Add a layer to the timeline and label it "Actions." Drag that layer within the timeline to the top position.

  3. 3

    Insert a keyframe in the timeline at frame #1, another at frame #15 and a third at frame #30.

  4. 4

    Click on the first frame of the timeline (frame #1), then click the image on the stage.

  5. 5

    Adjust the opacity by choosing "Alpha" from the colours menu in the Properties Inspector. Vary the opacity by moving the slider control.

  6. 6

    Click on the 15th frame of the timeline (frame #15), then click the image on the stage.

  7. 7

    Adjust the opacity by choosing Alpha from the colours menu in the "Properties Inspector." Vary the opacity to 100 per cent by moving the slider control.

  8. 8

    Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for frame #30 in the timeline, but set the alpha to 0 per cent opacity.

  9. 9

    Right-click anywhere between the keyframes in the timeline, and choose "Create Motion Tween" for both segments. Go back to Frame #1, open the Properties window, set "Ease" to 100, select CW or CCW for Rotate and choose the number of rotations.

  10. 10

    Play the Flash movie and the spiralling and twirling image will reduce and fade away to the background colour.

Tips and warnings

  • Augment the spiralling/twisting action by using the "Rotate" function in the "Properties" window.

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