Director 11 Coming in March

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Adobe this week announced the impending release of Director 11, the first major update to the company's multimedia authoring tool in about four years. The new version expands 3D features with a new physics engine and new DirectX support and also introduces parity between JavaScript and Lingo for scripting. The new version will ship in March for Mac OS X (Intel) and Windows.

Director is, of course, the 20-year-old titan of Web authoring and development Adobe acquired when it bought out Macromedia. There had been some question as to whether Director would be continued as-was or changed radically, given the dominance of Adobe's Web authoring and development tool, Flash, also acquired from Macromedia. However, the latest release is not a radical departure from previous major releases of the software. It continues essentially along an unchanged course, focusing on highly interactive application development for gaming, electronic learning, and simulations.

Version 11 is not, however, just a port for Intel Macs and Vista. It introduces several new features and enhancements, including support for the latest 3D hardware, expanded DirectX support, and a new physics engine called the AEGIA PhysX Engine. It also incorporates enhanced integration with Flash, including support for Flash Video.

Other new features in Director 11 include:

  • Unicode support;
  • Improved font rendering with sub-pixel anti-aliasing;
  • Bitmap filters for effects;
  • Script effects; and
  • An improved script editing environment.

But for developers, one of the more major advancements in version 11 is vastly expanded JavaScript support. We have not yet had a chance to test Director 11, but Adobe representatives told us that JavaScript now has parity with Lingo in the latest release--a change that was designed to alleviate the burden on developers who author in multiple environments and do not want to have to "switch gears" when coming back into Director.

Director 11 is expected to ship by the end of March for $299 for educators and $99 for students. The student edition, according to Adobe, is exactly the same as the full version except that content created in it can't be sold for profit. The retail version of Director 11 runs $999. Volume licensing is also available. Director will not be available as part of the Adobe Creative Suite in when it ships. Director 11 and Shockwave both run on Mac OS X and Windows. The Mac version of Director is not a Universal Binary. It runs only on Intel-based Macs.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles is available on this site.


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