Chapter 2. Assembling Casts


Director's Cast window acts as the storage bin for the cast members used in your movie. Cast members may include pictures, sounds, text, color palettes, digital videos , film loops , Lingo scripts, and other types of media. Most Director users create their cast members in external programs and import them into Director, which is what you'll be doing in this chapter. (Director also provides internal tools for creating certain kinds of cast members: The Paint, Vector Shape, and Text windows , which you'll work with in chapters 6, 8, and 12, respectively.)

You can choose to view a Cast window in either List view or Thumbnail view ( Figures 2.1 , 2.2 ). In List view, cast members are represented by rows and columns of text, much like the details view (Windows) or list view (Mac) of a folder on your desktop. In Thumbnail view, each cast member is represented by a thumbnail image. A small icon in the bottom-right corner of each thumbnail identifies the cast member's type ( Figure 2.3 ).

Figure 2.1. A Cast window in List view.


Figure 2.2. A Cast window in Thumbnail view.


Figure 2.3. The symbol in the lower-right corner of the thumbnail indicates the cast member's type.


Cast members may be divided into groups called casts, each of which appears on its own tab within the Cast window. A cast can contain up to 32,000 cast members. Every Director movie starts out with a single cast, but it's possible to add any number of additional casts to your movie. Each cast may be either internal (stored as part of the movie file) or external (stored as a separate file that can be shared among Director movies).

Flash Talk: Cast vs. Library

If you've used Macromedia Flash before, you'll notice that Director's Cast window functions similarly to the Library in Flash. Nevertheless, they differ in several significant ways.

In Flash, use of the Library is optional. An object enters the Library only if you choose to convert it to a symbol; therefore, it's possible for objects to appear in the movie but not to be in the Library. In Director, every object becomes part of the cast from the moment it's created (or imported).

There are several different kinds of symbols in Flash, and it's possible to change the properties of an object by changing its symbol type ”for example, from a graphic symbol to a button symbol. In Director, there are no such distinctions. Any visual cast member can become a button if the proper Lingo script is attached.

Finally, unlike Flash symbols, Director cast members don't have their own timelines . The Score is the only timeline in a Director movie.


Macromedia Director MX for Windows and Macintosh. Visual QuickStart Guide
Macromedia Director MX for Windows and Macintosh. Visual QuickStart Guide
ISBN: 1847193439
Year: 2003
Pages: 139 © 2008-2017.
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