New Flash Extension: MotionBlur

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,extensions | Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The MotionBlur Flash extension takes a (new) motion tween, analyzes the movement, and creates a motion blur. Because the new motion model allows each property on a tween to be set independently, this extension is able to generate independent blurring for horizontal (x) and vertical (y) movement. It can take into account some rotation as well as some movement on the z-plane (3D), but its primarily designed to track x and y motion.

It works best if you run the extension after you’ve completed all easing and other adjustments on the tween first. If have to you adjust your path or motion easing, you can simply run the MotionBlur command again to re-calibrate.

The motion curves for blur x and blur y are optimized as well, so they add as few new keyframes to your tween as possible. The amount of blur is also adjusted based on the document’s frame rate (higher frame rate = faster animation = more blur).

Download
(For CS4-CS6)
MotionBlur.mxp

(For Flash Pro CC)
MotionBlur.zxp

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45 thoughts on “New Flash Extension: MotionBlur”

  1. huehmae says:

    hi,

    i was trying out your extension, but all i get is an error:

    ‘The following JavaScript error(s) occurred:
    At line 198 of file “MotionBlur.jsfl”:
    TypeError: selPath has no properties’

    any idea what’s the problem?

    1. Justin says:

      huehmae,

      It took me a little while to figure out how to reproduce this error, but I think I figured out what’s going on.

      In order for this extension to run, you cannot click on anything while it’s processing (only takes a second or two depending on the length of your animation).

      When you get the prompt for quality and intensity, and you’ve selected the levels you want, hit ENTER or single-click the okay button. If you double-click the okay button, your second mouse click will interrupt the processing of this extension.

      P.S. Once this error has occurred, you may have to restart Flash in order for the extension to work properly.

  2. huehmae says:

    i’m still getting the same error, and for sure am not clicking anywhere during the processing. it seems the error occurs when the processing reaches the end of the tween. it worked once, though. mysterious.

  3. Justin says:

    Hmm…
    I’ll keep thinking about it, huehmae. Let me know if you notice anything else.

  4. Andrew says:

    Very cool extension. Thank you for your hard work and making it available to the rest of us! Worked like a charm!

  5. Espeorb says:

    Hi Justin, I’m having a problem with motion blur. When I try to run MotionBlur with a motion tween selected, it says “The motion contained color, filter and/or 3D properties that can not be applied to the selected object(s).” The unsupported properties were removed.”
    All the motion tween really is, is just moving a symbol from one place to another over several frames. What am I doing wrong?

  6. Justin says:

    Espeorb,
    I didn’t run into any messages like this while testing. Could you post
    your file somewhere for me to look at? If I can replicate the problem, I
    might be able to fix it, or at least tell you why it’s happening.

    Got it figured out. You’re getting that error message because you’re trying to apply MotionBlur to a graphic symbol. Graphic symbols cannot have filters applied. Your symbol should be a movie clip (preferred) or a button. I’ve updated the extension so that it will now prompt you if you try to apply the blur to a graphic symbol, and will allow you to convert it to a movie clip on-the-fly. This was an omission on my part for not thinking to include this in the first place.
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  7. alfadark says:

    Hi, I’m working on a kinetic type project, which will involve a lot of motion blur while the text moves, and this seems like the perfect extension to make the animation go faster. However, for some reason Extension Manager crashes when I try to install it. Is there any reason this would happen? Or would Extension Manager be the problem somehow?

    Thanks in advance for your help and your work on this extension.

    1. Justin says:

      alfadark,
      So far, I’ve had great luck with Extension Manager, but I do hear reports of problems from other users on occasion. I’m not sure what the problem is with Extension Manager, but I’ve created a JavaScript installer so that you can bypass EM entirely: MotionBlur_customInstaller.zip. Just unzip, have Flash CS4 open, and double-click on the customInstaller.jsfl file. There are also instruction for a manual install.
      Good luck on your project!

  8. alfadark says:

    Worked like a charm! Thanks Justin.

  9. DoofMoof says:

    Awsome! Thanks for this, i’m gonna use it so much!

  10. Steve says:

    Works great, well worth a tweet or two…

  11. Pete says:

    Seemed to install ok the option is not available from the command menu.
    Using the latest version of flash cs4. 10.0.2

  12. Justin says:

    Pete,
    If you’re using CS4, make sure you’ve installed it with Extension Manager CS4 (this may not be the version that loads by default on your system). EM CS4 has a dark gray interface.

  13. Pete says:

    Thank you for the reply.

    I was indeed using Extension Manager CS4.

    Just managed to get it working though.
    Seems the problem was with my system ( XP ) setting of: ‘ Language for non-Unicode programs ‘ set to Japanese. I set it back to English and all works fine now.

    Thanks very much for the wonderful extensions!

  14. Justin says:

    Great! Glad you got it worked out.

  15. Talley says:

    Just discovered your wonderful extensions— thanks!

    A couple of things I noticed that I thought I’d pass on to others that may have been a little confused (as I was) are:

    1. Prior to running the command, one needs to select the tweened object on the stage, not a tween span in the Motion Editor or on timeline as far as I can tell.

    2. You need to NOT have blur filter already set for the tween. (It also seems to be a problem if you’ve added a blur in the properties window as well.)

    Also, does one need to retain the “MotionBlur [temp]” layer that is automatically created upon running the command or should we trash it? It seems to be a graphic of the existing motion curve that is used to generate the blur curve.

    If I’ve gotten any of this is flat wrong, please do point it out.

    Thanks again,

    -t

  16. Talley says:

    So I guess was experiencing some of the same problems that were already mentioned, but I have since figured out that you can, in fact, select a tween span in the timeline after all, but it’s somewhat hit and miss. I’ve gotten a warning that I need to select a tween when selecting a tween (in the timeline) after having selected the motion path on the stage, for example.

    Another thing I can’t quite figure out is whether one needs to break a given motion tween into separate segments for best results. If, for example, I fade an animated logo in on the stage and then want to move it elsewhere quickly with a motion blur and then have it animate further, is it best to break the animation into 3 parts and run the motion blur command only on the move part?

    Thanks in advance,

    -t

  17. Justin says:

    Hi Talley,
    Thanks for your comments.

    A few notes:
    The command will work by selecting symbol(s), frame(s), layer(s) with tweens, or tween(s). Selecting the motion path itself will not select the tween or the symbol.

    If you don’t interrupt the processing, the “MotionBlur [temp]” layer will be deleted automatically.

    You should be able to apply this to a tween that already has a blur applied, but the current blur will be replaced with the motion blur.

    To apply motion blur to part, but not all of a tween:
    You can break it into segments
    OR
    You can remove the blur from parts of the tween by following this sequence
    Apply the motion blur, then the select frames where you don’t want the blur (using CMD-click on Mac, CTRL-click on Win), then right-click (CTRL-click on Mac) and select Clear Keyframe > Filter.
    (This can also by done in the Motion Editor for more precision)

    Hope that helps.

  18. Gerald says:

    Really nice extension, works like a charm.
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    1. Justin says:

      Thanks, Gerald! I appreciate the feedback.

  19. Martin says:

    I’ve installed via the extension manager but get an error when I apply it to the tween on my mc.

    ‘The following JavaScript error(s) occurred: At line 206 of file “MotionBlur.jsfl”: TypeError: selPath has no properties’

    I have not pressed anything to interupt it during the application, all I have done is selected the tween at the first frame, applied the extension under the command menu, then hit enter when it asks about options (not even moved the mouse)

    Any idea’s?

  20. Justin says:

    Martin,
    Make sure to restart Flash to clear the error. Try running the command again, but click the “ok” button instead of hitting enter this time.

  21. Ray says:

    Hey Justin, the first time I tried the command, I got an error message along with a new layer with some kinda shape on it right over my motion tween layer. I restarted Flash CS4 and it worked perfectly for a similarly done motion tween. I then tried to make a new document with another motion tween and all the command did there was give me that weird layer and the shape on it and it’s been like that for every single motion tween I try to apply it to ever since. Did I miss something?

  22. Justin says:

    Hi Ray,
    Chances are, you might be doing something that interrupts the processing of the script. See the previous comments. If you do get this error. Restart Flash before running the command again.

  23. Jon says:

    Does this work with the flash 7 player?

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Jon,
      This extension utilizes filters, which were introduced in Flash 8, so animation created/altered with this extension will publish nicely back to Flash Player 8 (even though it uses new motion tweens), but not FP 7.

  24. Jose says:

    It still fails. I get that error message.

    The following JavaScript error(s) occurred:

    At line 206 of file “MotionBlur.jsfl”:
    TypeError: selPath has no properties

  25. Justin says:

    Hi Jose,

    Can you include information about your OS and Flash version? If you can post a file that would helpful, too…

  26. Jose says:

    Ohh…
    The extension works…just as long as I don’t export the animation during creating it by pressing CTRL+ENTER or by undoing my last action. ^-^;;
    Kinda weird though. Took me a while to find out. After figuring out though, this extension is AWESOME.

  27. Justin says:

    Hey, glad to hear it, Jose!

  28. william says:

    Hi, god bless you, what amazing extension!!

    Thanks

  29. Justin says:

    Thanks, William!

  30. YuvalZ says:

    Will it work on Flash CC? – I tried to mess around with it –
    I downloaded the MXP file (but mxp is a max file?) so i downloaded an older version of MotionBlur.JSFL but just brings a warning in flash CC about that i can only work on Motion tweens.

    And doesn’t matter what i do – it doesn’t work.

    Ideas?

  31. Justin says:

    Hi YuvalZ,

    I’ve added a Flash CC installer above. You can only take advantage of the Motion Blur extension with Motion Tweens. It will not work with “Classic” Tweens.

  32. Ørjan says:

    i installed the plugin with cs 5.5 plugin manager but i cant find it inside flash

    1. Justin says:

      Check the Commands menu. You may need to restart Flash. If that doesn’t work, check out: http://ajarproductions.com/blog/2011/11/16/installing-extensions-correct-version/

      1. Ørjan says:

        everything is installed properly but it dosent show up in the commands tab

  33. Ørjan says:

    i figured it out. it was somehow deactivated even though it said it was activatet but thanks for the help.

  34. Paul Baka says:

    i have the latest flash CC Pro but everytime i try to install this it says i need version 10 or greater.

    1. Justin says:

      Is Flash Pro showing up in Extension Manager?

      If not, you can try reinstalling Flash Pro with the CC Desktop app.

      There are also these EM alternate apps that the Flash Pro team made:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/01y0x6t70mbaemd/WinUtility.zip?dl=0 (WIN)
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/ya03s7pq502h4nz/MacUtility.zip?dl=0 (MAC)

      Some notes:

      1. On, windows, unzip the folder and run the ManageExtensions.exe file.
      2. The first launch of the exe might take some time.
      3. On MAC, unzip the folder and double click app to launch it.

      Note also that the latest version of Flash is now called Animate, so these extensions may not install with that newer (renamed) app.

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