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Review Director 8.5 Studio

Added on 11/2/2001



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Director 8.5 Studio

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Author: MediaMacros (website)

3D is one of the hottest areas for web development right now as more and more segments of the entertainment industry realize that both on and off web, motion graphics is the interface. The higher end of the web design community is realising that for 3D motion graphics, and a heavyweight project, then Director 8.5 is the tool of choice.

Welcome to one of the best introductions to Director I have seen to date. “Director 8.5 Studio,” from Friend’s of Ed, hits a home run with this great window into the exciting world of professional Multimedia. Being the first book on the market for a new version of any software is a challenge but they have gone above and beyond with this book. By creating a very thorough and well written guide to some of the best features and most exciting innovations in Director’s newest release, this looks to be of the quality that usually surfaces at the end of a release, not so close to the beginning. While most books dive into long-winded explanations on programming theory; they have done an exceptional job at keeping the lessons concise and easy to follow, and also include numerous screen shots so you can follow right along with the example files.

The book starts out covering the basic history of Director, and the usual necessary information involving types of lists, variables, etc.  From there it blasts into warp speed getting down to the really powerful features we all shelled out $1000 a pop for.  Part of the brilliance of this book is the fact that they don’t try to pull all the knowledge of such a complex program from one brain.  This book features work from over 15 programmers allowing the reader a broad range of approaches and techniques. This book also does not pull any punches.  While most save OOP and parent scripts as something to hide in the back, they place it right up front, and explain these highly important techniques in very easy to understand ways.

So what about 3d?  Well considering that 3d alone took the lingo dictionary from a nice little manual to something you could choke a bull with; this might very well be the most important topic on a lot of user’s minds.  Well, fear not, it’s covered from modeling to controlling 3d elements.  There is a massive amount to cover, and no single book could go into every new function, but this gets you the great start you need to roll up your sleeves and step into the world of 3d programming.  After that take a test of imaging lingo, Multi-user server, sound, and even Flash/Director integration.

The other thing I really liked was the last few chapters that covered the usual problems and work around for getting a finished project out into the world.  Why stop with the code when half the battle is yet to be won by making that disc, and sending it off for replication, or deploying it on CD?  Nothing is left out when you can read coming pitfalls, tips, and ways to keep the whole development process on track.

This book is probably a little above the point a total beginner should start with, but if you’ve been through the manuals, written a behavior or two, and are ready to really see what Director has to offer, then this is the book for you.  No more making Power Point slides for you.  Advanced programming awaits you, and as “Director 8.5 Studio” will show, it is far easier and closer than you think.

So is it worth the $60 for the book and CD?  Well, that’s an easy one.  Yes! If you’re a beginner, get the concepts for advanced programming early.  Intermediate programmers can get a taste of what Director really has to offer, and as usual, any pro knows the more ways you learn to do things the better you are. This book really is for just about ever user level, and everyone can get something useful from the tutorials and strategies contained within.



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