Animated Blur
by emre sarbak aka e-sarbak : 21 May 2005

In this tutorial, I will show how to create a blurry tween effect in Flash. Indeed the logic behind that effect is very simple, but as is often the case, it's the most simple problems that take the longest time.

In case you are wondering what I am referring to when I say "blurry tween effect" or animated blur, the following example should help you out:

[ an example of what you will create ]

Here is How
The following steps will help you to re-create the effect seen in the above image:

  1. First, choose an image to use for the tutorial. If you don't have an image, you can use the following image that I will be using:

[ I have used the logo of Galatasaray's 100. year ]

  1. We need to blur that image using an image editor. I'll be using Photoshop since it is fairly popular, but you can use any program that will apply a blur filter/effect to the image.

    In Photoshop, to add a Gaussian Blur, go to Filter | Blur | Gaussian Blur. From the Gaussian Blur dialog box, enter the value of 5 for the radius. For a more blurry look, enter a larger number:

[ I used 5 pixel radius but you dont have to use the same ]

  1. After you applied your filter effect, save the image by going to File | Save for Web.

  2. It is time to work in Flash now. When you open Flash, import both your original image and the blurred image onto the stage by going to File | Import. You should have two images in your stage now.

    Be careful to put them in different layers. The blurred image should be on the upper layer, and your original image should be on the bottom layer. You can change the layers of the images by cutting and pasting them into a new layer:

[ It is very important to put images in different layers ]

  1. Now, we need to convert the blurred image (which should be on the top layer) into a symbol. Right click on your image and select "Convert to symbol..." You can also select the image and go to Modify | Convert to Symbol.

    The Convert to Symbol dialog box appears. I named the movie clip as "mc_blurry", but you can pick any name you want:

[ Be sure to convert the image to a movieclip ]

  1. On your timeline, click on frame 30 and place a keyframe on both layers. Then click the upper layer (which contains the blurry image) to select it and insert a motion tween by going to Insert | Timeline | Create Motion Tween.
    After adding the motion tween, click on frame 60 and place a keyframe on both layers again. You should now have a keyframe in each layer at Frames 30 and 60.

[ insert a keyframe on both layers at Frame 60 ]

  1. Select Frame 1 in your timeline and click on the blurry movie clip. On the property inspector, there is a section labeled "Color: ". Choose "Alpha" and move the indicator to "0". This alpha parameter is the indicator of the movie clip's opacity. Repeat the same step for the movie clip on frame on Frame 60:

[ Alpha is the indicator of the opacity of the selected movie clip ]


  1. You are done! Press Ctrl + Enter or File | Publish Preview | HTML to view the animation in Flash or in your browser.

Why it works?
By doing a motion tween which changes the opacity of the movieclip, we achieved in a blurring effect in Macromedia Flash. Because the upper layer contains the blurred version of the original image, changing its opacity meant changing the opacity of the blur effect. That effect ended up making you think that the original image is getting blurry.

If you want a smoother animation change the fps into 30 frames per second. Also click the layer, which the blurry movieclip is included, and look at the property inspector to change the "ease" indicator to 100. At the end, click Ctrl+Enter to see result of this tutorial

Here is the zip folder of both .fla and .swf of that tutorial:

Download FLA

If you have any further question or problems, you can ask them in KirupaForums, you can send me a private message, or you can reach me on my MSN messenger: [email protected]


Emre Sarbak


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