3+: Interactive Animation (Smoke)

This tutorial builds on Part 3 of the six-part tutorial series on building a Space Shooter. 

We're going to create a smoke-effect to act as fumes from the enemy rockets and in 4+ we will reuse it to create the smoke following an explosion.

Prerequisites: Please complete Tutorial 3 first.

Tools & Techniques: Applying a Blur filter and changing alpha (transparency). Start by creating a new symbol from the Library panel.

Start by creating a new symbol from the Library panel.

Call this symbol, "Fumes" as below:

Select the Brush tool  at a thickness of your choice.

Now draw the smoke area with no stroke and a dark grey fill (#666666) as below.

Splash on a lighter shade of grey (#999999).

Then apply some light grey (#CCCCCC).

And then apply some white (#FFFFFF).


Finish off with the Eraser Tool as below:

Select your various shades of grey Fills and convert to a symbol called "Smoke".

Smoke will now appear inside 'Fumes'.

Return to 'Fumes' and select your 'Smoke' symbol as below:

Navigate to the 'Filters' section on the Properties panel and select the '+' drop-down to select 'Blur'.

Choose your own properties, I selected a '15 px' effect of 'High' quality.

Using the timeline, right-click on Frame 20 and select 'Insert Frame'. Then right-click it again and select 'Create Motion Tween'.

With Frame 20 selected, move the 'Smoke' symbol to the right (or in the direction it will float away).

Using the 'Free Transform' tool (or adjusting the width and height) enlarge the smoke symbol so it will expand as it moves.

Still on Frame 20, with the 'Smoke' symbol still selected, you may like to increase the 'Blur' settings (e.g. '30 px'). You will certainly want to navigate to the 'Color Effect' section of the Properties panel, select 'Alpha' from the drop-down list, and set the alpha to '0%'. Both these changes are shown below:

We have completed our smoke effect in the symbol called 'Fumes'. Navigate now inside your 'Enemy' symbol and drag-in an instance of 'Fumes'. You may use the 'Free Transform' tool to make the smoke the size and shape you desire (see below for an example).