Gradients in Flash Professional 8 can be applied to fill objects as well as strokes. You can choose between a variety of gradients such as a linear gradients or radial gradients. These two gradients can be made up of either 2 colors or a whole bunch of colors (not just one color), and are dropped into the color pointers which can be dragged left or right for position on the gradient. In a radial gradient, the left color pointer controls the color of the radius center and the right color pointer controls the color of the radius edge. You can play around with the transparencies of each color you choose to put into your gradient and set it anywhere between 0% to 100%. In this manner, a gradient can then be used as a layer mask to create a feathered vignette or other effect.
The settings for gradients can be accessed from the Color Mixer panel, where they can also be saved and added to the Color Swatches panel as new palettes. The overflow styles popup controls how the gradient will respond at its edges. The three choices are: extend, reflect and repeat. Extend does just what it sounds like—the gradient will extend as far as needed to fill the area it is contained in. Reflect flips (or reflects) the original gradient edge to edge to fill the area. Repeat creates a repetition of the original gradient edge to edge until the area is filled.
Gradients in Flash Pro 8 have changed a bit from past Flash versions. In Flash Pro 8, the gradient transform tool lets you control the location of where the focal point can be placed. This is beneficial in creating realistic lighting effects. There are several handles on the gradient transform tool that allow for different types of modifications. The round center handle moves the center point and the center pointer moves the highlight. The round corner handle rotates the gradient whereas the round corner handle with a straight arrow will scale the gradient symmetrically. Finally, the square handles scale the gradient either vertically or horizontally.