Steel Effect in Flash

In this Macromedia Flash tutorial I will show you how to use layer masking to create Steel Effect, this looks great as shown below, remember I have used Flash V. 5.0 but you can use Flash 4.0, I expect you to know the basics of Flash animation like making symbols and tweening. If you don't know how to animate in Flash don't worry you can easily learn it from the Help menu by going to Help -> Lessons you will find around 8 lessons enough for beginners to understand basic flash animation.

1. First, open a new movie in Flash with Frame Rate 12 fps, W300 x H100 and background White.

2. Select the Text tool - click on the icon with 'A' on it as shown in the below image in the small red circle and type some text of your choice, make sure the font is thick enough for the effect to be seen, I have typed 'STEEL' with 'Tw Cen MT Condensed Extra Bold' font. Give a gray color as we will use the same symbol to give a shadow effect to the Text.

3. Now convert the text to a symbol by pressing F8, Your symbol should be placed on layer 1 by default. Change the name of layer to 'Text' as shown below in the red circle.

4. Add 2 new layers by clicking on '+' the red square shown above and name it as "mask" and "shadow" respectively, make sure the shadow layer is at the most bottom, the order of the layers should be as shown below.

5. Create a rectangle using the Rectangle tool marked with a red circle in the above image, Before starting with creating the rectangle say no stroke in the stroke colour button and black & white gradient in the fill colour button. The rectangle should be a little bit of more height as compared to the text and should be atleast three times longer than the text. Now got to Windows > Panels > Fill and give the settings as shown below, drag the paint bucket tool diagonally on the rectangle to give a diagonal gradient as shown with the green line.

6. Convert the rectangle you just created to a symbol and name it as mask.

7. After converting it to a mask place the rectangle as shown below

8. Now right click on the 'Text' layer and click on 'Mask'. The layers should look as shown below.

9. Now we are done with the masking and ready to do the animation but before we do that we need to unlock the layers that were locked as an effect of masking, shown above marked with a red square in the above image, Unlock the mask layer, just click on the lock on the mask layer as only the symbol mask has to be moved for animation leave the text layer locked.

10. Now create a Keyframe on the 20th frame of both the "mask" layer and "text" layer. Create a Motion Tween on Layer "Mask". Goto Frame 20 and move the symbol "mask" to the extreme right as shown below then again lock the layer, don't forget to lock the layer or the effect would not be seen.

11. Now to give it a more realistic effect place the "Text" symbol on the shadow layer with the positioning as shown below an let it go till the last frame by default it should automatically go.

12. Voila............. your animation should be ready now and should look something like shown above, export it as an SWF movie file or as an GIF.