Macromedia, Inc. and Intel Corporation announced on Tuesday, April 10, 2001, that the coming release of Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio will include new jointly developed 3D authoring capabilities, as well as a new version of the Shockwave Multiuser Server and support for both Flash5 and streaming RealMedia content. According to the announcement, the new software is integrated with existing 3D solutions to ensure developers do not have to abandon their 3D authoring software of choice, but rather import that content into Director. 3D vendors that have already pledged their support of this platform include Alias|Wavefront, Discreet, Havok, MAXON, NewTek, NVIDIA, NxView Technologies, Inc., Right Hemisphere and Softimage. Developers can then add interactivity to or incorporate that 3D content into new types of "magnetic" Web experiences to be delivered using Macromedia Shockwave Player. "With the combined power of Macromedia Director 8.5 and Intel's Internet 3D technology, there is finally a standard platform for authoring and delivering 3D content to a wide Internet audience using Shockwave Player," remarked Kevin Lynch, president of Macromedia products. "Our developer community will be able to use their existing expertise to deliver entirely new magnetic experiences in 3D, and existing 3D content creators now have a great way to deploy their content to the Web." According to Craig Kinnie, vice president and director, Intel Architecture Labs, "Intel's strategy is to work with industry leaders like Macromedia to accelerate innovation and develop technologies which utilize the processor to improve the user experience online. Combining our Internet 3D Graphics technology with Macromedia Director and the Shockwave Player will enable the first widely-available solution for 3D on the Web." Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio is expected to be available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms in May. The free, 3D-enhanced Shockwave Player is also expected to ship in May. Existing players will automatically update when they first encounter 3D content. Sample 3D Shockwave content and a public beta of the 3D-enhanced Shockwave Player are available at www.macromedia.com/software/shockwaveplayer/public_beta/.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.