A easy yet oft-overlooked effect anybody can
create is the shadow effect. Technically, you are simulating
a shadow by copying an object, pasting the object in a lower
layer, offsetting the object a few pixels, and changing the
color the object to look like a shadow.
The following animation shows an example of
the shadow effect applied to a line of text along with
something created using a bitmap (Wingding) font:
[ the above is an example of a
Creating this Effect: The following steps will guide you in
creating a shadow:
Create a new document in Flash MX
by going to File | New. A new, blank Flash MX movie will be
From the Toolbox displayed on the left, click the Text
Once you have clicked on the Text Tool icon, click in your
drawing area and draw a text box:
[ use the text tool to draw ]
After you have drawn the text box, type the word "Shadow".
For best results, make your text large. Using a smaller font
size makes the text look blurry:
[ the word shadow I just drew ]
Now, select the text and and go
to Edit | Copy. You can also press Ctrl + C to copy the
With the text copied, it is time to insert a new layer.
Insert a new layer below your current layer. To do that,
right click on the layer containing your text field (Layer 1
if you started from scratch) and select Insert Layer.
Drag the new layer below your old layer:
[ insert a
new layer below your existing layer ]
Now, here is the slightly confusing step. Lock the first
layer containing your text. Once you have locked that layer,
select the blank keyframe in the layer you just created
(Layer 2 in above image).
Press CTRL + SHIFT + V or go to edit Paste in Place. Once
the text has been pasted, press your right arrow one
and the down arrow one. Your text should look similar
to the following image:
[ the text has been pasted
below the original text and moved slightly ]
Now, select the text using your mouse pointer so that the
Properties Panel can appear. From the Properties Panel
(toward the bottom of your screen) click the Text (fill)
color button and select a light shade of gray:
[ select a
dark gray color for your text ]
Once you have selected the a dark gray, notice that the text
you just moved around looks like it is the shadow:
[ the shadow
effect is complete ]
Replay! It may seem like a lot of work to create
a simple shadow effect, but it is actually very simple. I
over-elaborated some of the steps, but if the tutorial were
to be re-written in 6 steps, here is how it would look like:
Create the text and copy the
text you created.
Insert new layer to go on the
Lock the top layer.
Paste In Place (Ctrl + Shift +
Select pasted text and move it
around to create the location of the shadow.
Change the color of the text to
a darker, shadow color.
If you are curious as to how my FLA looks like, click
the link below. You should note that my version of the
FLA includes the squiggly design that I created using
the Wingding font.
If you have a question about this or any other topic, the easiest thing is to comment below or drop by our forums where a bunch of the friendliest people you'll ever run into will be happy to help you out!