Presenting Multimedia Information With Director & Shockwave on the World Wide Web

Use Director to create a Multimedia Movie

Multimedia is used by companies for presenting their newest products or for making advertising movies. One aspect of multimedia is to create a movie. And one way to create a movie is to use DIRECTOR by the American company Macromedia. With the growing popularity of the World Wide Web there arose a demand for presenting such movies on the Web.

In the following, I would like to introduce you to the most important features of Macromedia´s Director, which should support you to create a high impact movie that can also be put into your Web Page. But now I would like to describe how easy it is to make a movie with the help of Director.

The name (Director) is chosen because the program does the same as the director of a film. He and the program alike choose the cast, consisting of a variable number of actors, the screenplay, and how the actors should interact on the screen. The terminology is taken from the film buisness, that is why the screen (page) is called a stage, just as the stage of a theater. Accordingly, each symbol or graphic on the stage is called an actor. However, also text, sound, music and videos are considered as actors.

In the main, you have got two possibilities of getting actors into your movie. On the one hand, you can import already existing actors, on the other hand you can create them by yourself. For example, you can position graphics, move them from one place to another, and you can zoom or resize them very easily.

A more interesting feature is called In Line In Between. This feature helps you to include animated cartoons in your movie. You only need to define the starting and the end position of a graphic actor. In Line In Between calculates automatically all positions between the first and last position of the actor.

Furthermore, Director offers you the possibility of controlling the picture sequence. This means you can define certain areas on the stage and combine them with predefined actions. One such action is switching on or off sound, music or videos. If you click into such a previously defined area, you can activate, for example, certain pictures.

The result of the combination of all possible kinds of actors (text, graphic, sound, music, and videos) is a Director Presentaion file.

Use Shockwave to watch Director Movies in Web Browsers

Shockwave is a Plug-In, which allows movies to be incorporated into a Web Page. Currently, it is only available for Netscape 2.0 (or higher) but soon, other browsers will provide the same possibility.

Downloading considerations

Because the majority of users dial in at relatively slow speeds (14,400 and 28,800 pits per second), multimedia delivered over the Internet should be limited in size. While creating a Director Movie, keep in mind the download time for your movies and ask yourself if the user would be willing to wait the length of time necessary for the movie to download or if there is any way to reduce the size of the movie and shorten the time the user has to wait.

Download Times at Common Modem Speeds

Content Size (K) 14.400 kbs 28.800 kbs

small graphic


30 sec

10 sec

small movie


180-300 sec

90-180 sec



N.A. sec

120-240 sec

New Lingo Network Extension

Several new Lingo commands are available to provide a shocked Director movie with access to the network. During downloading, a user can continue interacting with a shocked movie. Most of the network commands involve starting an operation, then checking to see if it has been completed, and finally getting the results. You can have four asynchronous operations in progress at a time.

Starting Asynchronous Operations


getNetText uri starts the retrieval of an HTTP item to be read
by Lingo as text.
preloadNetThing uri preloads a HTTP item. Only HTTP URLs are supported
as valid uri parameters.
gotoNetMovie uri goto the HTTP item containing the movie.
gotoNetPage uri opens a uri, whether it´s a shocked Director
movie or some other type. A new page within
the browser is opened.

Checking the State of an Asynchronous Operation
Feature/Command Description
netDone() tests whether getNetText or preloadNetThing are
finished. Return values are true by default,
false after an asynchronous network operation is
started and while the operation is in progress.
netError() returns an empty string until the most recently started
asynchronous network operation is finished or it returns
OK if the operatoin was completed successfully or None
if no asynchronous operation has been started.
netTextResult() For a getNetText operation, it returns the text of the
HTTP item.

Canceling a Network Operation in Progress

Each of the functions netDone, netError, and netTextResult allows an optional parameter specifying the unique identifier of an operation returned by getLatestNetID. It is possible to have more than one operation active at a time. When two operations start simultaneously, the Lingo script needs a way to keep them straight during downloading. After one operation starts, and until the next operation begins, the following, function retrieves a unique identifier for that operation.

Managing Operations
Feature/Command Description
getLatestNetID() returns a unique identifier for the last asynchronous
operation which was started.


Media, is derived from the Latin singular form of Medium and was first applied to newspapers two centuries ago.

Multimedia is the simultaneous or combined use of several media, as films, video, music, etc. Note: the term Multimedia is often wrongly used. Per definitionem (Websters Dictionary) there need not be any computer support included when presenting information in multimedial form.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) a protocol defined for the needs of the World Wide Web.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the standard address form for World Wide Web pages. It consists of three parts, the name of the Internet protocol (e.g. FTP, gopher, HTTP) the Internet host , the path to the web page you are looking for.

uri (Universe Resource Identifier) which specifies a HTTP item.

This page was created by Martin Scheibl in 1996.

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