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Lesson 15. Shockwave for Director

Lesson 15. Shockwave for Director

Shockwave is the name for the playback version of Director that works with Internet browsers. Developers can use Shockwave to prepare multimedia for the World Wide Web, and Web users can interact with the multimedia production once it's posted on the Web. Your operating system, Web browser, or other software products may include Shockwave, or you can download it from the Macromedia Web site. Shockwave can be applied to almost all Macromedia products; in this lesson, you'll learn about Shockwave for Director.

Figure . Shockwave is the latest in Web technology for delivering interactive multimedia and large sound files over intranets and the Internet. As you will see in this lesson, you can easily shock a Director movie and then embed it in an HTML document—a file created to play on the Web—for playback over the Internet. The movie you'll work is the finished version of the project you creted in Lesson 8.

When used to create multimedia for the World Wide Web, Shockwave Director delivers high-impact Director movies—with interactivity, graphics, sound, and animation. When you use Director to save a movie for Shockwave, or shock it, the movie's data is compressed to the smallest possible size for downloading. This compression converts the movie to the DCR file format, designed specifically for the Web. When a user views a Web page that includes a Shockwave movie, the data from the movie begins down loading to the user's system. Shockwave decompresses the data and plays the movie in the user's Web browser. If the movie was created for streaming, the movie begins playing almost immediately. The difference between movies created for streaming and those that are not is only in the timing of when the movie begins to play. Movies that have not been prepared to stream play only after the entire movie has been downloaded and decompressed. Movies prepared to stream can begin to play as the data arrives for the first frame of the movie (or any number of frames that you specify). The rest of the movie's data continues to download in the background while the movie is playing.

You create a Director movie for use with Shockwave and the World Wide Web the same way you create any other Director movie. A Web page can contain a regular DIR-format Director movie. Since space and download time is at a premium, however, Director also lets you save your movie in Shockwave, or compressed, format. Another advantage of the Shockwave format is that the files can only be played, not edited, so the end user cannot view or change your source media, score, or scripts. Movies for the Web can include almost any effect that any other Director movie can include: interactivity, animation, and so on.

This lesson guides you through the steps of shocking a Director movie. You'll see how to include a shocked Director movie in a Web page and then test the Web page to see how the shocked version will look when Web users view it. You'll also prepare a Director movie for streaming and then navigate to a shocked movie through Macromedia's Web site to see how shocked movies stream over the Internet to play on your own computer.

As you begin to create movies intended for use on a Web site, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Delete cast members that are not used in the movie, to reduce file size.

  • Use stage sizes smaller than 640 by 480 pixels because not all browsers have 640 by 480 pixels of available window space. Keep movies small by using small cast members, changing images to 8 bits, and where possible, using shapes on the tool palette to create cast members instead of using the Paint window.

  • To reduce file size, create animations that use as few cast members as possible and use Director's automatic tweening to move single cast members around the stage.

If you would like to see the final result of this lesson, open the Complete folder in the Lesson15 folder and play Loop.dir (or if you finished Lesson 8, use your own version of Loop.dir). Click the Forward and Backward buttons to make the document sail back and forth between the file folders.



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