Adobe flash course in Gradient Glow & ActionScript.

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Create a Gradient Glow Filter with ActionScript

 

Free Flash Tutorial


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Step Three: Gradient Glow Filter Settings

In this section detailed information is given on each of the Gradient Glow Filter settings. I will first explain what each line does and then go through how to set each of the individual settings. This will enable you to set and edit the Filter correctly. This is done with these sections of code:

[0x990000, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFF99FF]
[0.5, 0.4, 0.3]
[0, 50, 255]
(0, 0, colors, alphas, ratios, 35, 25, 1.2, 1, "outer", false)

This is what each of the above settings does:

[Lists the colors to use in the Gradient]
[Lists the Alpha or transparency of each color]
[Lists the Ratios or position of each color]
(Distance, Angle, Colors, Alphas, Ratios, Blur X, Blur Y, Strength, Quality, Type & Knockout)


Settings: Arrays & Parameters

The Arrays (lists) define the colors and color attributes that you want to use. These Arrays are set within the [Square Brackets]. The first Array sets the colors to be used. You can have as many colors as you want. I have used three:

[0x990000, 0xFFFFFF, 0xFF99FF]

The next group of Arrays set the Alpha (transparency) and then the Ratios (position) of each color. Each of these Arrays must have the same number of entries as colors listed. I my case three in each list:

[0.5, 0.4, 0.3]
[0, 50, 255]

The Parameters are the remaining settings which are set within the (Parentheses):

(0, 0, colors, alphas, ratios, 35, 25, 1.2, 1, "outer", false)

Each of the Parameter settings change the following

Distance, Angle, Colors, Alphas, Ratios, Blur X, Blur Y, Strength, Quality, Type & Knockout.

Each of these settings has a default and if you are not familiar with the Filter it is often best to start with the default and then edit:

Example: Download both the Flash files Draw 217a & 217e



My Settings


Draw 217a


Possible Default Settings


Draw 217e

Here are my setting compared to the default settings:

Parameter
  My Settings  
Possible Default Settings

Distance:
 

0

  4
Angle:
  0   45
Colors:
  0xFF99FF, 0xFFFFFF, 0x990000   0x000000, 0x666666, 0xFFFFFF
Alphas :
  0.5, 0.4, 0.3   1,1,1
Ratios:
  0, 50, 255   0,128,255
Blur X:
  35   4
Blur Y:
  25   4
Strength:
  1.2   1
Quality:
  1   1
Type:
  "outer"   "inner"
Knockout
  false   false

Note: Colors & Ratios as written in Italics don't have an actual default. Your array could have any number of colors so there cannot be a default.

Distance: Any Number - Default = 4
The offset value set the distance from the edge of your shape. This defines when the gradient starts and ends. An offset gives a shadow type effect. If you want your gradient glow centred set the distance to 0. The default distance is 4.

Angle: 360 to -360 - Default = 45
The angle, in degrees. Valid values are 360 to -360. The default is 45. The angle value represents the angle of the theoretical light source falling on the object and determines the placement of the effect relative to the object. You can think of this like a shadow. If distance is set to 0, the effect is not offset from the object, and therefore the angle property has no effect.

Colors: 0x000000 to 0xFFFFFF - Default: None
An array of colors that defines a gradient. The Colors are set in the color Array. This is a list of RGB hexadecimal color values to use in the gradient. For example, red is 0xFF0000, blue is 0x0000FF. The colors, alphas, and ratios properties are all related. The first element in the colors array corresponds to the first element in the alphas array and in the ratios array, and so on.

Note: If you are not familiar with hexadecimal numbers they can be a bit tricky but in ActionScript they are always prefixed with Zero Ex and followed by six digits or letters: A Hexadecimal number as written in ActionScript: 0xFF00FF

Tip: To find the colour code you want look at the color pallet in the Flash tool box:


The hexadecimal code is displayed at the top of the pallet.

Note: Do not write the number as displayed in the color pallet. You need to remove the # and replace it with Zero Ex: 0xff00ff

Case Sensitive: The Ex is case sensitive: 0Xff00ff will result in an error message. For this reason use lower case for the x. Correct syntax: 0xff00ff or 0xFF00FF

Alphas: 0 to 1 - Default = 1
The Alphas are set in the Alphas Array. They change the alpha (transparency) values for the corresponding colors in the colors array. Valid values for each element in the array are 0 to 1. For example, .25 sets a transparency value of 25%. The colors, alphas, and ratios properties are all related. The first element in the colors array corresponds to the first element in the alphas array and in the ratios array, and so on.

Ratios: 0 to 255 - No default but try first number 0, last number 255, intermittent numbers evenly spread. ie: 0, 128, 255
The ratios are set in the Ratio Array and control the color distribution. The Ratio spreads the colors through the gradient. Valid values are 0 to 255. The colors, alphas, and ratios properties are all related. The first element in the colors array corresponds to the first element in the alphas array and in the ratios array, and so on.

Note: Think of the gradient glow filter as a glow that emanates from the center of the object (if the distance value is set to 0), with gradients that are stripes of color blending into each other. The first color in the colors array is the outermost color of the glow. The last color is the innermost color of the glow.

Each value in the ratios array sets the position of the color on the radius of the gradient, where 0 represents the outermost point of the gradient and 255 represents the innermost point of the gradient. The ratio values can range from 0 to 255 pixels, in increasing value; for example [0, 64, 128, 200, 255]. Values from 0 to 128 appear on the outer edges of the glow. Values from 129 to 255 appear in the inner area of the glow. Depending on the ratio values of the colors and the type value of the filter, the filter colors might be obscured by the object to which the filter is applied.

In the following code and image, a filter is applied to a black circle movie clip, with the type set to "full". For instructional purposes, the first color in the colors array, pink, has an alpha value of 1, so it shows against the white document background. The last color in the array, yellow, obscures the black circle to which the filter is applied:

Example: Download the Flash file Draw 217f

The Ratio values are: [16, 32, 64, 96, 128, 160, 192, 224, 235]


Ratios affect the position of the colors.

To achieve a seamless effect with your document background when you set the type value to "outer" or "full", set the first color in the array to the same color as the document background, or set the alpha value of the first color to 0; either technique makes the filter blend in with the background.

If you make two small changes in the code, the effect of the glow can be very different, even with the same ratios and colors arrays. Set the alpha value of the first color in the array to 0, to make the filter blend in with the document's white background; and set the type property to "outer" or "inner". Observe the results, as shown in the following images.

Example: Download the Flash file Draw 217g


First Alpha is 0 and Type is an Outer Glow.

 

Example: Download the Flash file Draw 217h


Inner Glow .

Note: Keep in mind that the spread of the colors in the gradient is complex as it is based on the values of the blurX, blurY, strength, and quality properties, as well as the ratios values.

Blur X: 0 to 255 - Default = 4
The amount of horizontal blur. Valid values are 0 to 255. A blur of 1 or less means that the original image is copied as is. The default value is 4. Values that are a power of 2 (such as 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32) are optimized to render more quickly than other values.

Blur Y: 0 to 255 - Default = 4
The amount of vertical blur. Valid values are 0 to 255. A blur of 1 or less means that the original image is copied as is. The default value is 4. Values that are a power of 2 (such as 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32) are optimized to render more quickly than other values.

Strength: 0 to 255 - Default: 1
The strength of the imprint or spread. The higher the value, the more color is imprinted and the stronger the contrast between the glow and the background. Valid values are 0 to 255. A value of 0 means that the filter is not applied. The default value is 1.

Quality: 0 to 15 - Default: 1
The number of times to apply the filter. Valid values are 0 to 15. The default value is 1, which is equivalent to low quality. A value of 2 is medium quality, and a value of 3 is high quality. Filters with lower values are rendered more quickly. For most applications, a quality value of 1, 2, or 3 is sufficient. Although you can use additional numeric values up to 15 to achieve different effects, higher values are rendered more slowly. Instead of increasing the value of quality, you can often get a similar effect, and with faster rendering, by simply increasing the values of blurX and blurY.

Type: "outer" or "inner" or "full" - Default = "inner"
The placement of the glow effect. Possible values are:

Knockout: true or false - Default = false
Specifies whether the object has a knockout effect. A knockout effect makes the object's fill transparent and reveals the background color of the document. The value true specifies a knockout effect; the default is false (no knockout effect).

I hope you have found this useful. If so perhaps you could recommend this site to others and link to webwasp!

 

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