Zeus Productions Banner

Zeus Tech Note
Creating Director Projectors
for Mac and Windows

(This document last revised June 25, 1997)

Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Written by Bruce A. Epstein

Q. What is a Projector?

A.  A Projector is a standalone run-time executable that is created by Director to enable you to distribute your multimedia presentation to users who do not own Director.

Q. Do I have to create separate projectors for Mac and Windows.

A.  Yes, you must create at least one projector for Macintosh and a separate projector for Windows. You may want to create more than one for each platform. (see below)

Q. Do I have to buy Director for both Macintosh and Windows just to create Projectors on both platforms?

A.  Yes, you must have a copy of Director for the platform on which you want to create a projector. You can hire someone with such a copy to create a projector for you and/or perform the port to the other platform. The updateStage site may have a test projector that you can use on a trial basis. You can also obtain a copy of the Macromedia Showcase CD which has save-disabled versions of Director on it.

Q. Why do I have to pay for both platforms if Director is supposedly "Author Once, Play Anywhere"?

A.  This is one of the great quandries of our time. You may hear that Macromedia has to develop separate versions for each platform (which is true), or that there are differences between the platforms which are beyond Macromedia's control (also true), or that some things, such as Xtras, are very platform-specific (also true) or that it is only fair to pay Macromedia for their hard work (also true).

All those arguments aside, if you value your time, you will obtain a copy of Director for every platform on which you need to test, debug and ship your product. Any money you save by not buying Director will quickly be lost due to the horrific inefficiency of not being able to debug as you test on the target platform.

Prior to Director 4.0, there was no Windows development environment, although you could create a projector to run on a Windows machine. It was a painful experience. If you truly just need to build a new projector and your title runs perfectly on another platform, you should thank your lucky stars that it only cost you the price of a copy of Director.

Q. What is a "Fat Binary" or "Fat" projector?

A.  On the Macintosh, a "at" executable is one that contains both native PowerPC instructions and also 68K Mac instructions in a single file. This makes the file somewhat larger, but allows it to run optimally on either type of Macintosh. The Mac OS automatically runs the correct "half" of a Fat Binary executable.

Q.Can I create a Fat Projector which works on both Mac and Windows?

A.  No, there is no such beast at present, nor is there likely to ever be one.

Q.Can I create a Fat Projector for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95/NT

A.  No, there is no such beast at present, nor is there likely to ever be one. You can create a 16-bit projector and use it under Windows 95 as well as Windows 3.1. You can create both 16-bit and 32-bit version of the projector , and make sure that the user runs the right one. Macormedia includes a simple "launcher" utility on the Director 5.0 CD which allegedly handles this. The Zeus utility zWinVer may be of assistance as well.

Q. How do I cover the full screen with my Projector?

A.  Check the Full Screen option when building your projector. This feature is available in DfW 4.0 and later, and DfM 5.0 and later. To cover the screen using DfM 4.0.4 or earlier, or to cover multiple Macintosh monitors, use the "Rear Window" or "Finder Hider" XObject.

Q. How do I set the color of the Full Screen cover?

A.  The color of the Full Screen cover is always the same as the stage color. Set the stage color using the background color chip under "Modify...Movie..Properties" (In Director 4.0 this color chip was on teh Control Panel instead). If you want a stage color different from your background color, use a 1-bit colorized bitmap sprite or QD shape in channel one throughout your score.

How to Build a Projector

Explicit instructions for building a projector are given below for Director 5.0. The options are similar, though not identical, to earlier versions of Director.

Under the File menu, choose the "Create Projector..." option. The modal "Create Projector" dialog box appears.

Adding File(s) to Your Projector

Hilight one or more files in the left-hand side file browser window and hit the Add button to add them to the list of included files on the right-hand side. We strongly recommend that you include one and only one Director movie in your projector as outlined in the TechNote, "Creating and Using Stub Projectors". The remaining Director files can be protected and left external to the Projector. (see below)

Projector Options

Various Projector options can be set by hitting the "Options..." button in the "Create Projector" dialog box, which bring up the "Projector Options" modal dialog box. The following describe the Director for Macintosh Window Settings.

The "Create For:" Option

There are three possible Projector Types on the Macintosh:

There are two possible Projector Types under Windows:

Other projector options:



Stage Size:



Version Notes:

Home (Spotlight) | Table of Contents | Links | Contact Info

Place an Order | Products for Sale | Licensing | Downloads

TechNotes | FAQs | E-Mail Zeus | GuestBook | Glossary

[End of Page]

Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.