Now you want to color your flakes. I wanted to make mine a lighter shade of my blue background color, so I opened the Color Editor again and then selected ‘Shade of another color’ in the drop down menu. It automatically selected my blue Theme Color 1 as the parent color since it’s the only Named Color in this document. I changed it to a lighter shade of blue and gave the new color a name ‘Linked Color’.This now appears on the Color Line next to Theme Color 1. In fact I decided it would be better if all the flakes had a slightly different color, so I selected each flake individually, selected the Fill tool and dragged across the flake to give it a graduated color fill from white to my Linked Color 1, each flake with a slightly different graduation. I also applied different levels of flat transparency to each flake, to give a good variety of different flakes, with varying colors and transparency (note it must be flat transparency - you can’t combine grad transparency with grad color fills in Flash). Select your flake, go to the Transparency tool and adjust the transparency level with the slider. The design needs more flakes but you can save time by just making copies. I copied my 6 basic flakes and made a total of 18 flakes of various sizes. Arrange the flakes into two groups, group them (I have selected 12 flakes in the top group, then click Ctrl + G) and give the groups names, ‘Flakes 1’ and ‘Flakes 2’ (as before, select a group, click the Apply, remove or inspect names of objects icon on the InfoBar, enter the name). This is what my arrangement looked like at this stage. Note the main group of flakes is mostly outside the blue background area, because I want it to look like the snow is falling from above. The flakes outside my page area won’t be visible in my animation because they outside the page (animation) size. Also you need to introduce the first line of the text message in Frame 1. The effect we want is a text message that fades in and grows larger - you can do that by putting some transparent text in this frame, then making it visible and larger in the next frame. So, select the Text tool and type ‘Seasons Greetings’ in a small point size below the bottom of the blue background, make it 100% transparent (that means you can’t see it unless you change to Outline view - that is, move the quality slider to the far left). Name the text object ‘Text’. Change the Timings Before we move onto Frame 2 we’ll change the speed of the animation by adjusting the timing of the first frame. Open the Frame Gallery and double click on the Frame 1 name to open the frame Properties, and change the time from 0.5 to 6 seconds. This means it will take 6 seconds to animate ‘tween’ from key frame 1 to 2. © Xara Group 2010