Flash Templates Tutorials - Layers - Layer Mask
A remarkable quality of the layer mask is that the images on the layers subordinate to the layer mask are visible only through a layer mask.
* In order to understand functional concept, imagine that there is a postcard on the table in front of you, but you are looking at it through a dense sheet of paper with an arbitrary hole in it. You may move the paper in order to look at the other fragments of the image.
* To get the effect like "glare" or "transition", it is possible to create apertures through which the content of the bottom layers. You can combine several layers together, attach them to one mask and get quite complex effects in that way.
* One may create a moving mask through different types of animation. The only exception is that you can not create layer masks in the buttons. The layer mask hides everything that is located on the layers that are tied to a layer mask, with the exception of those parts where you use the filling of the object. The figure, filled with color, or the text on the layer mask form an aperture through which you can see the content of the layers beneath the layer mask.
* The layer mask can contain one single figure, a copy or text.
* Layer masks allow getting roughly the same effect as Paste Inside operation in FreeHand program.
To create a layer mask create a layer with objects which you want to show through the apertures of the layer mask. Select the newly created layer and choose Insert / Layer. There is another layer appeared above the current layer.
* The layer mask always covers the layer which is located directly beneath it, so you need to create layers always in a certain location. Draw the filled object, enter the text or create an instance of the symbol at the layer mask. Flash ignores any information relating to raster, gradient, transparency, colors and style lines related to the objects at the layer mask. Any figure with filling will be completely transparent, and the figure with no filling will be non-transparent. Right click on the name of the layer mask. Select Mask from the context menu, Flash records the layer mask and the layer, which the mask is applied to.
* To edit the layer mask or the masked layer, it is necessary to unlock them. Thus the effect of the mask is off. To enable it again, lock in the layer mask or the masked layer.
* To link layers to the layer mask choose one of the following methods: Drag the existing layer under the layer mask. A layer under the mask will be displayed with an indent. Create a new layer under the layer mask. Select Modify / Layer and then Masked in Layer Properties dialog box. Click on the layer holding Alt (Windows) or Option (Macintosh).
* To detach layers from the layer mask select the layer that you want to detach and do the following: Drag the layer, placing it over the mask or select Modify / Layer and then Normal. Press the Alt key and click the layer.