Director 11 Is Released

I was able to download the demo and it is in the store and on Adobe’s site. The new AGEIA™ PhysX™  physics engine and some sort of updated 3D with hardware rendering is nice.

But, Director is like the Rodney Dangerfield of products at Adobe.  Everywhere you have to dig for it, it doesn’t even have updated marketing in most places, the shockwave player link is still from 2002 etc.  I wish that Adobe would support it more, open it up, allow better IDEs, integrate ES4 based Actionscript 3 or 4 into it and keep the 3d market that shockwave supports moving along.

Maybe they will give Director more love but if they don’t allow for some community input and work on the platform like Flex and Flash have thrived on, well they might just lose that piece of the market (3d gaming, hardware).

First impression is the fonts do look much better.  Unicode support is so far so good and I haven’t had a chance to dig into the AEGIS PhysX engine yet but that looks very very fun.

For instance here is a Physics Engine call that creates a rigid body terrain

//JavaScript Syntax
var objTerrain= member("PhysicsWorld").createTerrain("myterrain",terrainDesc,position,orientation,1,1,1);

Or some raycasting:

//JavaScript Syntax
var lstraycast = member("PhysicsWorld").rayCastAll (vector(10,0,0),vector(0,0,1));
for(i = 1; i < = lstraycast.count ; i++)
    raycstEntry = lstraycast[i];
    put("Name:" + raycstEntry[1].name);
    put"Contact Point:" & raycstEntry[2]);
    put("Contact Normal:" & raycstEntry[3]);
    put("Distance:" & raycstEntry[4]);

I use the Javascript source simply because it is much more usable to me. Unfortunately the docs are only partially converted to Javascript.  Lingo is pretty close to it though but it scares people off.

What Adobe needs to do is port into Flash the ability to use Shockwave3D (hardware rendering for 3d), AEGIS PhysX, would that not blow up big time or what?

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  • Andy D1

    WOW! It’s great news!

  • Dachev

    Seriously, I think we should close the openGL, directX, and all hardware-accelerated-3d-in-flash discussions, because they really detract from the one coolest and most respectful thing about flash – it runs everywhere needing just the player.
    I think though that hydra in flash is a great idea, because it simply provides additional processing power to flash – the “one thing that Adobe needs to do” if you ask me is to integrate hydra not only as a pixel shader thing but also as a high speed processing playground for repetitive stuff to as.

  • Des

    Yeah… I’ve been working with Director on an off since MX released. This update is a letdown overall. Was hoping they’d redesign and rethink the whole Director framework the same way Actionscript was made developer friendly from v2->v3. I’m gonna give this a while, but I already have doubts it will be as flexible and agile as Flex and/or Actionscript 3.

    I might just give up on Director and go for Unity3D. Been using that for a year and the new 2.0 version has a lot of the things that I’ve been wanting from both Director and Unity3D v1.6. Too bad it doesn’t have the installbase of Flash and Shockwave!

  • drawk

    @Dachev: Yes by my aim is for a better, solid game market online. I want online games to be more low bar for lots of creativity. Right now flash 3d is so tantalizing and so close, but yet so far with software rendering. I agree Director never was as much as a platform (only 50% penetration compared to flash 98%) and that was largely due to crashes from plugins and xtras. BUT, Adobe might not have a choice if Silverlight adds some hardware rendering. Hydra and AIF use hardware rendering…The people want it not just for 3d but for shaders, faster guis, better pixel manipulation and many other things.

    @Des Yeh I as happy they released and it is not dead but it barely has any life. I mean they didn’t even market the release that much. They have no plans it seems. They didn’t even update 3d in any way. I am big on the PhysX engine but they only did that because Havok was too expensive at the time (since director 10-10.5 – although havok is going open source). Unicode and better text is nice and needed but overall it looks liek they may have stuck a fork in it.

  • archont

    What if Flash would integrate the speed of director, it’s hardware support?

    We’d have a new era in online gaming.

    “Seriously, I think we should close the openGL, directX, and all hardware-accelerated-3d-in-flash discussions, because they really detract from the one coolest and most respectful thing about flash – it runs everywhere needing just the player.”

    What rock has this chap been living under? Go play some games on newgrounds. You’ll quickly realize the more advanced games – and flash games ARE getting more and more advanced, not the other way – won’t run on your low-end machine well enough, because you need a beast of a CPU. Now, if Adobe introduced hardware support, you wouldn’t be forced to choose to either download the game locally and run it on low quality OR buy and overclock a Penryn – because your good old geforce 2 and athlon combined will both be working and will have the power to render a scene that would otherwise require an overclocker-price-segment CPU. Even simple 3d games in Flash that would make even an integrated laptop chip yawn are currently taxing the CPU to it’s limits.

  • Dachev

    @Archont: Mate your priorities are misconceptual.
    My web development is overreliant on flash, thus I need max penetration rates of flash plus a very stable and predictable behaviour of the plugin (and now the air runtime). While spreading calculations on the gpu is a very good thing, integrating PhysiX or Havoc clearly isn’t. Same for gpu-accelerated vector rendering – great idea, a must. Burdening the flash player with directx … not really.
    Look at adobe air. Whilst hardware 3d will open a lot of ground for web to desktop gaming, a home banking app will suffer from an increased bug margin and greater memory consumption thanks to the increased complexity of the player and external code running along with it.
    The question is … what do you want flash for? Gaming? Is it really flash you need? Or is it the only thing you can do? Buy a mac and go for unity. I dont need a &%@ refrigerator in flash mate.

  • drawk

    I think that flash is a base level support for graphics. This means soon they will have to offload some processing on hardware I believe and they show that with AIF and Hydra. But they could also instead of that add a subset of OpenGL that would allow common shaders. Also, it is not all about 3d but performance. Video will improve, motion will improve, the amount of operations you can run, methods, variables, loops etc will all be improved especially with pixel operations. I think that they could add it in a way that would be still representative of lower end graphics for the widest support. They are introducing the beast with AIF and hardware support so why not OpenGL instead and a common shader library? I agree Flash should not be the fridge, Director should get respect as a higher level gaming platform (hardware rendering – low bar with LOD). But flash could greatly benefit especially in speeding up pixel operations, application performance, and nearly every interactive use for flash for marketing. But they do need to keep in mind to keep it the low-end. I Think by now most computers have a 16 or 32 MB video card. Why not take advantage. The limits are hit quickly with software rendering. Also offloading some of that will allow more processor for your application while rendering would offload = better performing apps.

  • duncancarroll

    Just loaded the demo, and two things are pissing me off right off the bat:

    - Still just one level of undo… I can’t believe they didn’t add more levels… it’s such a disgrace…

    - File windows are still “trapped” inside the main Director window.

  • drawk

    I know I know…. they direly need to open up this IDE and allow like a DirectorDevelop or someway to allow the IDE to be expanded. I hate coding in little windows… Same with Flash IDE.

  • PJM

    I read a similar debate somewhere on one of the Director dedicated web sites in 2002, right after real-time 3D was introduced to Director. My opinion back then was: make Director a 3D game oriented engine for online and even offline delivery, and keep Flash 2D only and expend its capabilities towards video. Interestingly enough Flash went in the direction of a true multimedia development platform, capitalizing on its flash player popularity. Unfortunately, Director since version 8.5 has not received much attention for some strange reasons. Well, maybe not strange, unless you call lack of vision on the part of Macromedia and Adobe “strange”. Adobe at least is trying to make some moves with Director 11, but their current release is simply not enough. It would be nice to hear a little bid more from Adobe about what their plans are for Director, because there are some interesting platforms out there that fill in the market gap for web 3D, like: Quest 3D or Anark Studio for example – both not perfect, but their focus is on real-time 3D and they bring some great ideas for multimedia development in 3D to the table.

    In my opinion Director should focus on real-time 3D development for multimedia and game development, instead of being the “jack of all trades” type of tool – let the Flash do the rest, it’s definitely capable of it.

  • drawk

    Yeh PJM,

    The plan for that system and market wasn’t too good. It still drives many 3d games online but not sure why they left is stuck in 2002-2003. It is still one of the most common installed plugins for browser 3d. It wasn’t very powerful due to computers at the time (lots of low end) but it is perfect for now where most computers have at least a 16 or 32 mb card now. Better ways are emerging, might be too late.

  • mrsteel

    new director is great stuff,
    people that are eager to do amazing stuff doesn’t have to wait Flash to get this new things
    why not use Director
    downloadable runtime is only 4mb like Silverlight and it’s much more powerfull

    I would like community and Adobe put more into education on Javascript ( and Lingo) for Director
    learning resources was and still are very low for Director