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The answer is insanely useful.
Look it up! :) Then post back with more questions.
Well I had already read it, and I think I could be forgiven for not spotting that the source described as "source:Object - The BitmapData object to draw", doesn't have to be a BitmapData object at all and can in fact be an image! Many thanks.
Yeah. It allows you to draw() pretty much anything that you want. You can used it to make a neat cool reflection of a playing video or you can use it to distort your regular animations of any (or all) movieclips on the stage, capture user drawn artwork, the possibilities are almost endless.
There are some restrictions it placed upon copying artwork that isn't yours, i.e. that comes from another domain. So be aware of that.
Thanks Rothrock. My interest was not so ambitious. I wanted to use threshold() to remove a matte from a JPEG to give a cut-out image to which I could then apply a dropshadow. I'm currently using transparent .pngs but they are significantly larger than equivalent JPEGs and I need to reduce loading time. Unfortunately, having now succeeded by using draw() I find that the JPEG format introduces so many artefacts within the surrounding matte colour that I don't get a clean cut-out. Do you have a solution this?
Without knowing all the variable involved it is hard to say. I would probably try and find some way to disguise the loading time and go with the pngs.
Have you tried saving your jpegs at a High or Maximum setting to see what happens then?