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Flash 8: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Advanced Color and Fills

Color is one of the most primitive, powerful communicative devices at your disposal. With color, a skillful animator can engender anxiety or peacefulness, hunger or confusion. She can jar, confuse, delight, soothe, entertain, or inform—all without saying a word.

Color theory is too large a topic to cover completely here. What you do find in this chapter is a quick introduction to basic color theory, as well as tips on how to work with color in Flash. You'll see how to change the colors of the shapes, lines, and images you create with Flash's drawing tools; how to create and reuse custom color palettes (especially useful if you're trying to match the colors in your Flash animation to those of a corporate logo, for example, or to a specific photo or piece of art); and how to apply sophisticated color effects including gradients, transparency, and bitmap fills.

Color Basics

The red you see in a nice, juicy watermelon—or any other color, for that matter— is actually made up of a bunch of different elements, each of which you can control using Flash's Color panel:

  • Hue is what most people think of when someone says color. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet are all hues. Out of the box, Flash offers 216 different hues. You can also blend your own custom hues by mixing any number of these basic 216 hues.

  • Saturation refers to the amount of color (hue) you apply to something. A light wash of red, for example, looks pink; pile on more of the same color ...

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