Flash - Black and white image as mask

Posted on 2007-10-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
In Flash (CS3), I want to have a black and white bitmap be a mask for a movie clip.  How do I do this?

Question by:mediapanderer
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Antonio Estrada
ID: 20010539
I'm unsure if Flash CS3 has this option but there's no reason for not having it.

In Flash 8 it's as follows:

1. Import your image to the stage (Ctrl+R).
2. Select your imported bitmap.
3. Go to the Modify menu -> Bitmap -> Trace bitmap.
4. Depending on how much detail you want, change around the options. If you want full detail use this:
    a) Color threshold: 1
    b) Minimum area: 1
    c) Curve fit: Very Smooth
    d) Corner threshold: Many Corners
5. It will probably take a bit if it's too detailed, once it's finished, it'll be turned into a Shape.
6. Select either the black or white bits of the image (just click on them) and delete them.
7. Voilá, you have a Shape that you can now use as a mask.

Hope this helps, there shouldn't really be much trouble porting this to CS3, it must be almost identical.

Good Luck.


Author Comment

ID: 20010637
Thanks for that idea!  Although the source image has gradients and blurs in it (key part of the mask effect).

LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Jason Thompson earned 2000 total points
ID: 20010832
You can do this best by using a PNG with alpha channels as the mask rather than a flat GIF or JPG.

Here's a good tutorial and sample files for doing this exact thing in Flash 8:

He uses a shape with a gradient color-to-transparent, but you can swap in a PNG and it works just as well.

Hope this helps.

Author Comment

ID: 20011064
PERFECT Graphixer!  Thanks!!!!
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Antonio Estrada
ID: 20011232
Nice one Graphixer :)

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