Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Applying Erase blend mode in Flash Professional 8

One of the most compelling designer oriented features in Flash Professional 8 is the ability to add graphic filters (drop shadow, glow, bevel, etc...), and blend modes (Darken, Multiply, Overlay, Invert, erase, etc.). These features lift the graphics capabilities of Flash to a new level. With previous versions of Flash, designers had to depend on graphics editing software like Photoshop or Fireworks to apply these effects to bitmaps, and then used to import them into Flash. This work flow had a major impact on the file size of the resulting swf.

Enter Flash Professional 8 – The filter and blend mode graphic effects are rendered at the client end, by the new Flash Player 8! And the result, the generated SWF just has instructions to tell the player to apply filters and blend modes, and they are rendered on the particular graphic, at runtime – freeing the SWF of the additional file size – and what’s more? These effects can be changed dynamically, using actionscript code!

What do they mean by blend modes?

“You can achieve a variety of compositing effects by using blend modes to change the way the image of one object on the Stage is combined with the images of any objects beneath it.
Read more about blend modes on Macromedia LiveDocs here

There are various blend modes available with Flash Professional 8 (for more details click here). Adding blend modes is a simple task with Flash Professional 8. Just select the symbol (movieclip / button) on top, and select the appropriate blend mode, in the blend modes dropdown list. You'll be done – Erase blend mode is an exception. And this post is just about that.

Erase blend mode is used to erase (reduce alpha to 0) the portion of the background graphic, based on the shape and position of the symbol above it. To do this, the normal tendency is to create a symbol above the background graphic, and select the erase blend mode. As a user you may expect this to work. But you would see that the symbol to which the blend mode was applied disappears, rather than erasing the background graphic. To make this work, do the following:

  1. Select erase blend mode to the symbol on top of the background graphic.
  2. Select the symbol and the background graphics, and combine them into a movieclip.
  3. On this parent movieclip, apply “Layer” blend mode.


9 / 14/ 2005 - I just checked Tinic Uro's blog, and he has given a great explanation about blend modes in Flash.(If you didnt know, he is the developer who implemented blend modes in Flash Player). You can read his post here.

Macromedia Studio 8 is available in Macromedia online stores now!!!

Flash Professional 8, and of course, the entire studio 8 suite (Flash Professional 8, Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 3, and Flash Paper 2) was released to the world of developer and designers last night.

You can download a 30 day trial version of Flash, by clicking here.
If you want to go ahead and buy a copy this is where you need to go.

the whole of Flash team is pretty excited, about what users are going to be building with the new capablities of Flash 8, and the Flash player 8!

Cheers everybody!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Macromedia Studio 8 launch at bangalore

Tomorrow is the studio 8 launch event at bangalore.
Details : Bangalore – Tuesday, Sept 6, 8.30 – 11.30AM, Le Meridien Hotel
Seems Jim Guerard, Jen Taylor and Mike Downey are gonna be there.

Will come up with a detailed coverage, after i come back from the function :)

see you there!