I am not sure what you are referring to when you says "folders in the timeline", but as far as I know, if you want to mask layers in the timeline you can't do it any other way except using the timeline. You create a layer above the layer(s) you intend to mask, right click it, and select mask. Whatever layer is below it should be automatically masked by it, You can drag other layers under the mask as well.
Right. But you can not drag a folder (a collection of layers) into the mask. I have a group of layers collected into a timeline folder, and I want to mask it.
Here is a simplified example of what I'm trying to do: I want to mask the Folder (group of colored stripes) with the Circle Layer Mask.
No matter how "hard" I try to "push" it into the mask hierarchy, it will not put.
The only way to get my stripes to constrain to the mask layer is to pull them OUT of the folder and place them individually under the mask.
It's simple enough to do with this example,
but when you want to mask a complex object that requires grouping of layers into folders to stay organized, etc.... it would be nice to be able to retain the folder structure and still apply the mask.
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I see what you are saying now. Yes, that would be nice if you could do that. While I am not knowledgeable regarding how Flash is designed nor the complexity surrounding the inclusion of folders, it wouldn't seem to be anything horribly hard to implement.
Maybe you should submit this as a new feature request, and include your posting as areference to help make the request clear...
Adobe - Wishlist & Bug Report
Thanks Ned, I would if I could but that link is busted. Looked at the site map, not sure where to post that info now.