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Using Masks

Masks are used often in Flash development because they are a powerful feature for creating the illusions and special effects you want for your movie. Typical of a mask in other graphics applications such as Photoshop, masks in Flash are used to designate an area that will allow other Stage content to be visible. For instance, if you wanted a spotlight to move around a picture showing only the area of the picture in the spotlight, you would need a masking in a circular shape. This masking shape determines the area that will display on the picture.

To create a mask, you start with a special layer called a mask layer. This mask layer is always linked or attached to at least one layer—the masked layer. In the dropdown.fla movie, the Menu Mask is a mask layer and is set to mask the Menu layer—the masked layer (see Figure 13.4).


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