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Author: Patrick Mineault | Website: http://dakar.netqcca.com

Dynamic masking using the drawing API

Flash is a much more mature beast than it was years ago and certainly the introduction of the drawing API has helped establish this. Macromedia has included functions for drawing dynamically on stage since the introduction of MX. If you've tried using these functions you've certainly found that although deceptively simple they can be quite effective for creating components and advanced effects.

One of the neatest things you can do with the drawing API is use it to draw dynamic masks. This allows you to create effects that would otherwise been a pain with static masking. In this tutorial I'll give you an overview of the way the drawing API works in connection with dynamic masks with three complete real-world examples. I'm sure you will be impressed by the simplicity and flexibility of this set of tools.

If you enjoy this tutorial, I invite you to take a look at dakar.netqcca.com. I am participating in a project in international development in May and am in dire need of funding. I'm organizing an actionscript-o-thon and also accepting donations. See the URL above for details. Thanks.

How to use the drawing API and dynamic masks

The drawing API consists of these 8 functions:

MovieClip.beginFill
MovieClip.beginGradientFill
MovieClip.clear 
MovieClip.curveTo
MovieClip.endFill
MovieClip.lineStyle
MovieClip.lineTo
MovieClip.moveTo 

That's it. In our particular case we won't even need all of these. In the following we will use beginFill, clear, endFill, lineTo and moveTo. In addition we will need the with keyword and createEmptyMovieClip. Let's write a simple script that draws a square on stage:

this.createEmptyMovieClip('square',0);
with(_root.square)
{
  moveTo(0,0);
  beginFill(0x000088)
  lineTo(100,0);
  lineTo(100,100);
  lineTo(0,100);
  endFill();
}
» Level Advanced

Added: 2004-03-26
Rating: 8 Votes: 15
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Always looking for a new challenge, I'm going to Senegal this summer to lend my computer skills in a volunteering project. I'm sending you this tutorial as part of my fundraising campaign, see http://dakar.netqcca.com . Enjoy!
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