Masking in Flash
Masking -- useful concept for titles.
Think of masking as revealing....like looking through a spyglass or a scope or a camera lens. It is not about covering up; it is about what we see.
In flash we can use masking in a variety of ways. The first is to reveal text in titles. To do this you will create a text layer and a mask layer directly above it.
The screen will look like this.
Layer 1 becomes "Peninsula Text"
Layer 2 becomes "P-Mask
Next use the Text tool to enter the desired text, in this case, Peninsula.
Specify how many frames you want the text to be on screen (in my case 60 frames) by inserting a frame at frame 60.
Now go to frame 1 of P-Mask and using the rectangle tool make a box tall enough to cover the text when stretched across it.
Now select the rectangle and convert it to a graphic or movie clip (F8).
Go to frame 60 on the mask layer and insert a key frame.
Now, use the free transform tool and stretch the graphic to cover the text.
Now go midway on the mask layer (between 1 and 60), right click and select classic tween. You should now have a graphic that grows to cover the text by the time it gets to frame 60. Now right click on the mask layer and play your animation (Control + Enter) to play as an swf file. If you need an avi file for video go to File; Export; and set extension to .avi. Select an appropriate screen size (probably 720 for width).
Finished graphic looks like this when more text and masking is added.
Masking can also be frame by frame. This is a lot more tedious, but generates some pretty great graphics. To do that write what you want to mask on layer 1. Create the mask by using either the brush or the circle tool and start following the path of the text. This gives a very pleasing result.
You can also have a photo underneath and create a star shaped mask to reveal it. This works especially well with growing things like vines, vector art, or spring images. The example here is for Valentine's Day.
To make this graphic you have to use the polystar. You begin by choosing the polygon tool. Then go into properties and change it to the polystar tool. You can adjust the number of points.
To make it grow use the free transform tool and rotate it as it grows. During the process you will want to make your view about 25% so you can control where the graphic ends so you reveal the entire picture.