Tutorial on How to Fade Scenes in Flash

Written by william harrel
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Tutorial on How to Fade Scenes in Flash
Fading objects onto the stage in Flash (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A common special effect in Adobe Flash is to fade objects, even entire scenes, on and off the stage. Flash is an object-oriented animation environment. To fade an entire scene on or off the stage, you must animate each object in the scene individually. You create fades in Flash with "tweens," a feature in Flash that fills the frames in an animation automatically, and the program's "Alpha" colour effect. Alpha controls an object's transparency. To fade an object onto the stage, for example, you would create a tween over a span of frames that takes the object's transparency from zero to 100.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Flash CS3 or higher

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    Fading an Object Onto the Stage in Flash

  1. 1

    Open a Flash movie (FLA) file in which you want to create a fade effect or start a new movie: Click the "File" menu and choose "New," choose "ActionScript 3.0" in the "Type" list, and then click "OK."

  2. 2

    Click the "New Layer" button in the lower-left corner of the Timeline panel to create a new layer for your animation. All tweened objects require their own layer

  3. 3

    Right-click the frame on the new layer where you want your tween to start, and then choose "Insert Keyframe" from the popup menu.

  4. 4

    Make sure that you are still in the frame with the new keyframe, and drag a symbol from the Library panel, or create a new symbol. You can convert any object created with Flash's drawing or text tools to a symbol, as well as any objected imported into Flash. To convert an object to a symbol, right-click it and choose "Convert to Symbol" from the pop-up menu. This displays the Covert to Symbol dialogue box where you name the symbol and choose the symbol type. You can create a fade animation with any of Flash's three symbol types: Button, Movie Clip or Graphic.

  5. 5

    Right-click the frame where you want your fade effect to end, and then choose "Insert Keyframe" from the pop-up menu. Flash will fill all the frames between the first keyframe and this keyframe with the symbol you added to the timeline in the previous step.

  6. 6

    Go back to the first keyframe and click the symbol on the stage to select it.

  7. 7

    Go to the "Color Effect" section of the Properties panel (located on the right side of the application window), click the "Style" drop-down menu and choose "Alpha."

  8. 8

    Set the Alpha slider to "0." This makes the symbol completely transparent in the first keyframe and all the keyframes until the second keyframe.

  9. 9

    Right-click any of the frames between the two keyframes and choose "Create Classic Tween." (Note that in Flash CS3, you should choose "Create Motion Tween.") This completes the animation. If you drag the playhead back and forth over the timeline, the symbol should fade on and off the stage. (The playhead is the little red square at the top of the timeline that indicates in which frame you are currently working.)

  10. 10

    Repeat this process for each object you want to fade onto the stage.

Tips and warnings

  • You can fade an object off the stage by reversing the Alpha settings. Set the object's Alpha setting to "100" in the first keyframe and "0" in the second keyframe.
  • You can fade objects on and off the stage at varying intervals by creating your tweens in varying frames. For example, create one tween in frames "0" to "30" and another in frames "30" to "60." Tweens can span as many frames as desired.

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