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Review DirectTransition Xtra

Added on 4/1/2001



Required Xtras:

This item has not yet been rated

Author: MediaMacros (website)

DirectTransition Xtra features the following customizable transitions. Virtually unlimited variations can be created from each transition: Avalanche: simulates the before image melting and falling to reveal the after image. Bricks: simulates the before image as a brick wall exploding to reveal the after image. Headline: simulates a movie style spinning newspaper headline moving towards the viewer with the after image projected on it. Pivot: simulates a 3 dimensional image rotating around a pivot to reveal the after image. Shatter: simulates the before image shattering like glass and falling to reveal the after image. Splatter: simulates the before image being obscured by expanding paint like spots of the after image. Turn Table: simulates a train track style turntable spinning to reveal the after image. X: simulates an X looking door opening or closing to reveal the after image. Zipper: simulates a zipper or curtain opening or closing to reveal the after image.

If you are tired of the slow, built in transitions offered by Director, then take a look at this Xtra bundle! On the surface, each of the 9 new transitions offer a fresh new set of options for swapping graphics and switching scenes, but it doesn't stop there. Special effects transitions like avalanche, or turntable can add a lot of sizzle to games, or even informal presentations with no programming required. For a more formal project, try out the spinning "Headline" transition, or "Pivot" to add a nice effect for even the most conservative of audiences.

After a quick download (only 314K for all the Xtras and their docs) you are ready to play with these little gems. Each has an easy to understand dialog of basic settings and the presets give a great idea of the base capabilities. You don't want to stop there because with a little experimentation with the options you can get some beautiful results that take this Xtra to a whole new level.

The "bricks" transition is a nice example of what you can do with these options. By making as many bricks as possible and adjusting the horizontal and vertical force, you can quickly turn an exploding wall of bricks into a burst of light confetti. Using the "headline" transition you can increase the number of rotations the screen will take as well as an ease-in value for the scale giving a nice, smooth, spinning zoom. This set has a multitude of options to play with so you are in complete control of the final outcome, not just the desired time it will take!

So is it a good value? For the power and speed, the $149 price tag is not out of range, and both versions (Mac and PC) can be ordered for $249 (a savings of almost $50!). Each transition is a separate Xtra, so you can keep your file size down by including just the transitions you need. They are fast (much faster than the built in transitions) and run very smooth, even on lower end machines. All the transitions are completely cross platform so authoring in either environment allows seamless playback on either Mac or Windows machines. The only down side is that the bundle is not yet Shockwave compatible, but according to DirectXtras this is planed for the soon to be released V 1.1.

Overall this is a very strong product. As usual DirectXtras has come through to meet the market demand with incredibly stable solutions at competitive prices. Try a free demo version today, and you can instantly see the possibilities!



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