Unit 8. Layers (III)

Types of Layers


There are many types of layers, as you can see in the general properties of a layer:

Normal Layers : This are the layers of Flash by default, and they have all the properties described in the previous points. They are used most commonly and for almost everything: to place objects, sounds, actions, and helps...

Guide Layers : This are layers for special or specific content. They are used in the animations of objects movement and its only aim is to set the trajectory that this object must follow. Because its mission is to represent the trajectory of an animated object, its content usually is a line (straight, curve, etc).

In this image we can see the content of 2 layers. The first of them contains the blue ball and the second contains the curved line. We have defined the second layer as Guide Layer, so that when making the movement animation (this we'll see it in a next unit) it will be used as a track for the blue ball. Its content wouldn't be seen in the movie.

It is important to remember that the content of the Guide Layers will not be seen in the final movie. Its effect will cause that the blue ball moves from one end of the line to the other following that way. That's a beautiful effect, isn't it?

Guided Layers : When we define a layer as a guide layer, it is necessary to define also a guided layer. This is, a layer that will be affected by the guide defined in the guide Layer.

If we didn't define a guided layer, the guide layer will have not any effect and though it will not be seen in the movie (being a guide layer) it will not cause any effect in the other layers. In the previous image, the blue ball might have to be found in a Guided layer; otherwise it'll not follow the way set by the guide layer.

The guide layers and the guided layers are related to each other in an evident way. A series of guided layers correspond to every guide layer.

On associating a guide layer with a guided layer, a change on the guide layer icon will indicates that the job correctly done.

In the image we can see an example of a guide layer and guided layers associated correctly. (Obviously, the Guided layer is the layer called aulaClic)

The use of the Guide Layers and its utilities we'll see in detail in the unit of Motion Animations

Mask Layers : These layers can be seen as groups that keep the unmasked layers off (we'll see them immediately). The use of these layers is something difficult (but not too much) and will be analyzed in following tutorials.

It is enough to mention that these layers are placed "above" the layers, which they mask, and allow us to see only the part of the layer that cover up the objects located in the mask layer (they act like filters). Similar to the guide layers, the existing objects in this type of layers are not seen either in the final movie. Only the objects from their masked layer corresponding to the "covered" ones we'll be seen.

Masked Layers : These layers work jointly with the masked Layers. The mask layers and the masked layers must be associated to be involved correctly.

Its objects are visible in the final movie, but only when some object of the Mask layer is on the top of them.


Let's see the operation of these layers on an example.

In this example, the blue rectangles are part of a Masked Layer and therefore they will be seen in the final movie (but only ones covered by the mask layer). The red oval is located in the Mask layer and it will not be seen in the movie, but only what "covers" it will be seen. Thus the masks are displayed in this way....

You can test your knowledge by doing the:

  Unit 8 Test.

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