Index Unit Notes

Try Director Yourself

Here is a simple example to try in Director 5. You will need two pictures saved in files called mug.bmp and table.bmp. Here they are. Right click on each to save them.

Start Director 5 and familiarise yourself with the main window, which has a Stage area marked by a rectangle; and the usual pull-down menus along the top edge. You will also see some movable windows for the Score, the Control Panel and for the Internal Cast.

  1. Select the Internal Cast window, then use File/Import to load cast member 1 (choose the mug) and again for cast member 2 (the table).
  2. Drag and drop cast member 2 onto the lower part of the Stage. Drag and drop the mug on top of this. While the mug is still selected, change the Ink in the Score Window, to Bkgrnd Transparent, so that the white border around the mug disappears.
  3. Look at the Score and notice how two channels of frame 1 now have cast members. However, these exist only in the first frame.
  4. Use Insert/Media Element/Bitmap to start the paint program. Draw some steam (try the airbrush, just a quick squirt) and notice how it appears as cast member 3. Close the paint program. Repeat the exercise to draw some different steam for cast member 4. Drag steam cast member 3 onto the stage, above the surface of the liquid in the mug.
  5. On the score, highlight cells 1, 2 and 3 in Frame 1 (you can use the shift key to help in selecting a range). Use Edit/Copy Cells and Edit /Paste Cells to produce an identical entry in Frame 20. Select all the cells in channels 1, 2 and 3, from Frame 1 to Frame 20 inclusive. Most of them are currently empty, so choose Modify/In-between to fill them all with identical copies.
  6. You now have a 20 frame movie, in which nothing moves! Play it (from the video recorder controls in the Control Panel) and you will see the Score animate. Press the control panel reset to get back to Frame 1.
  7. Now make every even frame use the other steam, cast member 4. If you drag and drop each instance of this into a slightly different position in each of the frames, this will improve the animation. Play it again, this time watching the Stage so you can see it animate.
  8. Now we need to produce a loop. We will allow the user control over this.
  9. On the Score, drag a triangular marker to Frame 1, labelling it <start>. (Don't type the angle brackets, I am using those to enclose what you have to type. I can't use quotation marks because some times you will have to type quotation marks, as you will see soon).
  10. Choose Frame 20. Use Window/Tool Palette to choose a Button. Pull out the button on the stage (click and hold, then move the mouse to pull out the button shape), away from the table, mug and steam. Label it <restart>. By itself, the button will do nothing, so you now need to add a Lingo script to it. Choose the restart cast member (which appeared when you made the button). Use Modify/Cast Member/Script to bring up a dialogue box, type
    <go to frame "start">
    (note the use of spaces and quotation marks must be exactly as shown here) in the Score Script.
  11. That completes the button but we still need to pause the animation on Frame 20, for the user to see the button appear and to press it. Look just above channel 1 in the Score Window and you will see Script Channel. Select Frame 20 therein. In the Score window, choose New Script in the Script selector and type <pause> in the dialogue box.
  12. Now run the animation from frame 1 and see what happens.
  13. You can save your work as a Movie file. This will allow to to resume and improve it later.

Optional Exercise

  1. Using the previous example, delete the button and attact a Lingo script to the mug, so that the animation restarts when you click on the mug.
  2. You can make a Projector file, which is a stand-alone application which can be run directly from the desktop, without the Director environment appearing. This is what Director is for, creating stand-alone interactive applications. The academic version we have always makes projectors which announces it is a restricted licence but is otherwise the real thing.
  3. You can also try making your own creation.