Advantages Extremely powerful, extendable, create for multiple platforms at once
Disadvantages Expensive, Shockwave less prevelant than Flash
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Macromedia Director, now actually in version 9 or MX as MM prefer to call it, is the industry leading tool for cross platform CD ROM development and is also widely used for web games or animations. As a tool it has evolved from a basic animation engine to a highly complex and feature rich tool, but with an equally steep learning curve should you wish to use some of the most advanced features.Director uses an “acting” based metaphor so all the action takes place on Director’s “stage” and uses casts and cast members as the digital assets with which you produce your applications. The cast member can be anything from graphics, audio, video through to complete Flash files with which the director engine can communicate.
Basic animations can be created very quickly and without too much effort as long as you have a basic understanding of keyframe animation – where a “keyframe” is set and items are then moved, scaled or rotated and a new keyframe is created – the program then interpolates the steps between the two keyframes over a number of frames.Coding in Directors built in Lingo language can be picked up fairly quickly for basic requirements and several libraries of code come bundled with Director itself. However beyond the most basic level lies a labyrinth of learning which can take years to master and with newly added features like the complete 3D engine which is now part of Director the options are limitless.
I can’t recommend this tool enough, it has kept me employed for a number of years and although Flash is now the more prevalent option Macromedia Director is still a great product to have in your developer’s toolbox!
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