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Lesson 1. Director Basics

Lesson 1. Director Basics

Director lets you easily create visual presentations or interactive multimedia software with audio and video. You can add visual interest to oral presentations by creating animated slides. You can create eye-catching effects simply by using interesting images and adding movement to objects that appear in the presentation. This lesson introduces you to Director's basic tools. Then you'll jump right in and create a simple presentation.

Figure . Director lets you create attention-grabbing presentations, as you'll see when you complete the simple movie in this lesson. This project uses just a background graphic and text that changes color on the screen to create a memorable introduction to a speaker's presentation. The background graphic, titled Artist's Studio, was created with Extreme 3D by graphic artist Joe DiCesare of JDC Illustration in Brooklyn, New York.

Before you begin working on a presentation of your own, you need to understand some basic Director concepts. Director is based on the metaphor of a theater production. All the action takes place on the stage, and the cast appears on the stage as sprites, according to a timeline called the score, which tells cast members where to be and when to be there. A Director file is called a movie.

Each movie, cast member, sprite, and point in time (frame) can also have its own script (which is where Lingo comes in).

You follow four basic steps to create any Director movie:

Assemble the media elements. Media elements include graphics, digital video, movies, sound, text, and animation. You can either create new media elements or use ones that have already been developed. Director provides numerous tools for creating elements, including a paint tool and text creation tools. You can also import elements from a variety of other sources such as Photoshop or Flash.

Position the media elements on the stage and sequence them in the score. You use the Director stage to create the look and feel for your production; you use the stage and score together to arrange the media elements in space and time. The stage is the screen that the user will see, and the score is the timeline you use to organize what happens when and where.

(optional) Add interactivity and behaviors. Interactivity can include buttons or other navigation elements that branch the user to different parts of the Director movie or the Internet based on the user's input. Behaviors enable you to extend your movie beyond what is possible using the stage and the score. Behaviors can be Lingo scripts that you write or ready-made behaviors supplied by Macromedia or third- party developers.

Package the movie into a projector and distribute it to end users, or use Shockwave to prepare a movie that end users can play back in a Web browser. Projectors are the actual, stand-alone, software programs that the user will run. When you distribute your movies in projector form, end users can run your multimedia productions without needing their own copy of Director. Of course they can't change the movies; they can only play them back. Or you can save your work as a Shockwave movie when you want users to see and interact with the movie on a Web page using a Web browser.



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