Tutorial – Fade Movie Clips in and Out Solidly

Chalk this one up to Things Jeff Taught Me. Jeff Gold (ue_jeff) is our Game Developer and, as such, is terribly helpful. It amazes me that i can use Flash professionally for ten years and i still find myself discovering features that have existed for many versions. This is one feature that Jeff tipped me off to.

Have you ever noticed when you fade a vector MovieClip in or out in Flash, that it goes all ghosty / X-ray and you can see the separate layers inside of it? This has always driven me ninety-nine percent nuts, and i’ve cooked up work-arounds that essentially flatten the artwork before i fade the clip.

Ghostbusters Logo

Bustin’ makes me feel good

Here’s what that horrendous ghosty alpha fade looks like:

[SWF]http://www.untoldentertainment.com/blog/img/2009_09_08/bloat_badFade.swf, 250, 150[/SWF]

You can totally tell that the blimple’s four legs are separate MovieClips because they fade in and out independantly of the body.

You can avoid the X-ray effect using a Blend Mode called “Layer”.

  1. Select your MovieClip
  2. Open the Properties panel
  3. In the “Blend” drop-down list, choose “Layer”

Flash Blend Mode Layer

The process is identical in Flash CS4 and Flash CS3

Now, when the clip fades in and out, it looks decent and is presentable in polite society:

[SWF]http://www.untoldentertainment.com/blog/img/2009_09_08/bloat_goodFade.swf, 250, 150[/SWF]

Cheers, Jeff!

Fancy blend modes may affect performance, so don’t go nuts with them. But if you need a clip here and there to look proper and you don’t have time for an artwork-flattening work-around, give this a shot.

To read more tutorials on Flash and Actionscript, check out our Flash and Actionscript 911 feature.

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