How to: Blur Effect in Flash

Written by william harrel
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How to: Blur Effect in Flash
Create a blur effect in Flash. (Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

A blur effect in Adobe Flash, a leading animation and application development program, is an animation that increases or decreases an object's sharpness or focus --- or both. In other words, the object goes from clear to blurry, or from blurry to clear. You can achieve this effect with Flash's Blur filter and a "tween" animation. A tween is a Flash feature that that fills the frames in an animation automatically

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Flash CS2 or later

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  1. 1

    Open a Flash movie (FLA) file in which you want to create a blur effect or start a new movie: Click the "File" menu and choose "New," choose "ActionScript 3.0" in the "Type" list, 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, then choose "Insert Keyframe" from the pop-up 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 most objects you import 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 blur animation with two Flash's three symbol types: Button and Movie Clip. Graphic symbols don't support filters.

  5. 5

    Right-click the frame where you want your filter effect to end, then choose "Insert Keyframe" from the pop-up menu. Flash fills all the frames between the first keyframe and this keyframe with the symbol you added to the timeline in Step 4.

  6. 6

    Click the symbol in the second keyframe to select it.

  7. 7

    Go to the "Filter" section of the Properties panel (depending on your version of Flash, it's located on either the right side or the bottom of the application window), click the "Add Filter" button in the lower-left corner of the Properties panel, then choose "Blur." By default, Flash blurs the symbol on both its X and Y axes by 5 pixels.

  8. 8

    Change the values in the "Filter" section of the Properties to adjust the blur as desired. You can change the intensity of the blur by adjusting the "Blur X" and "Blur Y" values. Changing the "Quality" drop-down from "Low" to "High" can also create a more intense blur.

  9. 9

    Right-click any of the frames between the two keyframes and choose "Create Classic Tween" from the pop-up menu. (Note that in Flash CS2 and 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 go from clear to blurry. (The playhead is the little red square at the top of the timeline that indicates in which frame you are currently working.)

Tips and warnings

  • You can change the blur effect from blurry to clear by applying the Blur filter to the first frame in the tween, instead of the second frame.

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