Available display filters

Flash Player 9 and later, Adobe AIR 1.0 and later

ActionScript 3.0 includes ten filter classes that you can apply to display objects and BitmapData objects:

  • Bevel filter (BevelFilter class)

  • Blur filter (BlurFilter class)

  • Drop shadow filter (DropShadowFilter class)

  • Glow filter (GlowFilter class)

  • Gradient bevel filter (GradientBevelFilter class)

  • Gradient glow filter (GradientGlowFilter class)

  • Color matrix filter (ColorMatrixFilter class)

  • Convolution filter (ConvolutionFilter class)

  • Displacement map filter (DisplacementMapFilter class)

  • Shader filter (ShaderFilter class)

The first six filters are simple filters that can be used to create one specific effect, with some customization of the effect available. Those six filters can be applied using ActionScript, and can also be applied to objects in Flash Professional using the Filters panel. Consequently, even if you’re applying filters using ActionScript, if you have Flash Professional you can use the visual interface to quickly try out different filters and settings to figure out how to create a desired effect.

The final four filters are available in ActionScript only. Those filters, the color matrix filter, convolution filter, displacement map filter, and shader filter, are much more flexible in the types of effects that they can be used to create. Rather than being optimized for a single effect, they provide power and flexibility. For example, by selecting different values for its matrix, the convolution filter can be used to create effects such as blurring, embossing, sharpening, finding color edges, transformations, and more.

Each of the filters, whether simple or complex, can be customized using their properties. Generally, you have two choices for setting filter properties. All the filters let you set the properties by passing parameter values to the filter object’s constructor. Alternatively, whether or not you set the filter properties by passing parameters, you can adjust the filters later by setting values for the filter object’s properties. Most of the example code listings set the properties directlyto make the example easier to follow. Nevertheless, you could usually achieve the same result in fewer lines of code by passing the values as parameters in the filter object’s constructor. For more details on the specifics of each filter, its properties and its constructor parameters, see the listings for the flash.filters package in the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform.