Creating media for Director by Matt Ottewill

Although Director has some media creation tools (such as its Paint Window), most professionals use separate specialist and dedicated applications to create their media. Once created it can be imported into Director where it automatically appears in the Cast Window.

NOTE: The range of media and file types that Director can use is growing all the time. The ones listed on this page are NOT definitive. Check the Director site and your manual.

Native and interchange file formats

It is often necessary to open an image created in one program into another. To do this you will need to save it in a file format familiar to both, in addition to its native file format. It does not matter what image creation and editing applications you use providing they support the interchange file formats required by your authoring application. Always save your work first in native format and then again in an interchange file format.

The following paragraphs outline interchange file formats suitable for importing media into Director.

Graphics

Director can import a vast range of file formats. However, many are unsuitable for multimedia work. For optimal results images should be imported in the following formats ...

  • BMP is the most widely used interchange file format for RGB pixel based images on the PC. Bit-depth can be determined for each image.
  • PICT is a Mac RGB file format for pixel based images suitable for Director. Bit-depth can be determined for each image and alpha channels are supported.
    Both of these formats become embedded Director resources when imported.
  • PSD - Native Photoshop files. Use this format only if you are using an alpha channel to define an area of transparency.

Avoid importing the following formats into Director ...

  • TIFFs (Tagged Image File Format - CMYK based). They are 16-bit CMYK and only suitable for repro.
  • Native Photoshop files. (Unless you are using an alpha channel to define an area of transparency).

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is the most widely used interchange file format for vector based images to be used in DTP applications. Use EPS files in the following situations ...

A complete Quark XPress page layout containing TIFFs, EPS's, line art and text can be saved as an EPS file. Photoshop can rasterize an EPS file which may then be exported as a PICT or TIFF.

If you are authoring using Macromedia's Flash, you can import EPS vector image files created in other applications.

Audio

The following file formats may be imported into Director ...

  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
  • WAV
  • QuickTime
  • MP3

Video / Animation

The following file format may be imported into Director ...

  • QuickTime
  • Flash
  • AVI

At the time of writing several new formats were being prepared.

Text

The following file formats may be imported into Director ...

  • TXT (Text)
  • RTF (Rich Text Format)

Media/content creation / editing software

The following is a brief list of media creation applications and their interchange formats suitable for Director ...

Pixel image editing

  • Adobe Photoshop (photographic image editing). Interchange file format: PICT
  • Painter (art painting program). Interchange file format: PICT

Vector based image editing

  • Adobe Illustrator (drawing program). EPS files must be rasterised in Photoshop first.
  • Coral Draw (drawing program). EPS files must be rasterised in Photoshop first.
  • Freehand (drawing program). EPS files must be rasterised in Photoshop first.

Audio editing

  • Macromedia SoundEdit 16. (stereo editor for Director). Interchange file format: AIFF.
  • Sound Forge. (audio editing). Interchange file format: AIFF or wav.
  • Logic Audio (multitrack / stereo / MIDI / sample editor). Interchange file format: AIFF.
  • Bias Peak (sample editing). Interchange file format: AIFF or wav.
  • Digidesign Pro Tools. Interchange file format: AIFF.

3D modeling

  • Lightwave
  • 3D Studio Max
  • Maya
  • Cinema 3D
  • Infini-D (modeling and animation). Interchange file format: QuickTime.
  • Bryce (landscape modeling). Interchange file format: PICT, QuickTime.
  • Fractal Design Poser (figure modeling). Interchange file format: PICT.

Video editing

  • Apple's Final Cut Pro Interchange file format: QuickTime.
  • Adobe Premiere (non linear video editing). Interchange file format: QuickTime.
  • Song Vegas
  • Adobe After FX (video manipulation and FX). Interchange file format: QuickTime.

Media optimising and file format converting

  • Terran Cleaner (Media Cleaner)
  • Macromedia FireWorks
  • iTunes (audio file conversion)
  • Bias Peak
  • Adobe ImageReady (for optimising, compressing, colour converting, batch processing image files