Liquify Image Effect
       by [email protected] : 9 September 2004

Making an image look liquidly involves a tricky bit of 'masking'. A basic mask in Flash can be created two ways:

  1. By adding a Layer to your timeline, right-clicking on the layer (CTRL+click mac) and choosing 'Mask Layer" from the drop-down menu.
  2. By using action script's setMask( ) function to make one movieClip mask another movieClip while the movie is playing (as shown in the hi-tech monkey example below).
Note
A mask is a 'window'. You can see only the areas of the object which it is covering. The word 'mask' is tricky because of what we know about 'real-life' masks (put a mask on and it hides you).
 
In flash (and graphic art in general) a mask does the opposite: if you lived inside a flash movie and masked your leg, the only thing a user would be able to see is your leg.

 

 
[using action script to set one movieclip as the mask for another]

Above, you have two normal MovieClip's on the Stage, and the buttons cause one of them to mask the other, using the setMask() function.

What if:
instead of empty space behind the masked image, there were another image behind it? That other image behind it would show through. And with some sneaky layering:

- layers like this - - will produce this -

 
Now you know

How to create a basic lens effect using some easy layering tricks and how to use setMask().

Note
Instead of using the same image on the middle layer, you can use a completely different one. Click on the moving lens in the movie above to see what that looks like.

We can expand on the 'lens' idea to finish our mission here: a rubbery-looking liquefied image.


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