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Hour 5. Using the Library for Productivi... > Task: Change Color Styles on Several...

Task: Change Color Styles on Several Instances

Open the file you created in the last task with the many instances of the My Name symbol. (Redo the exercise if necessary.) Make sure you have at least four instances onstage.

Select one instance by single-clicking it (if you double-click you'll be taken inside the master symbol and will need to return to the main scene). Access the Properties panel.

From the Color drop-down list in the Properties panel, select Brightness. The Brightness percentage will appear on the right of the panel, as shown in Figure 5.10. Click and hold the arrow to the right of the percentage and you'll be given a slider. Adjust the slider until the percentage reaches 80%. Alternatively, you can just type the percentage “80” into the field.

Figure 5.10. The Brightness Color Style can be applied to an instance.

Keep the Properties panel open and select another instance. This time, select Tint from the drop-down list. The Tint effect is pretty straightforward: You just select the hue that you want to tint the instance with by selecting the swatch (as in Figure 5.11). But notice the default 50% in the first field (which designates the amount of tint). If the original symbol contained several colors, the entire instance will change to the color in which you tint it. However, tinting less than 100% causes the colors to mix. For example, if your original symbol was yellow and white, tinting it 100% cyan would cause everything to turn cyan. However, tinting it 50% cyan would cause the white parts to become a faded cyan and the yellow parts to turn green.

Figure 5.11. The Tint Color Style changes the color of an instance.

Now for Alpha. Set the Color Style of another instance onstage to Alpha. Set the Alpha slider to 40%. Unless the instance you selected is on top of something else, you're not likely to see much of a semitransparent effect. Therefore, go ahead and position the instance onstage to be on top of another instance. Remember that you can use the Bring to Front control and similar stacking controls from the Modify, Arrange menu.

Finally, let's look at the Advanced color style. This setting lets you combine Alpha and Tint. After you select Advanced, the Settings… button gives you full control. However, figuring out the eight sliders that appear is next to impossible, so here's a trick to avoid using them. Let's try tinting something yellow and making it semi-transparent as well. First, select an instance and choose Tint from the color style drop-down list. Then select a yellow swatch. Now, change the color style drop-down list to Advanced and click the Settings… button. Notice the pairs of numbers next to Red, Green, Blue have already been filled in (with something other than 0) like Figure 5.14 shows. These are based on the tint you just specified earlier. Now you can select the Alpha slider at the bottom of the Settings dialog box. The trick was that by first selecting Tint, you had a nice way to choose a color. Had you first selected Advanced, you would have had to select a color in a less intuitive manner (namely, via the six sliders shown in Figure 5.12).

Figure 5.12. When you select the advanced settings after first tinting, the sliders will be initialized with the same color.

Figure 5.14. You can use the Properties panel to change several instances' behavior in one move.

Go wild and bring out a bunch of instances onstage. Adjust the Alpha, Tint, and Brightness settings. Do anything you want. Again, note that your file is basically the same size it would be with just one instance. Also, realize you can apply a color effect on multiple instances if you simply select more than one and then access the Properties panel.

You might have noticed that when selecting a Tint color, the Properties panel only lets you choose from discrete swatches. It's possible to select any color. Just open the Color Mixer panel. When using setting a tint, click (and hold) on a swatch but don't let go until you've pointed to the color you want on the Color Mixer. This is like the way you sampled colors outside of Flash—but it works within Flash too.



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