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Understanding Director 6

October 30, 1997
by the DOUG staff

There are a large amounts of improvements to Director 6, but with any significant addition of features comes the confusion of where all the old stuff went. Take the score for example. The new sprite spans and look in the score are fantastic for those of us who are score fanatics, but the lack of multiple sprite channel selection when attempting to resize the channels leaves a bit to be desired. So how do you get back to the director 5 score when in Director 6? There are two areas where this can be changed. Some of the preferences have been collected in the File Preferences menu. Also when in the score, you can toggle the display of the back to the director 5 style. If you have the score open, there is a shortcut where by control clicking on the sprite channel selector, a popup menu will be displayed and the last item on the menu is that of the director 5 style display. There is only one caveat though. In Dir 6, the old style Director 5 score is displayed with a bright red line that can obscure the information in the sprite channels for the frame that is selected.

What's up with the preferences?

The appearance of a preference menu item under the file menu leads you to believe that all the things we would consider to be preferences are in that item. Alas, that is not the case. Many things that we would consider are preferences are actually properties in Director 6. Some of these would be the xtras that we use in our projectors and Shockwaves (Jpeg import for example), how the movie streams when playing in the new plugin and vitals like stage size, location and default palette. For items that you don't find in the preferences menu, check out the modify menu and the movie menu item. In there, you will find movie properties, the xtras that your movie uses, currently included castlibs, and Shockwave playback options.

Can I ever escape the behavior inspector?

For those of us that familiar to Director and its ways, sometimes the old script window is a better editor than the behavior inspector. But whenever attempting to edit a score script, now called a behavior, the behavior inspector pops up before you can get to the script window. If you'd like to bypass that inspector, hit the Editors preference from the Preferences menu item under the File menu. In the resulting dialog you can turn the default editor for behaviors from the Inspector back to the old familiar script window. And while you're there, check out all the other options for media types and editors. Caveats? When editing large sound files, and Soundedit 16 is your editor, often a double click on the sound will just fail with no explanation or open the paint window. Other editor related mishaps have been noticed with the wrong editor opening up for the desired media type.

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