Flash & Director

Multimedia is more than just an animated intro.

Multimedia: a computer-based presentation, combining multiple media such as text, audio, video, animation and other graphics, while allowing user interactivity to control the information presented.

It is the last part of the above definition that explains why multimedia is so popular. Interactivity takes a static medium such as a book, or a passive one such as a video, and transforms them into an experience that engages the user. This alters the learning process, adapting it to the user, so it is more-easily absorbed and retention is increased.

As a programmer, I am always looking for ways to add as much interactivity into a project as possible. Whether it is ActionScript (Flash), Lingo (Director) or browser interaction, I will program a piece to keep the user active and entertained.

Programming can also modify how the content is presented. Code-based animations can adapt to the computer’s capabilities better than ones built in a timeline and can easily be repurposed across many elements and sections. Scores can be kept and deficiencies tracked to repeat areas of weakness to aid in the learning process. Customization, from simple skins to personal interface layouts, allows the user to personalize the tool to their needs, as well as presenting the content at their pace.

Programming is the key to true multimedia.

Scroll through the examples below for specifics on the various Flash and Director projects that I’ve been involved with. Click on the thumbnail to view larger screen shots or demos.

Is Flash Dead?

Or Director, for that matter?

There are many tools out there, and which one is the right one depends on your needs. Need an interactive 3-D computer app that can tie into other programs? Director is still a great choice. Heavy-duty vector animation? Flash might be the ticket.

When it comes to web sites, both Director and Flash have a browser plug-in. However, not everyone will have the plug-ins installed, and with Adobe’s announcement to discontinue developing the plug-ins for mobile device browsers, will Flash still be a viable choice?

The HTML5 standard includes a new multimedia element — Canvas. Dubbed by some as “the Flash killer”, it is built into many of today’s browsers, including those on the mobile devices. This means that anyone with an HTML5-capable browser will be able to play your Canvas apps natively — no plug-in required.

But, Canvas only runs inside a browser, while Director and Flash can create stand-alone apps. So it comes back to your needs: a computer program, a web site, 3-D, animation, connectivity? Let’s discuss the best solution for you.