Introducing the Cast

Director's Cast window is where you place and organize assets for your projects. Any sprites that appear on the Stage must first appear within a cast. Assets can be created within Director, as you already learned, or imported from external sources. You can import many different kinds of media into Director's casts including bitmap images, vectors, sounds, other Director movies, Flash movies, video, and more. The following figure shows various types of assets in the internal cast.

You see that each different type of cast member has a different icon associated with it. The icon is more helpful when the Cast view style is set to List view, as the icon is the only representation shown in that view. In Thumbnail view, as shown here, the icon is less useful, because you can generally tell what the cast member is just by looking at it. As you progress through the lessons and use different types of media, you will become familiar with the various icons and using the cast in general.

Note the title of the cast: Internal. The internal cast is Director's default cast and can't be erased. You can, however, add additional casts so that you can organize your assets into logical sections. Many developers will place things like Lingo scripts in the internal cast and then create additional casts such as Graphics, Sound, or Text, and import assets into the appropriate cast.

You are free to store all of your assets in the internal cast alone, but using multiple casts will help to keep your projects organizedand make assets a lot easier to find.

Being organized is not the only reason to use multiple casts. An excellent example of using multiple casts is in multilingual productions. Each language is stored in its own cast and then swapped as necessary to change the language displayed to the user.


Each cast you create can store up to 32,000 members, and you can have an unlimited number of caststheoretically, anyway; your system will be the limiting factor. So don't be shy about creating new casts to organize your assets.


Within the internal cast, click the Choose Cast button.

When you click Choose Cast, the following menu will appear:


Choose New Cast…

The New Cast dialog box appears.

Enter Testing for the name of your new cast to identify it as a cast that we're using for test purposes.


Click the Create button.

After you click Create, you will see the new cast appear in the Cast window and become the active cast. Once multiple casts are available, tabs will appear in the Cast window showing each cast available to the movie:

You can switch between casts quickly and easily simply by clicking on the appropriate tab for the cast. Note that any casts used by the movie will also appear in the expanded menu for the Choose Cast button.

Sometimes, especially when you're using multiple casts, you will inadvertently import an asset into the wrong cast. There are a couple of different ways to handle this, including deleting the member and importing it into the correct cast, and cutting it and pasting it into the right cast. Or you can do it the easy way: drag and drop.


Switch to the internal cast by clicking the Internal Cast tab, or by choosing Internal Cast from the Choose Cast button.

You should still have the filled ellipse you created in your internal cast. If you don't, go ahead and create one. You just need to have something in the cast for the purpose of this exercise.


Single-click the filled ellipse cast member and drag it so that it is over the tab for the newly created cast named Testing. But don't let it go!

When you drag the cast member over the tab for a different cast, the other cast will become active after a brief pauseabout half a second. Once the Testing cast becomes active, drop the filled ellipse into slot number 1, which should be empty.

Just as you can easily move a single cast member from one cast to another, you can select and move any number of members the same way. You select multiple items just as you would in any application: select the first item and then hold down the Shift key while clicking another item to select a contiguous range. Or you can hold down Ctrl/Command to select noncontiguous items. Either way, moving one cast member or a dozen is as easy as selecting them and dragging them into a different cast.


You probably noticed the Drag Cast Member button just to the left of the member's name in the Cast toolbar. It functions, or is supposed to function the way you just learnedallowing you to select a range of members and move them to a new spot or new cast.Instead of clicking the selected members, however, you click the button. This is all fine, exceptfor one thing. With the button, you can only move one member at a time to a new cast. To prove this, try moving multiple cast members by using the button. For this reason I suggest moving members the way you just learned and not using the Drag Cast Member button.

Macromedia Director MX 2004. Training from the Source
Macromedia Director MX 2004: Training from the Source
ISBN: 0321223659
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 166
Authors: Dave Mennenoh © 2008-2017.
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