Gear

Adobe Director 11.5

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MULTIMEDIA AUTHORING SOFTWARE

Adobe Director 11.5Director 11.5 will be familiar to users of previous versions but some additions improve productivity, for example: multiple undos/redos, stage docking, enhanced user interface, Sprite, channel naming, and a new Help System. But the hot addition in audio is 5.1-channel surround sound that, along with real-time mixing ability, means you can add a mixer to your movie to import audio files and cast members.

Of prime interest to game developers is the new, advanced-physics that’s based on the NVIDIA (registered) PhysX engine, so you can simulate gravity and other “real-life” effects. Other new features include H.264 support, which means that developers can now include HD content. Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) lets you stream audio or video in web-based applications. And now Director supports more than 40 video, audio, and image file formats—SWF, FLV, F4V, DVD-Video, bitmaps, vectors, 3D, and text, to name a few.

What’s user-friendly and pretty slick is when you open a project created in an earlier version of Director. You can select the encoding applied and choose to re-create the project in a subfolder of the original project folder or to a custom location. I sometimes run across multiple versions of a project created for what I thought was a good, “Oh, I’ll remember-that” reason. But then I don’t remember why I have two versions; so the option to save in the same folder is a terrific addition for me. I’ve upgraded several projects and both the upgrades and the originals do what they’re supposed to do.

Two issues for me are the lack of AS3 support as referenced in the Help file: “Flash 9 movies with AS3 or Flex components may not work as intended in Director.” And the price point for Director 11.5 is a little steep.
Tamara Fry-Pietsch

Company: Adobe Systems Incorporated
Price: $999 (upgrade $299)
Web: www.adobe.com
Rating: 3

Hot: H.264, FLV, SWF, Surround Sound, Google SketchUp 3D support
Not: Lack of AS3 support; price

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