How to Create Fade Effects in Flash CS5

Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5’s Fade effects are quite popular because they can add a cinematic feel and smooth transitions between Flash CS5 images, text, and graphics. You can see fades used in familiar media such as photo slide shows or film, where images or scenes fade from one to another.

In Flash, a fade is a type of basic color transformation that you can apply to any symbol by modifying its transparency, or alpha.

Create a fade-in effect in Flash CS5

To create a fade-in, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new Flash document. Select the Type tool and create some text on the stage.

    Use no more than two words with a font size of 24 points. You can set the type size and style from the Property inspector’s Character options when the Type tool is active, so make sure that the panel is visible by choosing Window→Properties.

  2. Select the type with the Selection tool and convert it to a graphic symbol by choosing Modify→Convert to Symbol.

    This step adds the type to the library as a symbol and makes it available for tweening.

  3. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the first keyframe of the cur-rent layer and choose Create Motion Tween from the contextual menu that appears.

    A new tween span is created, and the playhead moves ahead to the end of the tween span.

  4. Grab the playhead and drag it back to Frame 1. Using the Selection tool, click the new symbol once to select it.

  5. In the Property inspector’s Color Effects section, choose Alpha from the Style drop-down list.

  6. Use the slider or text box to set the alpha of the symbol instance to 0 percent.

    The symbol becomes fully transparent and seems to disappear. (Don’t worry: It’s still there.)

  7. Click Frame 24 in the Timeline; with the Selection tool, select the symbol.

  8. In the Property inspector, choose Alpha from the Style drop-down list and then use the slider or text box to set the alpha to 100 percent.

  9. Press Enter or Return to play the movie.

    The text appears to fade in from nowhere to the stage.

Create a fade-out effect in Flash CS5

Much like the zoom-out effect, the fade-out is simply the reverse of a fade-in. You can use the Timeline menu’s Reverse Frames command to turn a fade-in into a fade-out. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the tween span that contains your fade-in.

  2. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) anywhere on the selected frames to open the contextual menu and then choose Reverse Keyframes.

    This action reverses the animation so that the symbol starts out fully opaque.

  3. Press Enter or Return to play the movie.

    The text you created fades out on the stage.

Try duplicating and then reversing the fade-in tween to have the text fade in and then out.

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