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Director 8 Primer

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Director 8 Primer

Book

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Description

  • Copyright 2001
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 384
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-090970-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-090970-1

  • Everything that matters & nothing that doesn't!
  • Quick, real-world answers for every Web & multimedia developer!
  • Planning, graphics, audio, video, animation, behaviors, Lingo, Shockwave, and more

Answers. Solutions. Now!

Finally: The Director 8 book for multimedia developers without a nanosecond to waste!

Don't wade through 1,000 pages of theory and hype: get the right answers, get them now, and get results!

Dennis Chominsky has identified the crucial issues you face at every stage of Director 8 production, and delivered lean, mean solutions and examples you can rely on...

  • Planning & project management
  • Shockwave Web delivery
  • Standalone movies
  • Graphics & text
  • Audio & digital video
  • Animation
  • Behaviors
  • Lingo basics
  • And more!

Director 8 Primer: Brilliant results in Internet time!

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 013090970X.pdf

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each Chapter ends with Summary.)

Introduction.


1. What's New in Director.

Property Inspector: A New Window. Seeing Is Believing: A Zoomable Stage. A New Look for the Cast Window. Linked Scripts. Bitmapped Compression. Save As Shockwave Has a New Name. Scalable Shockwave Movies. Keep Sprites Under Lock and Key. Position with Guides. Multiple Curve Vectors. Enhanced Lingo Performance. Control Bitmaps with Lingo.



2. Planning a Project from the Start.

Define the Project. Strategy: How To Approach the Project. A Mix of Marketing and Production. Define Your Target Audience. The 3S's: Scripts, Schematics, and Storyboards. Work Within the Boundaries of System Requirements. PC, Mac, or Both. Gather the Files. Work with Pencil Comps. Create a Few Color Comps. Choose Your Weapon: Selecting the Appropriate File Types. Prepare to Test, Test, and Re-Test. Customized Settings. Color Palettes. Utilize Third-Party Programs. Be a Neat Freak: Manage Your Movie. Do Not Name Files John Doe. Images to the Left, Behaviors to the Right. Save Time with Multiple Casts. Use Linked External Casts. Using Unlinked External Casts. Use Unlinked External Casts as Libraries. Leave a Paper Trail. Repurpose Files for Multimedia Projects.



3. Navigational Controls for Interactive Applications.

Control the Speed of Your Movie. Use the Wait Feature. Add Basic Interaction. Director: A Non-Linear World. Move Around with Markers. Name Markers. Add Comments to Markers. Next, Previous, and Repeat with Markers. The Basics of Behaviors. Use the Behavior Library. Customize Behaviors. Add Comments to Behaviors. Save Custom Behaviors. Change the Default Editor. Build Interactive Applications Using Behaviors. Control Playback with Behaviors. Create Rollovers with the Behavior Inspector. Sprite Navigation with Behaviors. Reuse Behavior Templates. I Quit.



4. Lingo Basics: An Introduction.

How Does Lingo Work? Types of Lingo Scripts. Understand Lingo Handlers. The Most Common Script. Go to Another Location. Loop Sections. Play Other Director Movies. Automatically Return to a Director Movie. Lingo Conditions: True or False. One Sprite, Two Functions. Can Scripts Make Decisions? If Shortcuts Are Needed, Then Use Case. Set Values and Variables. Global vs. Local Variables. Check a Sprite's Bounding Box with Lingo. Analyze Lingo Commands and Comments.



5. Imaging and Animation: the Keys to Director.

The Magic of Inks. When to Anti-Alias Objects. MASKS. Separate Images from the Background. Advanced Layering. Compare the Background. Transparent and Mask Ink Effects. Do You Like to Work in Photoshop? Apply Filters to Sprites. Onion Skinning. Optimize Your Design Techniques. JPEG Compression. Set the Speed of Your Movie. Frame-by-Frame Animation. Animate Multiple Cast Members in a Single Sprite. Cast to Time. Create Film Loops. Tweening. Keyframes. Tween Animations. Setting Tweening Properties. Rotate Your Sprites. Tumble Sprites In and Out. Go Too Far. Advanced Tweening: Use Multiple Keyframes. Create Better Transitions. Sprite Transitions.



6. Creating Killer Visual Effects.

Launch and Edit. Add Just the Right Color. Optimize Your Graphics. Change Image Color Depth. Design Effective Navigational Elements. Create Flashy Button Designs. Trim Down Navigational Elements. Design Buttons with Third-Party Help. Quick Shortcut to Highlight Buttons. Cool Example Using Rollovers. Support Files with Third-Party. Applications and Xtras. A Close-Up Look at an Image. My Favorite Xtras. Smoke, Fire, and a Bit of Rain. Automatic Animating Behaviors. Integrate QuickTime VR.



7. Avoiding Audio and Video Nightmares.

Optimize Digital Media Files. Tempo Controls. Wait for Cue Point. Work with Digital Media Files. AUDIO. Source Material and Digitized Sound. File Types. Convert Files. Downsample Your Audio Files. So What Is a Sample Rate? Mono or Stereo? Import Files. Glitched Sound Files. Quick Response Sounds vs. Long Tracks. Reduce Access Time to Linked Files. Loop Audio. Volume Controls. Create Adjustable Volume Controls. Wanna Be a DJ Using Volume Sliders? Digital Video Volume Controls. Fade Sounds In and Out. Use Lingo to Play External Sounds. Turn Sound On and Off. Toggle Channel Sound On and Off. Control Sound Files. The puppetSound Command. Add Sound Effects to Rollovers. Two-Channel Audio. Video. Capture Video Content. Digital Video Applications. Size and Frame Rates. The movieRate Command. Types of Files. Codecs. Work with MPEG. Import Digital Video Files. Vital Statistics. Separate Sound and Video from Digital Video Files. Loop Video Clips. Pause Video. Show Controller. Transitions and Digital Video Files. Wait for Digital Video Files to Finish. Lingo Commands That Allow Digital Video Files to Finish. Simultaneous Interactive Controls and Digital Video Playback. Interactive Scrolling Through Digital Video Files. Resize and Reshape Video Files. Scale a Digital Video File. Crop a Digital Video File. Reshape Video Files. Mask Your Videos. Direct to Stage. Export Digital Videos. Package External Files for Distribution. Test, Test, Test.



8. Tidbit Toolbox.

Move and Stretch One- and Two-Frame Sprites. Exchange Cast Members. Embed Fonts for Accurate Text Display. Upgrade from PowerPoint. Create Hyperlinks in Director. Registration Points for an Even Exchange. Reverse an Animation. Add Print Capabilities. Play Selected Frames. Work with External Executable Files. Work in the Score. Turn Sprite Channels On and Off. Turn Effect Channels On and Off. Alter the Display of Your Score. Change the Focus of Your Timeline. Locate the Playback Head. Troubleshoot Techniques. Debug Your Application. Find a Problem, Figure It Out, and Fix It. Step-by-Step Commands with Trace. Create a Limited-Time Demo. Top Secret: Add a Password. Help Users with Tooltips. Improve Text: SubScripts and Superscrips. Make Movies Special with Xtras. Find Movie Xtras.



9. Advancing Techniques with Behaviors and Lingo.

Time for Behaviors. Create Popup Menus / Drop-Down Lists. Editable Text. Set Constraints for Moveable Sprites. Set a Time Limit. Access Media on CD-ROM from Desktop Projector. Determine CD-ROM Drive Letters for Windows Systems. Score for Games. Build a Chat Room with MultiUser Server. Clear Director's Cache.



10. It's All Finished…Now Deliver It.

Prepare Your Movie for Distribution. Test Your Movie. System Requirements for Playback. Different Ways to Save Your Work. Clean Up Director Movies. Create a Projector File. Customize Projector Options. Playback. Options. Stage Size. Media. Create Small Movies. The Benefits of Creating Test Projector files. Protect External Movies for Distribution. Save as Shockwave Movies. Which Files to Include. Xtras. Installation Programs. Autostart for Auto Launch. Create Screen Savers. Interactive Screen Savers. Web Page Links from Screen Savers. Export Director Movies as QuickTime Movies. Export Your Movie as a Digital. Video File or Bitmapped File. Made with Macromedia Logo.



11. Shock It for the Web.

Multimedia's Evolution on the Web. Prepare a Movie for the Web. What is Shockwave? Create a Shockwave Movie. Director on the Web: The Pros and Cons. Set Your System's Default Browser. Embed Movies With HTML. Navigate to a Web Site. Retrieve Shockwave Movies from the Internet. Audio on the Web. Shorter Wait Times with Streaming Media. Video on the Web. Don't Forget the Plug-Ins. Add a Little Flash to Your Web site. Tips for Optimizing Your Web-Bound Movies. Test Your “Internet” Movie.



Index.

Preface

Introduction

In the past few years, I have seen interactive presentations that have ranged from simple slide shows to the most unbelievable interactive programs. Some have been run from CD-ROMs, others have streamed over the Internet. Director has truly become the industry standard among programs for creating and distributing interactive applications with its award-winning power, performance, and productivity.

This book will benefit you if you have worked in Director before and want to improve your knowledge of how the program works. Each chapter breaks down areas where most Director users either stumble into problems and need work-arounds or hit creative roadblocks and are looking for ideas that other developers have used in their programs. I think if you read this book with the intention of pulling out the concepts of what can be done, you will position yourself ahead of the pack. The wonderful thing about multimedia is that there are several ways to accomplish the same goals. Some ways may be better than others, depending on the circumstances, but as long as you get the results you were looking for, you did fine.

Due to the vast capabilities of Director, I will only be able to touch on a small amount of the true flexibility and power of this program. I will cover some of the more advanced features and real-life examples for those users who know the basics of Director and are looking to increase their knowledge of the program. Once you have conquered the basics and have a good handle on how Director works, let your imagination run wild with whatever you want to create. This book is written to demonstrate just how easy it is to begin putting together high-powered presentations and interactive multimedia movies. Take the time to experiment on your own. Use the examples presented in this book as just that ... examples. What you should get out of each situation presented in this book are ideas that will get you started in the right direction for putting together your own creative programs and the know-how to build the types of projects you used to just admire. Remember, be patient. Miracles may happen overnight, but programming complex interactive applications does not. This book tries to cut through the fluff and focus on the essentials.

Who Should Read This Book

This book is written for people who are already designing multimedia applications and want to continue developing their interactive programming abilities to bring their skills up to the next level. This book is intended toward users who:

  • Are in a hurry—Programmers who want and need information fast.
  • Already know the basics—This is not an introduction to Director book.
  • Expect real insight—The examples are from real projects. The Notes, Tips, and Warnings will really give you the perspective you are looking for in a book.
  • Want to improve the quality of their work—Serious individuals who take pride in developing new applications while learning every step of the way.

Throughout the course of this book, I will introduce different features programmers have been integrating into their applications today. It would be great to fill up a book with the best and wildest programming scripts that have ever been developed, but if they don't warrant any practical use, then I have wasted your time.

How This Book Is Written

This book is laid out in a way that focuses on some very specific topics within Director. You can use this book as a quick reference, jump-right-in-and-get-the-answer-you need type of book. There are a few sections that do apply a bit more of a basic overtone. The reason for this is that with a program as powerful and dynamic as Director, with the ability to incorporate so many different media types, you need to understand how to put together and use the examples presented throughout the course of this book and look at the bigger picture. By analyzing the examples in this book and formulating your own versions when creating your projects, you will begin to expand the capabilities you can offer to your clients and pick from a multitude of tools to incorporate in your next Director piece.

Each chapter contains a variety of icons, indicating points of interest that will help you while developing your applications. These icons include:

Notes contain information that will make understanding the point being discussed more clear and include any related information that fulfills the topic being discussed.

Tips are suggestions that can save you time and energy while developing your program. Some tips contain recommendations about other topics that will help develop your skills.

These are cautions. I highly recommend you read them to make yourself aware of possible problems or pitfalls you may encounter while programming.

What You Will Need

I will assume that if you are flipping through the pages of this book, you are interested in using Director or are already a Director programmer. My recommendation to get the best bang from this book is to own or have access to Director so that you can walk through the procedures step by step while working in front of your computer.

The next, and most obvious, thing you will need is a computer. Whether you work on Macintosh or Windows, just about all of the features apply to both platforms. Keep in mind that your original Director movies are cross-platform. Read Chapters 2 and 10 to learn more about working with cross-platform issues. Whichever system you choose, load it up with as much memory as possible. This will make your authoring time more enjoyable, leaving you more time to be creative and not waiting for your computer to process information.

The last thing you will need is Director (the full Studio package will be most beneficial). I also recommend having other third-party programs available, such as Photoshop. These are not necessarily required, but will be essential when building your multimedia applications. You can use just about any type of graphics, animation, audio, or video software to create files that you can import into Director so that you can begin developing your next Director movie.

Going Beyond the Book

One thing that makes this book unique is that you can take it beyond the text and images printed on this page. If you need to contact me regarding the topics covered in this book or have suggestions and ideas that you would like to see in the next edition, let me know. I have learned while writing this book that the more you learn about a program, the more you still have to go. If you want to ask a question or show off some of the neat things you have created using Director, email me at dennis@pfsnewmedia.com.

Outlook

Technology is moving faster than some of us can keep up with. Or is it that people today are pushing manufacturers for more features and greater performance out of their software? Whatever the case may be, software developers are constantly striving to improve on the current versions of software in distribution.

I asked a number of my friends and colleagues for their opinion regarding the future of multimedia and the role Director will play in it. A friend and fellow multimedia developer, Eric Mueller, summed up the majority of responses I received with his comments, "The future of Director and the interactive industry as a whole is very bright indeed. New, rich forms of media are continually being developed, allowing developers freedom never before experienced. Through support from these new types of media, developers will finally be free to focus more on content, rather than code ... Additionally, Director has and continues to become highly extensible, allowing developers to not only build their own authoring tools, but extend Director's own environment in ways undoubtedly never imagined by even Director's original authors."

I must agree. I think the information age is going to grow even more than we can imagine. People want more value, more content, an more excitement out of the information around them. I think Director will be one route people will use to provide that information in a more dynamic way. Take a look at the Internet and how it has developed so far. At first, people used it only to transfer files, pass along basic information (usually in text format), and it was accessed only by a select few. Today, I see more sites containing useful information while presenting it in a much more interesting way. Director has the ability to provide the end-user with the interactive capabilities desired for personalizing how that information is found while providing all the flare that catches people's attention. Video, audio, and animation are becoming more commonplace on the Web. The future indeed looks very bright for developers who can take advantage of this need for content-rich information and provide it in a way that will leave the user wanting more.

Expanding the Applications

As Director makes programming easier, more people will begin adopting its power and performance. Its flexibility allows for a wide array of users to begin programming whatever type of application they need. There will definitely be more:

  • Complete Web sites—Including Director's animation, interactivity, and high-performance digital media capabilities.
  • Corporate presentations—A shift from the over-indulged PowerPoint presentation to something with more impact.
  • DVD home movies—Adding the extra features and interactive controls that make DVDs a better product than their linear cronies.
  • Enhanced CDs—All music CDs released from the record companies will have interactive games, bios, and possibly even concert footage clips to go along with the music tracks.
  • Kiosks—The trend for information kiosks will be popping up everywhere, in schools, in restaurants, and maybe even on sidewalk corners.

All of these things exists right now in some fashion, but will continue to increase at a rapid growth rate as Macromedia introduces more features and easier ways for developers to put these types of applications together.

To Sum It Up

This book tells it like it is with real-life examples and real-life applications. With the way technology is changing daily, more people will be using Director because of its flexibility to develop applications to suit specific needs. The great thing about Director is its versatility. It's hard to stop at the basics. More and more, developers are pushing the limits of technology and creativity, putting together some of the most amazing multimedia applications. Once again, I encourage you to read this book, use it as a stepping stone, and then let your creativity take it one step further. Remember, your only limitations are the ones you let stand in your way. Happy programming!

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