What s New in Director MX


What's New in Director MX

Director MX is a relatively minor update from the previous version, Director 8.5. Instead of adding significant new features, Director MX focuses on making Director compatible with the latest standards in hardware and software, and in helping it work more closely with other members of the MX family of products. Here are the most noteworthy improvements:

  • Director is now more tightly integrated with Flash. Director MX can import Flash MX files and control them with Lingo. In addition, Flash MX can be launched from within Director MX to allow seamless editing of imported Flash cast members.

  • Director now shares common interface elements (such as dockable panels and an online "Answers" window) with Macromedia's other MX products, allowing users to keep the same work habits when moving from application to application.

  • The Macintosh version of Director is now Mac OS X “native. (Although Director MX will run only under OS X, Director movies created in OS X can still be played on Macs that use the Classic OS.)

  • Director's new text-to-speech, keyboard navigation, and captioning features allow movies to meet accessibility guidelines for sight- and hearing-impaired users.

  • Several tools within Director, such as the message window and the debugger, have been improved, and a new object inspector has been added.

  • Director now works with Macromedia's advanced server technologies to allow the creation of multiuser games and collaborative environments; and Director can now use the Flash Remoting Service to create data-driven Web sites in collaboration with ColdFusion MX. (These features are noted here for the sake of completeness, but they are beyond the scope of this book.)

Director's interface remains easy to use, allowing beginners to create exciting, media-rich projects without a steep learning curve. Using Director MX and this book, you'll soon be able to:

  • Create, import, and manage the collection of multimedia elements ”images, music, and so on ”that form the heart of your multimedia project.

  • Animate your drawings, photos, text, and other visual elements, and synchronize your animation with sound, music, and video.

  • Use Director's library of behaviors to add interactivity to your movie.

  • Create extruded text and other 3D elements, and import 3D models from other programs.

  • Create a standalone "projector" file, suitable for CD- or DVD-ROM.

  • Produce a Shockwave-format file for distributing over the Internet.

  • Use new features in Director MX to make your movie accessible to users with visual or hearing impairments.

  • Use Xtras, add-on modules that provide extra features.

  • Introduce yourself to Lingo, Director's scripting language.

Using This Book

The Visual QuickStart Guide format is intended to get you working with the software immediately, without having to read long-winded explanations .

This book assumes that you've already mastered the basic skills for using your computer: clicking and dragging with the mouse, choosing items from menus , and so forth. Given that Director is a multimedia authoring program, it's also assumed that you have at least minimal experience working with basic media formats, such as image, sound, and text files. From that starting point, how you can make the best use of this book will depend on your level of experience and on your preferred style of working.

If You're a Beginner

If you're new to the process of multimedia authoring, or if you're the kind of person who likes to approach things in logical, linear fashion, your best bet is to start at the beginning of the book, learning the most basic Director techniques, and work your way to the end, by which time you'll have acquired the skills to create a full-featured , interactive movie. The book is structured to support this type of learning: Each chapter builds on the skills and concepts that were introduced previously, and no chapter assumes that you have knowledge of anything in a later chapter.

If You Have Some Experience

If you've used earlier versions of Director, or if you have experience with similar multimedia authoring programs (such as Flash), you might prefer to treat this book as a task-based reference. Use the table of contents, thumb tabs, or index to find the topic you're interested in, and then go directly to the applicable pages. Although learning a particular skill or completing a particular task may require that you understand the relevant concepts and vocabulary, no set of instructions directly depends on your having completed any previous set of instructions. In many cases, the illustrations alone may give you the information you need to accomplish what you're trying to do.

If You're a Flash User

Many new Director users these days are people who already have some experience with Flash but are moving over to Director for some of the reasons listed earlier. If you're in that category, you may be confused by a number of Director features that seem similar to those in Flash but in fact operate differently.

To help you make the transition from Flash to Director, this book contains a number of sidebars just for you. These shaded boxes with the heading "Flash Talk" will succinctly compare the functionality of corresponding features in Director and Flash ”explaining, for example, the differences between the Score and the Timeline, or between the Cast Window and the Library.

Cross-Platform Issues and System Requirements

Director MX for Windows and Director MX for Macintosh differ very little. In the few cases that some techniques are performed slightly differently in Windows and on the Mac, a step has one method for Mac and one for Windows.

Even rarer are tasks that differ completely on the two types of computers. In those cases, the platform to which a particular set of instructions applies will appear in parentheses in the heading for the task. For example, only the Macintosh can record sounds into Director, so there is a task called "To record a sound in Director (Mac)."


The screen shots that illustrate the tasks in this book come from both Mac and Windows versions of Director MX. If a task is performed differently on the Mac and in Windows, there will usually be two screen shots, one for each platform. If a task is performed the same way on both platforms, the accompanying screen shot will be taken arbitrarily from one version or the other.

Modifier Keys

Modifier keys for keyboard shortcut commands differ on the Mac and in Windows. In Windows, the keys used are Shift, Ctrl, and Alt. These correspond to the Shift, Command, and Option keys on Mac. Instructions for each task will include the modifier keys for both platforms, as in "Hold the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) while dragging the Lasso."


Mac OS X, the required operating system for the Macintosh version of Director MX, has a new menu structure that is slightly different from that of Windows (and, for that matter, from that of previous versions of the Mac OS). In cases where the location of a menu item is different on the two platforms, the instructions will include both menu paths ”for example, "Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Director > Preferences > General (Mac) to open the General Preferences dialog box."

System Requirements

To run Director MX, your system must meet these requirements:

Windows requirements
  • Intel Pentium II processor or higher

  • Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, or Windows XP

  • 128 MB or more of free system RAM

  • 1024 x 768, 16-bit (or better) color display

  • 100 MB of available disk space

  • CD-ROM drive


  • Microsoft DirectX 5.2 or OpenGL

  • 3D accelerator

Macintosh requirements
  • Power Macintosh with PowerPC processor

  • Mac OS 10.1.2 or later

  • 128 MB or more of free system RAM

  • 1024 x 768, 16-bit (or better) color display

  • 100 MB of available disk space

  • CD-ROM drive


  • G3 processor or better

  • Mac OS 10.2 or later

  • OpenGL 1.1.2

  • 3D accelerator


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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