Once Again, we're pleased to announce...
A new edition of our book is now out: Director 8 Demystified: The Official Guide to Director 8 Shockwave Internet Studio (Peachpit Press/Macromedia Press, ISBN 0-201-70920-1, 1180 pages, USA $49.99, Canadian $74.95).
What's new in this version of Director? Well, Macromedia has taken some large steps by adding some features to Director 8 that you've probably been expecting for some time. I'd have to say that the majority of the new innovations are in improving productivity, and that's an area that has needed improvement for some time. The productivity improvements are in the form of a more centralized user interface (the Property Inspector replaces the majority of the various dialog boxes), a step towards implementing Asset Management (think Source Control programs, including linked Lingo scripts), and list views (and sorting) of the Cast. Add to that positional guides (better than grids) and lockable sprites (no more accidental moves) and there is a major improvement in usability.
Sound control has seen some major improvements, including millisecond control over the playing of sounds, and start and stop times (including loop start and stop times) with the same accuracy. And you can queue sounds so they play sequentially, with Director taking car of preloading the subsequent sound so it's ready to play when it's supposed. You can, for example, start a sound 3 seconds in, loop twice from 4.032 to 7.001 seconds, then play until 15.333 seconds (which may or may not be the end of the file).
Imaging Lingo is a biggie, although it's going to take some time before people get a handle on just what they can do with it. Imaging Lingo gives you control over images of bitmap cast members, right down to single pixels. You can capture an image (of the Stage, for example) in an image object, make modifications, and put it back into a cast member (from where it can be displayed as a sprite). This is going to allow the creation of Director movies that were previously impossible, such as a Shockwave drawing program. It's also going to make possible the creation of complex images from smaller images, or from scratch, helping solve some of the bandwidth problems.
And don't forget that there's a couple of hundred new Lingo terms. You'll find these new terms (along with the previous ones, each and every one of them plus some undocumented ones) included in the new and improved version of Demystified's Lingo Lexicon. The Lexicon is now alphabetized into a single segment, instead of being organized in functional sections, and we think that you'll find it much more useful. In our opinion, it's more inclusive than Macromedia's documentation.
And for the future? Macromedia and Intel just announced a joint partnership to "...bring Intel's Internet 3D Graphics software technology to the Macromedia Shockwave Player. The Intel Internet 3D Graphics-enhanced Shockwave Player will enable the next generation of bandwidth-friendly, high quality interactive games, engaging entertainment, and more intuitive online shopping." Now 3D Shockwave is definitely something to look forward to.
Note: Right now, we're in the process of updating this website to support both the latest and previous editions of the book--please check back soon if you find some areas that haven't been refurbished. Look for the symbols: identifies content relative to Director 8 Demystified, identifies content relevant to Director 7 Demystified, while refers to the Version 6 edition.
Here's what you'll find online: