Price When Reviewed: 705 . 209
Pros: Vista and Leopard support; support for Flash 9; PhysX engine and DirectX9; new bitmap filters; Unicode and text engine enhancements; script browser; code snippets.
Cons: No PPC support for Mac users; workflow and installation gripes on Windows Vista; no GPU enhancements for Mac users; relatively expensive.
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Director has been notable by its absence in the successive Master Collections, so it’s refreshing to see this old stalwart of the multimedia-authoring brigade decked out in Adobe’s new livery.
When developed by Macromedia, Director was always the heavyweight alternative to Flash, for example offering support for 3D objects and physics simulators to provide the basis for Internet games using Shockwave. In Director 11, the PhysX engine from Ageia Technologies has superseded the Havoc physics-simulation engine.
Offered as an integrated Xtra (Director’s name for plug-ins), this can create rigid bodies of primitive and complex shapes and create terrains in the physics scene using static concave objects. The PhysX engine can detect and control events in the 3D world through raycasting, through registering collision callback for colliding bodies and enabling/disabling callback for specific rigid bodies. To take full advantage of these new capabilities, however, you’ll need a working knowledge of Director’s scripting language, Lingo.