Chapter 16. Creating a Projector
Up to this point, whenever you've created a movie in Director, you've
it back in Director. In the real world, however, you can't expect everybody to have Director installed on his or her computer, and you don't want to limit your audience to those who do.
For this reason, Director has the capability to create a
, which is a stand-alone, self-running version of one or more Director movies (
). A projector reproduces the action on the Stage, including all interactive elements, just as it looks and sounds in Director. (Of course, the Score, Cast window, and other features of the authoring environment are not included in the projector.) The only serious drawback to using projectors is that the Macintosh version of Director can only create projectors that run on a Macintosh, and the Windows version of Director can only create projectors that run in Windows. (See the "Platform Politics" sidebar for more information.)
Figure 16.1. A projector file allows users to play your Director movies without having Director installed on their computers.
A projector can be distributed to users via any medium you choose: CDs, DVDs, Zip disks, email, or other means of file transfer. Projectors can even be distributed over the Web (but unlike Shockwave movies, which you'll learn about in the
chapter, they must be downloaded in their entirety before they can be played). All that's necessary to play a projector is to double-click its icon, just as you would with any Macintosh or Windows application.
This chapter covers setting projector options, creating projectors, packaging projectors and external files for distribution, and more. If you plan to include Xtras in a projector, see Chapter 19, "Using Xtras," for details.
The fact that the Windows version of Director can only create Windows projectors, and the Macintosh version can only create Mac projectors, has long been a source of frustration among Director developers. Director is a relatively expensive application, and having to buy versions for both platforms makes cross-platform development unaffordable for many individuals and small businesses.
Macromedia has always claimed that the Mac-only/Windows-only restriction
from fundamental differences between the platforms, and that it simply isn't technically
to allow both versions of Director to create projectors for both platforms. In response, many developers have claimed that Macromedia's motives are more mercenary than technical ”that forcing cross-platform developers to buy two copies of Director is merely a handy way for Macromedia to increase its sales.
(Interestingly, Macromedia's more recent authoring product, Flash,
create projectors for both platforms on a single computer. This evidence weighs against the mercenary argument, since Macromedia could just as easily have increased Flash sales by placing the same platform restrictions on Flash that it did on Director.)
work equally well on both platforms. Therefore, if you can't afford both Mac and Windows versions of Director, you can develop your movies on just one platform. Then find a friend who runs the other version of Director, and switch offices with him or her for a day or two. With any luck, that will be enough time for you to test your movies on the other platform, make any needed adjustments, and create a projector.