Who Uses Director?


Director is one of those rare pieces of software that has something to offer to almost everyone. Its intuitive, time-based interface allows new users to begin creating simple animations almost immediately. But Director's feature set is broad and flexible enough for professional developers to use it to create content for nearly every imaginable distribution channel. Director's scripting language, Lingo, allows nonprogrammers to add interactivity to movies using basic English commands. Yet Lingo is sophisticated enough to allow experienced programmers to do almost anything that can be done in more mainstream programming languages.

In short, the possible uses for Director are limited only by your imagination . Here are just a few of the kinds of people who typically work with Director:

  • Animators use it to create animation for output to videotape or streaming Web movies.

  • Web developers use it to add motion, sound, interactivity, and data-processing capability to their Web pages.

  • Game and entertainment developers use it to create single- user games for distribution on CD- or DVD-ROM, or multiuser online games .

  • Educators use it to create interactive learning and testing materials for distribution over the Web or on CD.

  • Software developers use it to create working models of applications, allowing them to demonstrate and fine-tune the interface or the "look and feel" of products that are still in development.

  • Software publishers use it to create tutorials for their products, or to guide users through the installation process.

  • Business people use it to create presentations and training materials.

  • Artists use it to create multimedia artwork.

  • Exhibit designers use it to create touchscreen kiosks that provide instant information for tourists, museum visitors , or conference attendees.

  • Consultants use it for just about anything. Does a rug store need an interactive catalog that will help buyers choose colors and patterns? Does an acupuncturist need a way to illustrate the flow of qi through various parts of the body? If a particular application can't be bought "off the shelf," a good consultant can always find a way to build it in Director.

Director's Place in the MX Family

In 2002, Macromedia began to release new versions of its products with the designation MX in place of a version number. (In case you're wondering, the initials don't stand for anything; Macromedia's marketing department just thought "MX" sounded cool.) Macromedia Flash MX came first, followed by Dreamweaver MX, ColdFusion MX, and Fireworks MX. Macromedia bundled all four MX products (along with FreeHand, not yet upgraded to MX status) into a single package called Macromedia Studio MX, intended to serve as a tightly integrated set of tools for the creation of media-rich, data-driven Web sites and Web applications.

Director's conspicuous absence from the package didn't come as much of a shock , given that much of the role previously played by Director in the development of interactive, multimedia Web sites had gradually been taken over by Flash. With Flash offering multimedia authoring and interactive scripting capability, Dreamweaver providing the HTML and JavaScript framework, Fireworks doing the image processing, and ColdFusion providing integration with databases, the MX family seemed to be complete without Director.

It therefore surprised many observers when, months after the release of Studio MX, Macromedia unveiled an MX version of Director. Though largely unchanged from the previous version, Director MX does sport the hallmarks of an MX product: a new, screen-friendly interface and integration with other MX products. If nothing else, the release of Director MX reaffirmed Macromedia's commitment to Director. It also reflected Macromedia's acknowledgment ”despite its having positioned itself as the prophet of "what the Web can be" ”that not all multimedia development is intended exclusively for the Internet.

Director has not been bundled into Studio MX, and it's unlikely that it will be. The Studio MX applications are designed to work together seamlessly, almost as though they're a single application. Director has close operational ties to Flash, and it offers round-trip editing capability with Fireworks as well, but its relationships with Dreamweaver and ColdFusion are strictly arm's-length. For the most part, Director remains what it always was: a stand-alone application that works well with all kinds of media and all kinds of hardware. Though officially a member of the MX family, Director might best be considered a distant cousin, continuing to do its own thing in its own way.


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

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