classNotes 03

Reversing Animations in Director – Chapter 3

When selecting a color for a sprite, stage, etc, remember to single click
the color, and hold briefly.

tempo – the frame rate (or frames per second) pg. 76

hint: double clicking on the magnifying glass on the tool pallet has
the same effect as setting the stage to 100% and centering the stage in the
stage window. pg. 78

hint: When the spacebar is held down, and the stage window has focus,
the pointer becomes a hand, and you can "pan" around the stage.

Increasing or decreasing the tempo changes the speed at which Director
plays the movie, but playback for video movies and audio files within the
movie are not effected. pg. 81

Three ways to import Media Elements

  • CTRL+R – keyboard shortcut for Importing media elements
  • File -> Import
  • Over the Cast Window -> Right Click -> Import

Director can import 3 types of text files: (pg. 83)

  • RTF (Rich text)
  • HTML (Hyper Text
    Markup Language)
  • plain ASCII text.

hint: you can drag cast members within the cast window to re-arrange
their location for more logical groupings – pg. 84

hint: you can sort a group of cast members within the cast window by
selecting Modify > Sort (this cannot be done within the list view

CTRL+S to save (keyboard shortcut) pg. 85

Matte and Background Transparent inks both remove the part of the image which
is the background color for that sprite. pg. 87

The Matte ink, does not remove part of an image which has the background
color for that sprite, if that part of the image is surrounded (enclosed) by
other color(s).

hint: Shift+Enter, when the numeric keypad is off, will generate a
temporary preview of the Director Movie. – pg. 88

Inserting key frames can be done by selecting Insert > Keyframe,
CTRL+ALT+K, or Right Clicking>Insert Keyframe – pg. 90

Holding the Shift Key, while moving an object, will allow a sprite to
move only straight up/down or straight left/right. – pg. 91

Sprites can be copy CTRL+C and pasted CTRL+V within the Score – pg. 93

To reverse an animation sequence, select the sprite(s) in the score you would like
to reverse, and the select Modify > Reverse. – pg. 93

Transitions and Audio Files – Chapter 4

Hints for using Transitions

Transition – visual effects used to reveal or remove objects on
the stage. In traditional film making this comes from wipes, dissolves, etc.

  • Only use when necessary
  • Useful for major changes between scenes
  • Don’t use just because you can
  • Cuts are most common transition, and they work on the basis of no
    transition. i.e. you are here, now you are there.

Hints for using Sound FX

  • Try re-using the same sounds over and over to reduce project file
  • Sample Rate – how often the sound is sampled

    – similar to the frame rate of a movie

    • The higher the sample rate, the larger the file.
    • Typical Sample Rates are 8,12,22,and 44 KHz Although there
      are others
  • Bit Depth – How much information is stored to determine the number
    of changes in
    amplitude (volume) 

    – similar to color bit depth in a bitmap image file

    • Typically 8 or 16 bits
  • Number of Channels – Stereo or Mono
    • Typically 1 (mono) or 2 (Stereo) for the computer
    • If you take a stereo file, and make it mono, you effectively
      cut the file size in half

Visual Diagrams of Audio Sampling –

Types of Sound Files Director supports

  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
  • WAV (WAVE – Windows Audio File)
  • SWA (Mac. sound file format)

Sounds can be made to loop, or play continuously, throughout the movie. –
pg. 106

Set looping by the check box under the sound tab, from the Property
Inspector – pg. 107

hint: To keep your Director file small, reuse as many sounds as
possible. – pg. 108

Video Information

hint: Digital video performance is best when video is scaled up or
down by a multiple of 2, for example, 25%, 50%, 100%, 200%, 400%, etc. – pg.

Video file format supported by Director

  • AVI – Only on Windows machines however – Default Video Type
  • QuickTime – Only if QuickTime is already installed on the system –
    Default Video Type
  • MPEG – Not a native format – Must have an Extra to use them.

Other Director Information from Chapter 4

Registration points – the way of determining the position (X and
Y) of sprites on the
stage in Director. Rotation is about the registration point. – pg. 98

Exchange Cast Members (CTRL+E) allows a Director Author to replace a
sprite on the stage, with a different Cast Member – pg. 102

hint: You can open the paint window by double clicking on the sprite
on the stage, or by double clicking on the cast member in the cast window. –
pg. 103

Flow Charts

Flow charts – used to show how a non-linear project will flow. 
This is part of the pre-production process when developing a project.

Nonlinear project – when a project does not follow a set path, but
the user/program can diverge and skip sections, repeat a section, and/or go
back to previous sections.

Nonlinear examples:

  • Interactive CD-ROMs
  • Role-playing and FPS (First Person Shooter) games
  • The web

Boxes with a label, usually a  title, represent each
"screen".  Animations are not shown during a flowchart,
therefore screens can be animated or static.

Lines are drawn between boxes which show how a user can move from one
screen to another.  Arrows should be used to help determine which
"direction" the end-user can go between screens.

Uses of a flowchart:

  • Make sure all necessary screens are visible
  • Make sure user doesn’t get "trapped" in a screen/down a
  • Help reduce actual design building time
  • Get something which boss/client can sign off – if a client wants
    more, it will cost them more because they didn’t sign off on it.
  • Ensure that screens are not made, that cannot be seen because the
    user can not click on a way to get there.


Copyright ©2001-2003, Walter Wimberly – 
Instructor – IADT

 Learn from other people’s mistakes. You don’t live long enough to make
them all yourself.