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Part II: Building Blocks/Animation and Sound > Creating Cool Effects with Text

Chapter 7. Creating Cool Effects with Text

How many times have you been faced with a project without any photos, images, or any type of support files? Text becomes your only means of expressing an idea. If that’s the case, you had better be sure that you can face the music and that your typographic skills are on point. When used properly, text effects can be just as intriguing as, if not better than, imagery and photos.

That being said, you want to make sure that you use text effects judiciously. Some effects grab everyone’s attention and get imitated on every other Web site—and then quickly become passé. Do you really want people to look at your site and say, “That’s so 10 minutes ago?” I don’t think so. Sometimes restraint with a technique is more effective than overkill. Don’t confine yourself to what everyone else is doing—stretch!

In this chapter, you’ll take a look at several different types of effects that you can create with text. You will learn about the following:

  • Simple changes to text. Using nothing more than the Character and Mixer panels, you can make interesting changes to your text.

  • Alpha transparency and Brightness. You can use alpha transparency to make your text appear to be translucent, or you can use it to make your text fade out completely. On the right background, you can use Brightness, which is less CPU-intensive, to achieve a similar effect.

  • Tweening text on paths. You can combine tweening text on motion paths with other effects to simulate motion in 3-D space.

  • Text and masking. You can use text, both static and animated, as a mask for an underlying graphic.

  • Third-party text tools. To speed up the development process, you can use third-party tools to create text effects and import them into Flash.

  • ActionScript for creating an effect. So you want to know how those third-party tools actually create those effects. Can’t leave well enough alone, can you? Even if you don’t like the idea of getting your hands dirty with code, you can use the code here and just modify a simple animation.

At the end of the chapter, you’ll pull apart a file that uses several techniques together to create a single movie. Don’t think of these examples as boilerplate effects to copy; instead, use them as a springboard for your imagination.



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